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  • Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014
Piers Handling (photo by George Pimental/courtesy of TIFF).

The Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) announced that the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award will be presented to Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) director and CEO, Piers Handling. The award recognizes a Canadian whose work has in some way enriched the understanding and appreciation of film in their native country.

“This honor is long overdue,” said TFCA president Brian D. Johnson. “So much of the rich film culture that we now take for granted in this city, and in this country, can be attributed to the efforts of Piers Handling. And what’s inspiring is that while he’s overseen the expansion of TIFF on so many levels as its CEO, Piers remains so clearly loyal to the cinephile passion that drew him to the festival in the first place.”

“It is an immense honor to receive this award, named in memory of a true champion of cinema, Clyde Gilmour,” said Handling. “Toronto’s film critics have More

  • Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Twitter said it is now tracking what other apps its users have installed on their mobile devices so it can target content and ads to them better.

Twitter Inc. said Wednesday that users will receive a notification when the setting is turned on and can opt out using settings on their phones. On iPhones, this setting is called "limit ad tracking." On Android phones, it's "opt out of interest-based ads."

San Francisco-based Twitter said it is only collecting the list of apps that users have installed, not any data within the apps. It won't collect the app lists from people who have previously turned off ad targeting on their phones.

Besides advertising, Twitter said knowing what apps people have downloaded can improve its suggestions on what accounts to follow and add relevant content to their feeds that isn't advertising.

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that people sometimes have More

  • Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014
PlayStation Vita

Hundreds of thousands of people who bought the handheld gaming console PlayStation Vita are in line for a partial refund from Sony because of questionable claims in its advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday it had reached a settlement with Sony Computer Entertainment America, the U.S.-based arm of the PlayStation business, over advertising claims that the government contended were misleading.

As part of the proposed settlement, Sony will provide refunds to those who bought the PS Vita console before June 1, 2012. They'll be eligible for either a $25 cash or credit refund — or a $50 merchandise voucher from Sony. The company will contact consumers about the refunds or vouchers via email.

The advertising claims at issue — Sony highlighted "game changing" technology features of the PS Vita — were made during the U.S. launch of the product in early 2012. The console sold for about More

  • Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, Anupam Pathak, a senior hardware engineer at Google, shows off the prototype of the Liftware Spoon he developed that helps people eat without spilling. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Google is throwing its money, brain power and technology at the humble spoon.

But these spoons (don't call them spoogles) are a bit more than your basic utensil: Using hundreds of algorithms, they allow people with essential tremors and Parkinson's disease to eat without spilling.

The technology senses how a hand is shaking and makes instant adjustments to stay balanced. In clinical trials, the Liftware spoons reduced shaking of the spoon bowl by an average of 76 percent.

"We want to help people in their daily lives today and hopefully increase understanding of disease in the long run," Google spokesperson Katelin Jabbari said.

Other adaptive devices have been developed to help people with tremors — rocker knives, weighted utensils, pen grips. But until now, experts say, technology has not been used in this way.

"It's totally novel," said UC San Francisco Medical Center More

  • Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
In this Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, file photo, Tina Fey attends the American Museum of Natural History's 2014 Museum Gala, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

Netflix has picked up two seasons of a new sitcom from Tina Fey.

Titled "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," it focuses on a woman who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York. It was co-created by Fey and Robert Carlock, who collaborated on "30 Rock."

It stars Ellie Kemper of "The Office." Fey isn't scheduled to appear in the series.

Netflix says the 13-episode first season will premiere in March.

The series had originally been bound for NBC, but that network passed. Universal Television, NBC's corporate sibling, will remain the show's producer.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
Lead singer of the US rock band Nirvana Kurt Cobain is shown in a 1993 file photo. (AP Photo/Mark J.Terrill, File)

Kurt Cobain is the focus of a new documentary that probes the life and untimely death of the Nirvana singer-guitarist.

It will be released in theaters next year and air exclusively on HBO, the network said Tuesday.

Co-produced by HBO Documentary Films, "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" is the first documentary made with the cooperation of Cobain's family. It draws on home movies, journals and other personal archives. It features Nirvana songs and performances and previously unheard Cobain originals.

The film's director-producer, Brett Morgen, has previously made the documentaries "Crossfire Hurricane," about the Rolling Stones, and "The Kid Stays in the Picture."

Cobain formed Nirvana in 1985, and by the early 1990s was decreed the spokesman of Generation X. He died of suicide in 1994 at age 27.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Twitter is expanding its reach into commerce with a new tool called "Offers."

Advertisers can post promotions and discounts in users' Twitter feeds, whether or not the users follow those merchants on the short-messaging service.

To redeem an offer, customers enter their credit or debit card information. They then use the same card to redeem the promotion in a store. After they do, they will get cash back on their card. For now, the feature only works in the U.S. but Twitter could expand it to other countries.

San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. says it will encrypt and store the credit card information but users can remove it any time.

The company has slowly been branching out into shopping. It launched a "Buy" button in September that lets users make purchases or donate money to charities without leaving Twitter. Facebook is also testing a similar tool.

Pushing into e-commerce could More

  • Monday, Nov. 24, 2014
This undated photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions shows the movie poster from the 1927 film "London after Midnight." (AP Photo/Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

A poster for the 1927 film "London After Midnight," starring Lon Chaney, has sold for $478,000, making it the most valuable movie poster ever sold at public auction.

Heritage Auctions in Dallas announced Monday that it's the only poster known to exist for the film in which Chaney, a star of early cinema, appeared as a vampire.

Saturday's buyer is a longtime collector of horror movie posters who requested anonymity.

The film for "London After Midnight" was lost years ago and the movie was reconstructed about 10 years ago using more than 200 still photos.

1932's "The Mummy" held the previous record for a poster's sale at public auction — more than $453,000 in 1997.

  • Monday, Nov. 24, 2014
Anheuser-Bush InBev's famous Clydesdales

Budweiser is putting its Clydesdale out to pasture for the holidays.

The country's No. 3 beer brand says the horses will not appear in its holiday advertising this year. A spokesman for owner Anheuser-Busch InBev was unable to say Monday if the Clydesdales would be featured in ads during the Super Bowl.

The decision not to feature the Clydesdales in holiday ads was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The change comes ads comes as Budweiser's share of the U.S. beer market has declined since hitting its peak in 1988. According to Beer Marketer's Insights, Budweiser had 7.6 percent of the market last year, down from 14.4 percent a decade ago. The erosion has been the result of the growing popularity of light and craft beers, said Eric Shepard, executive editor of the industry tracker.

"You look around, and we have this huge group of young drinkers, almost half of them have never More

  • Monday, Nov. 24, 2014
A scene from Nike's "Together" spot starring LeBron James.

The swoosh and the rings will stick together through at least 2020.

The U.S. Olympic Committee signed an extension to its sponsorship deal with Nike that will last through the Tokyo Games six years from now.

Nike is one of the USOC's top-tier sponsors. No dollar figures were given for the latest extension, though these contracts traditionally have been worth between $12 million and $15 million over four years.

USOC chief marketing officer Lisa Baird said the deal, announced Monday, is even more valuable because of Nike's worldwide reach and its advertising campaigns that use Olympic athletes. Some athletes in Nike's most recent ad launches include Alyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross and Gracie Gold.

"We're thrilled that they help take our athletes mainstream," Baird said.

Nike, which has been partners with the USOC since 2005, is the second domestic sponsor to renew with the USOC More

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