Dr. Laura Heads To Satellite Radio

Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s departure from radio–set for the end of the year–won’t last long, as she’s reportedly cut a deal to take her advice show to Sirius XM Radio in January.

Dr. Laura apologized in August for an n-word laden rant while speaking to a black caller who sought advice on handling racial tensions with the friends of her white husband. The host using the offensive word eleven times and ultimately telling the caller that if she doesn’t “have a sense of humor,” she should not “marry out of your race.”

Hear the call here.

The host later announced she’d leave her show when her contracted ended December 31. “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart, and what I think is helpful and useful, without somebody getting angry–some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent, and attack affiliates and sponsors,” she said at the time.

The new multi-year deal taking the Dr. Laura show to Sirius XM calls for the show to debut sometime in January. How much Dr. Laura will be making was not revealed.

Black Friday Poll: What Are You Buying Today?

Let the shopping madness begin! Black Friday has started, and some of you might be reading these lines while camped out in front of your local Best Buy, Apple store or Toys R Us (Hanna Montana TVs, anyone?), while others are getting ready to reload Amazon.com every few minutes.

We’ve compiled our own list of Black Friday deals for cord cutters, but we also want to know: What are you buying this time around? Blu-ray players, complete with Netflix and Hulu Plus?  Bigger hard drives for all those video files? Tablets to watch clips on the go? Or maybe even a new TV to finally enjoy web video on a nice 50” screen?

Let us know with the poll below, and feel free to elaborate in the comments!

Image courtesy of Flickr user jardenberg.

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Black Friday Deals for Cord Cutters

Oh, alright, we admit it: We try to resist the lure of Black Friday every year — but come Thanksgiving, we get all jittery, browsing countless catalogs and reloading Engadget non-stop.

Of course, the big challenge is to find the good stuff buried between all those Kindles and Zunes and washing machines, which is why we decided to come up with our own selective little Black Friday shopping guide for practicing and prospective cord cutters:

VOD deals

Media streamers

  • Roku offers 20 percent off a Roku XD when bought via www.roku.com. The deal starts Friday morning at 12:00 AM PST and it will run through the weekend.
  • Neuros has its 320 GB Neuros Link Phantom for sale for $249.99.

Flip cameras

  • The Flip UltraHD U260 will sell for $99 at Walmart and Best Buy.

OTA antennas

Blu-ray players

  • Sony’s Google TV Blu-ray player will go for $299 at Best Buy and SonyStyle.
  • The LG BD550, which comes with Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, CinemaNow, Pandora & more, sells for $94 at Walmart.
  • The Sony BDP-S370, which supports Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Blip.tv and more, sells for $99 at Target.
  • The Magnavox MBP5130 Wireless LAN Blu-ray Player sells for $69 at Walmart ($10 Vudu credit included).

We will update this list with more deals as they come to our attention. Please add your own finds to the comments!

Image courtesy of Flickr user djLicious.

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How to (and How Not to) Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving doesn’t necessarily have to be a complicated holiday: Once you figure out where and with whom you’re eating, the menu can be pretty traditional. When it comes to cooking your turkey, though, things can go very, very good or very, very bad.

For tips on classic American cuisine, it’s hard to go wrong with Martha Stewart — especially when she gets Russell Crowe to help out with prepping the bird.

But for a more low-fi approach to your turkey (as well as some incredibly tasty-looking side dishes), here’s Working Class Foodies’ fail-proof Thanksgiving dinner:

Now, for the don’ts: When it comes to the best way to not ruin your family’s Thanksgiving and/or house, one thing is pretty clear: Play it safe; don’t deep fry it. That’s what the below PSA strongly encourages.

This point is made explicitly clear by Tampa Bay’s MJ Morning Show, which did a demonstration of what might happen if you were to deep-fry your turkey in the home.

Whether deep-fried or not, the important thing is that we hope you enjoy whatever you end up eating today — and that you have a happy Thanksgiving.

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Vid-Biz: Comcast-NBCU, Sony’s Qriocity, Fox-Hulu Ads

Comcast, NBC Argue Against Sharing With Internet TV; Comcast and NBCU execs met with FCC officials this week, urging the agency against conditions to their proposed merger that would require the new company to provide shows and movies to Internet video distributors. (Washington Post)

Sony Switches On Qriocity Movie Rentals In Europe, But Not On PS3; Sony’s new movie service is now available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, but it is still missing from PlayStation 3. (paidContent:UK)

Fox to Use Hulu Inventory for Advertiser ‘Make-Goods’; Fox has secured agreements with about a dozen advertisers to supply them with inventory from online-video site Hulu to make up for ratings shortfalls on its broadcast network. (AdAge)

Flash vs. HTML5: Don’t Hate the Player; the battle between HTML5 and Flash to be the dominant means for video playback on the Web is nothing less than epic. (Variety)

Why MTV Must Acquire Vevo Before It’s Too Late; oh, wait: It’s already too late. (AdAge)

Second Part Of Cable’s Movies On Demand Campaign Takes Flight; the cable industry is running new ads for VOD services, this time touting The Expendables and Eat Pray Love. (Multichannel News)

Why Check In to TV Shows? Miso’s New Answer: For the Deals; social TV startup Miso has unveiled a new reason to check in to TV shows: a promotional deal with home shopping company QVC. (VentureBeat)

Pre-Black Friday Thoughts; total average TV prices fell 8 percent in 2008 and 22 percent in 2009, but due to a rise in component prices, retail prices are down only 6 percent year-over-year through the first three quarters of 2010. (DisplaySearch Blog)

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NigaHiga’s New Film Gets Digital Artists, Strompolos Support

Ryan Higa’s NigaHiga YouTube presence has been the most-subscribed channel since August 2009, but when he appeared at NewTeeVee Live last year, he said that his real interest was in transitioning to making movies.

His YouTube presence has always reflected that on some level before, with original short films finding big audiences thanks to Higa’s online popularity, but today marks his biggest step yet towards that process: The YouTube release of the 35-minute film Agents of Secret Stuff, directed by Wong Fu Productions and starring Higa as a hapless teenage secret agent.

Agents, initially a self-funded production, has been picked up by the studio Digital Artists to expand its reach beyond the YouTube sphere, including mobile, television and film platforms. Strompolos Digital Media is credited with brokering the deal, making this the first known example of what former YouTube exec George Strompolos is up to now. Via email, Strompolos commented:

I’m interested in original programming created or distributed by people with audience and influence. Agents of Secret Stuff is a wonderful example of this concept in action. Ryan and I teamed up with the goal of releasing Agents in a way that is sustainable and on his terms. Our collaboration with Digital Artists represents a first-of-its-kind realization of this goal.

The actual film is a slickly-produced spy comedy nicely anchored by Higa, who plays a teenager who’s spent his entire life training to be a secret agent, and thus when sent undercover to protect a pretty high school student (Arden Cho) from danger, has no idea how to handle normal high school life.

Writing-wise, there’s some lack of sophistication: In the first two minutes, for example, jokes based on the various acronyms of the spy world (A.S.S., H.O.L.E., S.I.N.S.) have been beaten to death (at least for adults — younger audiences, your mileage might vary).

However, the use of animation to illustrate bits of the A.S.S.’s secret history played really well, and the acting had some strong points. Kassem G adds major spark to the high school action with his cameo as a high-strung, bitter teacher, and Cho not only has some nice chemistry with Higa, but stands out as a performer in her own right.

Agents, in short, certainly won’t disappoint any hardcore NigaHiga fans, but in terms of execution wouldn’t be out of place in any mainstream line-up of teen programming. (The key, of course, is finding one that doesn’t mind the slightly racy nature of the acronym jokes.) And where it ends up may lead to true trailblazing for web original content.

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