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Redbox owner Coinstar feeling content pinch

Coinstar Inc. CSTR -6.97%   , which owns Redbox and its 43,000 DVD-rental kiosks across the U.S., found out the hard way just how important content — and the promise of more content in a timely manner — matters in efforts to better compete against the likes of Netflix Inc. NFLX -0.55%  , Amazon.com AMZN +0.66%  and online video aggregator and streaming site Hulu.

The stock fell nearly 9% by early Friday afternoon to $47.44. This was a reaction to what company officials said late Thursday about the number of new DVDs Redbox will offer in the first quarter of the year, and when the kiosks will get those titles. Combined with new expenses associated with the rollout of the new Redbox Instant video streaming service, investors showed they have little patience when other video rental and streaming options are available.

At the heart of the matter was Coinstar Chief Financial Officer Scott di Valerio saying that Redbox added just 12 new release titles to its kiosks in January — barely half of the 23 new release titles it added in the same month a year ago.

CSTR 48.47, -3.63, -6.97%

Di Valerio said on a conference call Thursday that more new release titles are set to roll in during February and March, and the company should end up with about the same number of new releases as it did in last year’s first quarter. But, he added, “certainly, they are coming in the later part of the quarter, which challenges the start-up like we had [in the first quarter of] last year.” Di Valerio is soon to take over as Coinstar’s Chief Executive from Paul Davis, who is retiring.

Due in part to the lack of new Redbox content, Coinstar forecast earnings of between 77 cents and 92 cents a share, on revenue in a range of $568 million and $593 million for its first quarter, which fell short of the $1.22 a share and $628.8 million in consensus sales estimates from analysts surveyed by FactSet for the quarter.

For its part, Coinstar is taking steps to maintain Redbox customer loyalty. The company is working on revamping its kiosks so that they can fit 80 more discs, on top of the 600 that the machines usually hold. And beginning Jan. 1, the company entered into a new agreement with Warner Bros. TWX +0.40%   in which Redbox with get the rights to Warner’s Blu-Ray and DVD titles 28 days after their retail release.

The company is also revamping the Blockbuster kiosks it recently acquired from NCR Corp. NCR +4.36%  . It also expects to install between 1,500 and 2,000 kiosks in Canada this year, and is betting big on its Redbox Instant joint venture with Verizon VZ -0.25%  , a video-streaming service that is in beta testing and will cost consumers $8 a month upon rollout.

“We believe as the year goes on, revenue trends should improve as should transactions per kiosk, as new kiosks ramp, increased stability from [Redbox] Instant, and the company’s vertical merchandising zone, which adds 80 discs to each kiosk,” Northland Capital Markets analyst Darren Aftahi wrote in a research note. Aftahi holds an outperform rating and $62 a share target price on Coinstar’s stock.

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But while Redbox Instant is Coinstar’s high-profile effort to stake a claim to the video-streaming market, expenses are adding up.

According to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, Redbox — which owns a 35% stake in the joint venture with Verizon — took charges of more than $20 million in the fourth-quarter related to building out the service. Pachter also noted that Coinstar expects to take a charge of between $9 million and $11 million in the first quarter, and up to as much as $16 million for the joint venture this year.

“The company provided no visibility on when investors should expect revenue or profit contribution from the Verizon joint venture,” Pachter said. “And considering that Coinstar first mentioned its plans to partner with another company back in April 2010 and announced the Verizon deal over a year ago, it is troubling that the actual rollout beyond beta is taking so long.”

In the meantime, Netflix has seen investors come back following its exclusive deal with Walt Disney Co. DIS +0.55%  , even though it doesn’t start until 2013, and Amazon just scored the exclusive video-streaming rights to the hit PBS series “Downton Abbey,” showing that there is no rest in the battle to offer marquee-quality content for subscribers.

Of course, if Redbox Instant is a hit, all concerns about content could end up being moot. For now, Redbox appears to be trying to fill up those rental kiosks as fast as possible with new DVDs.

MTA Prepares for Early Rush Hour Due to Storm

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was preparing for the storm by moving some sensitive equipment out of the path of snow and by adjusting train schedules to accommodate an earlier-than-usual afternoon rush hour on Friday.

Subways were operating normally Friday morning, with routine delays not linked to the approaching storm. As the storm approaches, the MTA’s transit division will move some trains underground for storage, including on express tracks through Manhattan, which means some lines that normally run as express will operate on local tracks Friday afternoon.

The MTA will halt service on the No. 7 train in Manhattan beginning at midnight, the agency said. The line will operate as usual between Main Street and Queensboro Plaza in Queens, and as a shuttle from Queensboro Plaza to Vernon-Jackson Avenues.

Buses were rolling out of depots with chains on their tires, and monitors at headquarters were keeping track of road conditions.

More closely watched as the storm approached were the region’s commuter rail lines, including Metro-North, Long Island Railroad and NJ Transit. Those systems move hundreds of thousands of commuters over long distances each weekday, through suburban territory expecting a wallop from the snow.

All three commuter rail systems were planning to add extra train service in the afternoon to help carry an anticipated early rush hour of Manhattan office workers departing ahead of the storm.

When the storm is at its height later in the day, an MTA spokeswoman said, there is a chance of intermittent closures of some bridges in the region – standard procedure when wind and snow create whiteout conditions. Those closures, however, would not be as lengthy as the outages that were required during superstorm Sandy, when the MTA, the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed river crossings because of hurricane-force winds.

The MTA was also preparing for the need to protect drivers after the height of the storm, when refreezing and melting conditions could produce dangerous ice buildup on suspension bridge cables. If ice falls are happening, those bridges could be closed temporarily, the spokeswoman said.

The MTA prepared to cancel some trains on Metro-North Friday evening, even as it sent extra trains out of New York in advance of the storm.

The railroad was to operate on a reduced schedule from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday night, the MTA said, and would significantly curtail service between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Saturday. After 8 p.m., trains will run every half-hour on the New Haven and Harlem Lines out of Grand Central Terminal, and once an hour inbound toward Grand Central. On the Hudson Line, the railroad will run trains once an hour overnight.

Railroad officials said more service could be cut if the storm becomes more severe.

Amtrak announced Friday afternoon that it will not operate Acela Express service on Saturday between New York and Boston, though the express trains will continue to run south of New York.

Amtrak suspended all service between New York and Boston Friday afternoon in anticipation of snow and high winds. Southbound service on regional trains will resume from Boston at 11:40 a.m. Saturday, while northbound service will resume at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The railroad also canceled other trains throughout New England because of the storm.

LA Cops Dismiss Claims in Alleged Killer Chris Dorner's 'Self-Serving' Manifesto

PHOTO: This undated photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles officer; right,   police officers stand near the site of a police shooting on Feb. 7, 2013 in Corona, Calif. where Dorner is sus

The rage-filled "manifesto" written by former police officer Christopher Dorner before he went on an alleged cop killing spree around the Los Angeles area was dismissed by the head of the Los Angeles Police Department today as "self-serving" and "ramblings on the Internet."

Dorner is believed to have killed one police officer and injured two others early this morning, in addition to killing two civilians, on a spree that he threatened would have a "high action of violence" in an angry missive posted to his Facebook wall earlier this week.

Police throughout the Los Angeles and Southern California region were working to apprehend Dorner.

In the letter, Dorner detailed his grievances with his former employer, the Los Angeles Police Department, including his struggles with the department's internal affairs department, which ultimately ended in his getting fired, according to the manifesto. He blamed the problems with the LAPD for inspiring his killing spree.

Dorner accused the department of being racist and using excessive force.

PHOTOS: Former LAPD Officer Suspected in Shootings

"The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse," Dorner wrote. "I know I will be vilified by the LAPD and the media. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name."

Dorner named members of the LAPD whom he would target and said they would not be safe at home or at work.

"I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty," he wrote. "You will now live the life of the prey."

Today, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck curtly dismissed the letter.

"This is a homicide suspect who has committed atrocious crimes. If you want to give any attribution to his ramblings on the Internet, go ahead, but I do not," he said.

FULL COVERAGE: Christopher Jordan Dorner

Much of the letter focused on an episode in which Dorner said he saw a fellow officer use excessive force to kick a suspect who was schizophrenic. He reported the incident to the department's internal affairs department, kicking off a lengthy investigation that ultimately led to his dismissal from the department for making false statements.

"I had broken their supposed 'Blue Line,'" he wrote, referring to the notion that police officers protect one another. "It is clear as day that the department retaliated toward me for reporting [the officer]. ... The department stated that I had lied and made up the report."

Dorner said the incident cost him greatly at the department and in his personal life, fueling his killing spree.

"The LAPD's actions have cost me my law enforcement career," he said. "They cost my naval career. ... I've lost my relationship with my mother and sister because of the LAPD. I've lost a relationship with close friends because of the LAPD. In essence, I've lost everything because the LAPD took my name and new (sic) I was INNOCENT!!!" he wrote.

"This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences," the letter said.

Beck, the current LAPD chief, said that the internal affairs case that Dorner spent much of the letter focusing on had been treated fairly through the police department's review board.

"That case was thoroughly adjudicated. It went through several levels of review up to the point where even a civilian representative listened to the entirety of the case. You will find Dorner's statements to be self-serving and the statements of somebody who was extremely unhappy in his lot in life," Beck said.


Redbox Automated Retail, LLC
TypeSubsidiary of Coinstar
IndustryRetail/DVD rental
HeadquartersOakbrook Terrace, Illinois,United States
Area servedNorth America
Key people
Anne Saunders, President of Redbox, J Mitch Lowe, former President
Gregg Kaplan, Founder of Redbox, CEO of Redbox (2002-2009), COO & President of Coinstar, Inc. (2009-Present)[1]
Redbox is a subsidiary of Coinstar that specializes in the rental of DVDsBlu-ray Discs, and video gamesvia automated retail kiosks. As of the end of November 2012, Redbox had over 42,000 kiosks at more than 34,000 locations.[2]
Kiosks feature the company's signature red color and are located at grocery storespharmacies, mass retailers, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants. The company announced in February 2012 it will set up a few hundred kiosks in Canada in the coming months to test the Canadian market.[3]
Redbox had 34.5% market share of discs rented, as of Q2 2011, as stated by the NPD Group.[4]

NOAA Names New Director of National Weather Service

NOAA Press Release:
Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., will become the next assistant NOAA administrator for weather services beginning February 10 and the 16th director of NOAA's National Weather Service, which marks its 143rd anniversary this Saturday.
"Louis' leadership within the National Weather Service and his relationship with the U.S. and international weather enterprise allow him to effectively steer the agency forward," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.
"It's an honor to lead such a prestigious agency with the unbeatable mission of protecting lives and livelihoods," said Uccellini. "The past year had its success stories with superior outlooks, forecasts and warnings, including those for Sandy, but difficulties remain. Our eyes remain locked on the future to ensure a National Weather Service that is second to none and supports a weather-ready nation.
What makes the National Weather Service a prestigious agency with a bold future are the dedicated men and woman who work day in and day out to keep us all informed and safe. They do so in ways that are more public, such as issuing life-saving watches and warnings, and in ways that are less apparent but are vital to our society, such as supporting airline safety and marine transportation to protecting electrical infrastructure from solar storms."
"I congratulate Dr. Uccellini and look forward to continuing to collaborate with him and the National Weather Service," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "FEMA and the NWS in partnership together prepare communities and local officials for the impacts of weather hazards to save lives and protect property."
"Working with a spectrum of partners, including emergency management, the commercial sector, broadcasters, academia and social scientists, we can and will meet the nation's needs to overcome the very real threats from the increasing severity and frequency of weather and climate extremes," added Uccellini.
Laura K. Furgione, who served as acting director of the National Weather Service since May 2012, will return as the agency's deputy director. "Louis has always placed a priority on providing forecast tools to help field offices and national centers be successful. I'm proud to work by his side as we continue supporting our nation-wide team," said Furgione.
Since 1999, Uccellini has led the NWS' National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which in 2012 moved to a new state-of-the-art facility in College Park, Md. At NCEP, he was responsible for directing the planning, science and technology, and operational responsibilities related to NCEP's Central Operations and Environmental Modeling, as well as seven national centers, including the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., and Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo. Uccellini is also a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and just completed his term as the society's president.
Uccellini, 63, began his weather career at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Laboratory for Atmospheres as the section head for the Mesoscale Analysis and Modeling Section in 1978. In 1989, he joined the NWS as chief of the Meteorological Operations Division and then became director of the Office of Meteorology in 1994.
Uccellini received his Bachelor of Science (1971), Master (1972), and Ph.D. (1977) degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published more than 60 journal articles and chapters in books, and is known for coauthoring the widely acclaimed two-volume book, Northeast Snowstorms.
A native of Bethpage, N.Y. on Long Island, Dr. Uccellini is a resident of Columbia, Md. He and his wife, Susan, have three children.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.

New head of National Weather Service named

Louis Uccellini will be the new director of the National Weather Service, effective Sunday.
Uccellini, 63, has been with the weather service since 1989, most recently as the director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in College Park, Md. He will be the 16th director of the weather service, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
He was the president of the American Meteorological Society and the author of more than 60 journal articles and chapters in books. He literally wrote the book about blizzards as the co-author of the two-volume book Northeast Snowstorms.
Uccellini replaces acting director Laura Furgione, who served since May. She replaced Jack Hayes, who was director from 2007 until last May. Hayes retired after an internal investigation found that agency staff improperly moved money among different accounts without congressional authorization.
Furgione will return to her position as weather service deputy director.
Uccellini becomes director at a challenging time for the agency, dealing with budget issues that could hamper efforts to improve such critical needs as weather satellites and weather prediction models.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Uccellini stressed the importance of maintaining transparency in budget issues.
He agreed with concerns within the meteorological community about the state of the top U.S. weather prediction model (the GFS), saying he will be "moving aggressively" toward its improvement.
"It's an honor to lead such a prestigious agency with the unbeatable mission of protecting lives and livelihoods," Uccellini said. "The past year had its success stories with superior outlooks, forecasts and warnings, including those for Sandy, but difficulties remain.
"Our eyes remain locked on the future to ensure a National Weather Service that is second to none and supports a weather-ready nation."

Who wants to live there forever???


Here is a Bon Jovi song for you!

Some wonderful places in the World and a poem from me!

Let'a have breakfast through the sea
Life would be so awful without you
You know I don't like to eat breakfast
But you gave it a end
Everything is wonderful with you
Say "good morning"
Say "hello" to the sun...
We are alive !
We are happy!
And together...
There is nothing makes me happy in the world ,
Except living with you...
Holding your hand
Kissing your lips
And loving you with all my heart...
You must remember this,
When we were child
We were hiding under the table
And sharing a piece of chocolate
For one kiss
Now we are sharing our happiness
Ain't that crazy?
Sweet and tasty as strawberry
Our lovely life
Our dogs Luke and Leia
You're my Anakin and I'm your Amidala

Who Likes Luxury ? I do...

1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa


1940 Ferrari 125S


DB5 Aston Martin Skyfall Mayfair
By Richard de Gerbe


Bugatti, 57, Atlantic, 1936

1966 Lamborghini 400GT 2+2 Coupé

Mercedes 300SL

1931 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster


1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

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