Reporting

Avatar: The Creation

December 1, 2009

Building the world of “Avatar” meant inventing effects you’ve never seen before.

As Seen on TV

October 1, 2008

From “30 Rock” to “Barney Miller,” your favorite shows are now online, free and legal. Why Hulu is the new way to watch.

The future of advertising isn’t writing better slogans or using cool photography or video. It’s creating interactive stories people can explore over their phones, on the Web, maybe even through a flash drive hidden in a bathroom. It’s a new art form. Just ask Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor.

A Second Chance for 3-D

November 1, 2007

Trilogies are done. CGI is ho-hum. Now Hollywood directors are tapping into the third dimension — starting with Angelina Jolie in “Beowulf.”

Lonely Planet

August 1, 2007

Second Life: It’s so popular, no one goes there any more. How Madison Avenue is wasting millions of dollars creating ads for an empty digital world.

How Jonathan Lethem wrestled the most outré science-fiction writer of the 20th century into the canon of American literature.

Commercial Break

December 1, 2006

In a risky experiment, Chevrolet asked Web users to make their own video spots for the Tahoe. A case study in customer-generated advertising.

Can The PS3 Save Sony?

September 14, 2006

The company that created the transistor radio and the Walkman is at the precipice. If Sony’s new $600 console doesn’t blow gamers away, it may be time to say sayonara.

High rates, low tech—when it comes to cell phones, the US is the third world. The trend surfer who started EarthLink wants to sell you a fully loaded device from the wiredest place on the planet.

Consumers want an iPod phone that will play any song, anytime, anywhere. Just four little problems: the cell carriers, the record labels, the handset makers, and Apple itself. The inside story of why the ROKR went wrong.*

Web, WiMax, cell phones, and more: The sports powerhouse is about to be on every screen in your life.

We are not alone (again), but this time E.T. wants to kill us. How Steven Spielberg reinvented “War of the Worlds” in 72 days and learned to love digital filmmaking—fast.

Seoul Machine

May 13, 2005

Cell phones. Memory chips. Plasma TVs. How Samsung made Korea a consumer electronics superpower.

The Civil War Inside Sony

February 11, 2003

Sony Music wants to entertain you. Sony Electronics wants to equip you. The problem is that when it comes to digital media, their interests are diametrically opposed.

Big Media or Bust

March 10, 2002

As consolidation sweeps the content and telecom industries, FCC merger maniac Michael Powell has a plan: Let’s roll.

Pocket Monster

September 9, 2001

How DoCoMo’s wireless Internet service went from fad to phenom — and turned Japan into the first post-PC nation.

The European Commission has a mandate to shape new economy policy around the globe. It’s called borderless bureaucracy.

CEO Jean-Marie Messier’s deals with Vodafone and Seagram were a star turn on the European stage. As information becomes truly portable, a global media company paired with continent-wide distribution may prove an unbeatable combination.

Time Warner brings fat pipe and petabytes of content to the AOL party. Plus a little something extra: a long history of amazingly expert corporate infighting, ankle-biting, and all-around backstabbing. This is gonna be fun!

In fact, it just may be the weirdest business on earth. Today a handful of powerful CEOs are battling for the hearts, minds, and eyeballs of the world’s six billion people. But the harder they fight, the more they need each other.

Sex Sells

December 5, 1997

Young, ambitious Seth Warshavsky is the Bob Guccione of the 1990s.

Striving to make his comeback, CAA’s superagent is now an unemployment statistic. Seven lessons to be learned from the fall of the image king.

Keyword: Context

December 4, 1996

From 1 million to 6 million members in two years. Stock value cut by two-thirds in six months. Service outage, lawsuits, enough churn to leave your stomach churning. Now America Online wants to spend $300 million to get to 10 million subscribers by next year. And it’s talking about becoming a content company — the fifth network, no less. AOL: A-OK or DOA?

They blew it in Paris. They got thrown out of Virginia. Now, looking for a home on Broadway, Team Disney is pouring millions into one of the most crime-ridden blocks in Manhattan. What does Michael Eisner know that you don’t?

CBS thought Darren Star’s ‘Central Park West’ would make the network younger and hipper. CBS was wrong.

No Flowers, Send Money

December 17, 1995

“Divine Rapture” was to have been producer Barry Navidi’s first feature. He had it all—$13 million to play with and Marlon Brando, Debra Winger, Johnny Depp and John Hurt signed. Yet the picture folded two weeks into the shoot. What went wrong? Welcome to Hollywood Accounting 101.

Mike, Before Mickey

September 3, 1995

Ovitz will soon be president of Disney. His friend Ron Meyer is a honcho at MCA. But before they were big, they were already planning for the big time. It all started at the William Morris Agency. . . .

With a mixture of charm, intelligence and ruthlessness, Lew Wasserman has been shaking Hollywood since the ’30s. When Seagram bought MCA, was Wasserman really out of the loop, or was he king of the deal-makers to the last?

That’s the new philosophy of “non-ism.” It’s a hot button among baby-boomers, a strengthening force in Washington — and there’s lots of money to be made from it.

Visionary thinkers are rejecting the by-the-numbers approach to enterprise and seeking a new paradigm for viewing the world. Love and caring in the workplace? The profit motive less than preeminent? Major corporations are buying in.

In the Grip of Success

February 1, 1985

T.J. Rodgers was born to win, trained to conquer, but is he fit enough to survive?

Wired to God

August 27, 1984

Acolytes of high tech in Santa Cruz and environs speak of computers in terms once used for drugs: expand your mind through software! Frank Rose reports from a land some call Oz.

Walking on Water

March 1, 1982

There are so many surfers in southern California that they’ve staked out scraps of beach and chopped up the endless wave. And from the melee emerges a new order of surfer, one who rides with Jesus and waits for Armageddon.

Scavenging through the artifacts of the Fifties and the attitudes of the Sixties are the brave new children of today. Like the beats and the hippies before them, they have something to tell you.

How the Pentagon Flies

November 1, 1980

Start with five multileveled wings, lots of brass nuts and bolts, a crew of 25,000. Fuel it with the international concerns of the American people and the personal ambitions of the entire military establishment. Then cross your fingers.

So the New York rocker who practically invented punk—with three chords, sheer energy, and a rotten attitude—kicked heroin, bought a dinette set, and married Vera, who was, you know . . . normal.

“When I first saw the Ramones I said, ‘This is the best band in the world.’ I went up to them after the set and—‘You guys are great! You guys are great!’ That’s all I could say.”

He can look into an inter­viewer’s face and measure the determi­nation to report some­thing weird — as well as the anguish on realizing there’s nothing weird to report.

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