Pop Culture Tech News – Sales of iPods Down… Blackberry Still In There.

Mr. Pop History – Apparently, sales of iPods are way down. Thanks to smarter phones such as Apple’s own iPhone and of course, the Android phone. Sales of iPods are down 20% from a year ago. I love my iPod – great device and easily managed through iTunes.

Speaking and the Android phone, – theyre the leaders at 29% of all smartphone sales. Apple’s iPhone AND Blackberry hold 27%. And you thought Blackberry was out of the picture!

Gary West – www.mrpopculture.com

First TV Show To Use “Shaking” Shoulder Camera. Pop Culture Television History.

I’m not the biggest fan of the way TV and movies are primarily shot these days. There’s way too much jiggling of the camera – up, down and sideways. That’s because, thanks to MTV – it seems our attention span is much less. So, when we see a simple shot like standing in one place,talking – we see the camera jerking – left – right, right-left, up-down, sideways – you name it. YIKESSS!!!

And, it’s everywhere now. TV, movies, commercials. Separately – another trend – I especially “love” the sideshot of somebody talking into another camera.
That’s another great effect – to keep our attention. You know what it really is? Fill. Just fill. A boring commercial or interview – but it needs this.

My-my what has it all come to.

Back to the subject – the first TV show to use this type of jiggling shoulder-camera effect (thank goodness it quickly went away) was the 1970′s ABC-TV series “Kolchak The Night Stalker” starring Darren McGavin. Yes, the 1970′s – way before MTV. But, on Kolchak, it was used for effect – not because its audience needed a constant moving camera to keep their attention.

Gary West – www.mrpopculture.com  Thank you Robert Neill.

Pop Culture Music History. There Was An Answer Record To “Woman Woman” – The 1968 Hit By Gary Puckett & The Union Gap.

Mr. Pop History – If you know this song, you’ll find this very interesting. Note for note, this one’s called “Baby, Baby Have You Got Cheating On Your Mind.” Cathie Taylor sings.

It was the only way to get the “guy” thing in… using the word baby. Pretty clever. And, here it is – from 1968.

“Woman Woman” began a string of 1968 and 1969 hits for the Union Gap.

Baby Baby, Have You Got Cheating On Your Mind – Cathie Taylor mrpopculturedotcom

Week In Review With Videos – July 8, 2011 in News, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Tech News, TV, Music. Betty Ford Passes, Netflix Raises Prices, Transformers Top Movie.

Week In Review – July 8, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Tech News & More.

Compiled By GaryWest @ www.mrpopculture.com

In The News -

Hiring slowed to a near-standstill last month. U.S. employers added the fewest jobs in nine months and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent. The economy generated only 18,000 net jobs in June, the Labor Department said Friday. And the number of jobs added in May was revised down to 25,000.

The latest report offered stark evidence that the recovery will be painfully slow. It also raised doubts that the economy will rebound in the second half of the year after hitting a spring slump.

The space shuttle Atlantis soared into the heavens and the history books Friday (July 8), kicking off the last-ever mission of NASA’s storied shuttle program. Despite a bleak forecast of thunderstorms and clouds, the shuttle beat the weather in a stunning midday launch, sailing into the sky on one final voyage. The countdown toward liftoff took a dramatic pause at T minus 31 seconds while ground crews verified that a vent arm at the top of the shuttle was fully retracted. NASA was quickly able to push on toward liftoff.

In the wake of Friday’s woeful jobs numbers, President Obama acknowledged that “we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do” before the economy is working for Americans again. “The economy as a whole just isn’t producing nearly enough jobs for everybody who’s looking,” Obama said in prepared comments in the White House Rose Garden. He cited “tough headwinds” that are exerting a drag on the economy, including natural disasters, high gas prices, economic turmoil in Europe, and state and local government budget cuts.

Passing – Former First Lady Betty Ford. She was 93. (Mr. Pop Culture Video) Betty Ford said things that first ladies just don’t say, even today. And 1970s America loved her for it. According to Mrs. Ford, her young adult children probably had smoked marijuana — and if she were their age, she’d try it, too. She told “60 Minutes” she wouldn’t be surprised to learn that her youngest, 18-year-old Susan, was in a sexual relationship (an embarrassed Susan issued a denial).

South Sudanese citizens, international dignitaries and the world’s newest president are convening in the new country capital of Juba to celebrate the birth of a nation. South Sudan became the world’s newest country Saturday with a raucous street celebration at midnight. Dignitaries including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will watch under a blazing sun as South Sudan President Salva Kiir hosts a noon-hour ceremony.

ABC News has hired the young woman, now 23, who was famously kidnapped for a harrowing nine months in 2002 and 2003, as a paid contributor. Drawing on her traumatic past, Smart will “help our viewers better understand missing person stories from someone with the perspective to know what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing,” an ABC spokeswoman said.

President Barack Obama has ordered the suspension of $800 million in aid to the Pakistani military, his chief of staff said Sunday, as part of what experts say is a tougher line with a critical U.S. partner in the fight against terrorism. Top aide William Daley described the U.S. relationship with Pakistan as “difficult” and said it must be made “to work over time.” But he added that until “we get through that difficulty, we’ll hold back some of the money that the American taxpayers are committed to give” Pakistan.

Amid ongoing negotiations with President Obama over raising the debt ceiling, House Republican leaders responded to Obama’s Call Monday for compromise by saying that their openness to raising the debt ceiling at all is sacrifice enough.  “A vote to increase the debt limit in this country is an existential question for a fiscal conservative,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday. “These votes aren’t easy. …What I don’t think that the White House understands is how difficult it is for fiscal conservatives to say they’re going to vote for a debt ceiling increase.”

President Hamid Karzai’s half brother, the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan and a lightning rod for criticism of corruption in the government, was assassinated Tuesday by a close associate. His death leaves a dangerous power vacuum in the south just as the government has begun peace talks with insurgents ahead of a U.S. withdrawal. Ahmed Wali Karzai, the head of the Kandahar provincial council, was shot to death while receiving guests at his home in Kandahar, the capital of the province that was the birthplace of the Taliban movement and was the site of a recent U.S.-led offensive.

Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul made a surprise announcement Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to Congress, spelling an end to a nearly 24-year House career amid his third run for president.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the central bank is prepared to provide additional stimulus if the current U.S. economic lull persists. Delivering his twice-a-year economic report to Congress, Bernanke laid out three options the central bank would consider. One possibility, he said, was another round of Treasury bond buying. That would make the third such effort since 2009.

Cuts Off Penis – A Southern California woman was in jail Wednesday after allegedly drugging her husband, cutting off his penis, throwing it into the garbage disposal and turning it on, Orange County police said. Catherine Kieu Becker put a drug or poison in her husband’s dinner Monday evening to make him sleepy, according to the initial police investigation. “The victim went to lie down and he woke up tied to the bed with his wife tugging his clothes off,” police said. “The suspect grabbed the victim’s penis and cut it off.” Becker told police he “deserved it” when they arrived at the scene after she called 911, the police report said. The couple is going through a divorce.

Sports –

Baseball Record – The Yankees’ Derek Jeter gets to 3,000 major league career hits! (Mr. Pop Video)

Tech  News –

A Minnesota hacker that prosecutors described as a “depraved criminal” was handed an 18-year prison term Tuesday for unleashing a vendetta of cyberterror that turned his neighbors’ lives into a living nightmare. Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ Wi-Fi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden. His motive was to get back at his new neighbors after they told the police he’d kissed their 4-year-old son on the lips.

Pandora, the Internet radio station, announced Tuesday it has reached 100 million listeners. According to a news release on Pandora’s blog, 36 million of those consumers are “monthly active users.” It also said that in the past six months, Pandora has upped its market share of radio listening from 2.3% to 3.6%. Pandora will celebrate this milestone with a flashy — and Flash-free — redesign. Tech-news site Mashable reports it will be available to those 100 million users during the next few weeks, with subscribers to Pandora One — a premium, paid service with no ads and higher-quality audio — getting access first.

Google has announced its plans to launch a Google eBooks-optimized e-reader on July 17. Called the iriver Story HD, the e-book reader is designed to give users easy access to the 3 million free titles Google holds in addition to a few hundred thousand paid titles, with a price and design that is very similar to Amazon’s Kindle. The Story HD appears to be an evolution of iriver’s Story e-reader from 2009, a model that was praised for its wide support of e-book formats.  The Story HD has a similar design that includes a QWERTY keyboard, though this edition has plated gold accents on the keys and frame.

(Mr. Pop Culture Video) Netflix Raises Prices – U.S. customers of the DVD-by-mail and Web-streaming service are storming the Internet to protest Netflix’s plan to increase the prices of its most popular packages. “The changes you guys have made in the last 4-6 months have turned me from a serious Netflix Geek into considering cancellation. It’s a damn shame,” wrote a customer named Justin Block, one of almost 6,000 commenters on its blog. Netflix’s Facebook page attracted more than 28,000 comments as of Wednesday morning, most of them critical of the move. And thousands of consumers were voicing complaints under #DearNetflix on Twitter.

Entertainment –

It’s official. “Dallas” is returning. TNT confirmed  that the reboot of the famed 1980s primetime soap opera has been given the green light to shoot a 10-episode series, which will premiere next summer.

(Mr. Pop Culture Video) Newsman Harry Smith is leaving CBS News after 25 years to jump to NBC. NBC said Friday that an official announcement of his new job at the network will come Monday. Smith had two separate stints as an anchor for CBS’ morning news show, totaling 17 years on the early riser beat. He was abruptly taken off that job at the end of last year when CBS decided on wholesale changes to the perpetually third-rated broadcast.

R&B singer Rihanna cut short a Dallas concert on Friday after a fire broke out near the stage, the artist said in a post on Twitter, and video of the incident showed sparks falling down from above. “DALLAS!!! We set the stage on FYAH TONIGHT!!! LITERALLY!!!” Rihanna wrote on Twitter. “I was havin so much fun wit yall too!!! I gotta come back man!!!” Videos posted on YouTube of the incident showed a light above the stage appear to catch fire, sending sparks spraying down toward the stage at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Passing – Rod Gril – lead voice for the 1960’s hit-making group, “The Grass Roots.” Gril died from injuries received a month ago after he fell. He was 67.

Ryan Seacrest will host a two-day music festival in Las Vegas, featuring Lady Gaga, Coldplay, The Black Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars among others. The iHeartRadio Music Festival, put on by Clear Channel Radio, will take place at the MGM Grand. Scheduled for Sept. 23-24, it will also be streamed online and on all Clear Channel radio stations. “This is a once in a generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country for a true, must-see music event,” Seacrest said in announcing the event Monday.

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will team up for the fourth straight year to co-host the Country Music Awards live from Nashville. “Hosting the CMA Awards the past three years has been an incredible experience — I love it,” Underwood, who has won five CMAs, said in a statement. “I’m so honored to be asked back with my friend, Brad.”

Some 14.78 million people watched Diane Sawyer’s’s Sunday interview with Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped, raped and held prisoner for 18 years, in a special two-hour edition of Primetime  the biggest summer viewership for a newsmagazine in seven years. The California woman’s story is a compellingly harrowing tale: Just 11 when she was taken by Phillip and Nancy Garrido, she repeatedly was abused and gave birth to two children as a result of rape. Now 31, she has written a memoir titled A Stolen Life that’s being published Tuesday by Simon & Schuster. (The couple who abducted her were recently sentenced to life in prison.)

On Monday night’s Late Show, David Letterman addressed the break-in of the Ed Sullivan Theater – where the show is produced. Letterman’s “Top Ten Excuses of the Guy Who Broke into the Sullivan Theatre” poked fun at 22-year-old James Whittemore, who’s accused of smashing the glass doors and breaking into the midtown Manhattan theater. Whittemore has his own excuse: he was drunk and doesn’t remember the incident. His lawyer says he “certainly didn’t plan” the $5,000 worth of damage he inflicted on the theater, according to CBS News. Whittemore was arraigned Monday on burglary and criminal mischief charges.

Brad Pitt – The Oscar-nominated actor, is narrating an opening segment of the 82nd All-Star Game, airing Tuesday night on Fox. MLB says in a statement Pitt and the segment will celebrate baseball stars from the past and present. The 47-year-old actor stars as former baseball player and current Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane in the upcoming film “Moneyball,” out in September.

Passing – (Mr. Pop Culture Video) Sherwood Schwartz. He was 94. Schwartz was a veteran comedy writer when he created two of TV’s best-remembered sitcoms in the 1960s. Over the years, they have inspired parodies, spinoffs and countless stand-up comedy jokes. “Gilligan’s Island” featured a hummable theme song telling how a boatload of seven characters, including a professor and a movie star, wound up stranded on an island. Bob Denver played Gilligan, the assistant skipper. “The Brady Bunch” featured Florence Henderson as a widow with three daughters who marries a widower with three sons. A bigscreen version, “The Brady Bunch Movie,” was a surprise box-office hit in 1995.

At the movies this week –

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Horrible Bosses (1st week $28.3 million)

Zookeeper (1st week $20 million)

Cars 2

Bad Teacher

Larry Crowne

Super 8

Monte Carlo

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Green Lantern

Midnight In Paris

Top albums this week:

4 – Beyonce

21 – Adele

When The Sun Goes Down – Selena Gomez & The Scene (Mr. Pop Culture Video)

Finally Famous – Big Sean

My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

The Light of the Sun – Jill Scott

Dream With Me – Jackie Evancho

American Idol Season 10 – Scotty McCreery

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Rave On: Buddy Holly – Various Artists

Planet Pit – Pitbull

Gold Cobra – Limp Bizkit

Taking Back Sunday – Taking Back Sunday

Loaded: The Best Of Blake Shelton

NOW 38

The Harrow & The Harvest – Gillian Welch

This Is Country Music – Brad Paisley

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Weekend At Burnies – Curre$y

American Idol Season 10 – Lauren Alainia

The Song “Unchained Melody” – Pop Culture Music History.

So many know this classic from a 1965 Righteous Brothers hit. Actually, it was the late Bobby Hatfield singing on that one. But, it was actually the fifth version of the song.

It was in fact, an “Unchained” melody. The original came from an unknown movie called, “Unchained” back in 1955 – a prison movie. That movie  – a “B” movie, had no stars to speak of, was about the plight of California minimum security prisoners.

Song was written by Alex North and that first version was sung for the movie by Todd Duncan.
Who?? Bummer – that version never became a hit. But other versions hit the charts. Quickly.

Les Baxter took an orchestral version to the top of the charts the same year. Around the same time, vocalist Al Hibbler had his version hit the top-5. And, yet another vocal version by Roy Hamilton hit the top-10 nationally. WOW. That was all in 1955. Wait a minute, another version by June Valli hit the charts a few months later. Then came the infamous 1965 version.

So many music fans know the song from the 1990 film, “Ghost.” It’s a classic! And, this brings up a great subject: major hit songs that came from “nothing” movies.

Gary West – www.mrpopculture.com

First Internet Radio Station Live Concert. Pop Culture Radio Media History.

Radio station concert events go all the way back… In early rock ‘n roll days – Alan Freed presided over many radio station tie-in concerts with WJW Cleveland and later WINS, NY. Hundreds and hundreds, perhaps thousand of local radio stations and personalities – tied to a particular concert event through these years.

And now, it’s finally happened. Internet radio presents its first concert event. True, it is Clear Channel and its top star – Ryan Seacrest – but hey, it’s a first. This came out last week – but it’s the first time in pop culture history that an Internet radio station is out front in a concert event:

Ryan Seacrest will host a two-day music festival in Las Vegas, featuring Lady Gaga, Coldplay, The Black Eyed Peas (Mr. Pop Culture Video) and Bruno Mars among others. The iHeartRadio Music Festival, put on by Clear Channel Radio, will take place at the MGM Grand. Scheduled for Sept. 23-24, it will also be streamed online and on all Clear Channel radio stations. ‘This is a once in a generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country for a true, must-see music event,’ Seacrest said in announcing the event.

Gary West – www.mrpopculture.com

Week In Review With Videos – July 1, 2011. News, Pop Culture, Tech, TV, Entertainment. Lady Gaga Slams Critics… Casey Anthony Aquitted…

Week In Review – Week Of July 1, 2011

Compiled By Gary West @ www.mrpopculture.com

In The News -

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released without bail on Friday(July1) after a dramatic court hearing where the sexual assault case against him appeared to shift in his favor. Strauss-Kahn, who smiled as he walked out of court, still faces felony charges of attempted rape and sexual assault over the alleged attack on a hotel maid in New York. His lawyers said they will seek to have the charges dismissed but the judge said prosecutors were continuing to investigate.

A day after stepping down as CIA director, Leon Panetta was sworn in Friday as secretary of defense. (Mr. Pop Video) He began settling into the job by telling members of the military and their families they are “at the top of my agenda.” He was meeting later with his civilian staff and then with the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. He planned to have lunch with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. A spokesman, Doug Wilson, said Panetta intends to work at maintaining close relations with the military at all levels.

Minnesota Government Shutdown – Minnesota lawmakers headed home for a long holiday weekend, bracing for likely public anger as some of them meet constituents for the first time since a failure to reach a budget agreement forced a government shutdown.The reception they get starting Saturday, and during 4th of July parades around the state, could go a long way toward determining how long the shutdown lasts. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP leaders had no plans for new talks before Tuesday, five full days after the shutdown started. Minnesota’s second shutdown in six years was striking much deeper than a partial 2005 shutdown. It took state parks and rest stops off line, closed horse tracks and made it impossible to get a fishing license. But it also was hitting the state’s most vulnerable, ending reading services for the blind, silencing a help line for the elderly and stopping child care subsidies for the poor.

The outgoing U.S. commander in Afghanistan marked his last Fourth of July in uniform by speaking to American troops during a re-enlistment ceremony in the south of the country. Gen. David Petraeus, who was recently confirmed as the next director of the CIA, told the 235 troops re-enlisting in Kandahar province that they have achieved progress on the battlefield but that “much work remains” to be done in Afghanistan. “You raised your right hand and said ‘Send me,’ and today you raised your right hand again and said ‘Send me again, if needed,’” he told the soldiers on America’s 235th birthday.

Newly confirmed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta marked his first Fourth of July by making calls to troops serving abroad, the Defense Department said Monday.

Six forward-deployed U.S. service members began their Independence Day with telephone calls from Panetta, who reached out to convey his thanks and support for their service, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Doug Wilson said. Panetta, who was sworn in as the nation’s 23rd defense secretary on Friday, spoke by phone with service members deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Bahrain. The six individuals, representative of America’s men and women in uniform who are away from their families, come from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army National Guard. Panetta told them how proud he was of their service and emphasized his commitment to fight for them and their families as they are fighting for their country, Wilson said. He told them he looks forward to meeting them during his travels as secretary.

(Mr. Pop Video) A Florida jury has acquitted Casey Anthony of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Anthony began crying when the jury’s verdict was read Tuesday after more than 10 hours of deliberations. She hugged her attorney afterward, and a prosecutor shook his head in disbelief. She could have received a death sentence if she had been convicted of first-degree murder. She was found guilty of lying to investigators. Judge Belvin Perry will sentence her Thursday. She could receive up to a year in jail for each count.

President Barack Obama kicked off his first Twitter town hall with — what else? — a tweet. Using a laptop set up on a podium in the East Room of the White House, Obama typed this message: “In order to reduce the deficit, what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep?” The tweet set the tone for the town hall focused on jobs and the economy, and hosted by Twitter, the social media service. The White House sees social media as an opportunity for the president to interact with Americans directly, particularly the younger and more tech-savvy part of the electorate, as his re-election campaign ramps up.

The Obama administration must stop enforcing the ban that prevents gay men and women from serving openly in the U.S. military, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday. President Barack Obama last year signed a landmark law repealing the policy that forced gays to keep their sexual orientation secret if they want to be in the military. The Pentagon has been in the process of writing rules for the new policy.

A female grizzly bear attacked and killed a man who encountered the bruin and her cubs while he was hiking with his wife on Wednesday in Yellowstone National Park, park officials said. The fatal mauling occurred about a mile and a half from the start of the Wapiti Lake trail, and another group of hikers nearby heard the victim’s wife crying out for help and used a cell phone to call park rangers for assistance. A National Park Service statement said the couple had inadvertently surprised the mother grizzly and her cubs, and in “an attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs, the bear attacked and fatally wounded the man.”

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law a bill that would require voters to show identification at the polls in 2012, with a photo required before casting a ballot in 2014, his office announced on Wednesday. “Having reflected a great deal on the issue, I believe that requiring identification at the polling place is a reasonable request to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our elections,” Chafee, an Independent, said in a statement.

A judge sentenced Casey Anthony on Thursday(July7) to four years for lying to investigators but says she could go free in late July or early August because she has already served nearly three years in jail and has had good behavior.  While acquitted of killing and abusing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, Anthony was convicted of four counts of lying to detectives trying to find her daughter in July 2008. She lied to them about working at the Universal Studios theme park, about leaving her daughter with a non-existent nanny named Zanny, about leaving the girl with friends and about receiving a phone call from her. She’ll be released from jail July 13.

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, government data showed on Thursday, but distortions associated with the holiday weekend and a government shutdown in one state made it difficult to get a clear view of the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000, the Labor Department said.

A gunman opened fire in two separate Michigan homes Thursday(July7), killing seven people, including a child, before leading police on a high-speed chase through downtown Grand Rapids, authorities said. Within hours, dozens of officers with guns drawn had cordoned off a neighborhood near a small lake in the northern part of the city and shut down nearby Interstate 96. State police believed they had the man surrounded but warned residents to stay in their homes. The manhunt began after four people were found dead in one Grand Rapids home and three were found in another across town. Mayor George Heartwell said police were seeking 34-year-old Rodrick Shonte Dantzler.

Flash Mobs – BAD TREND – The headlines from Chicago these days are about “flash mobs” — dozens of young thugs attacking people and cleaning out stores in broad daylight…

  • 15 people storm a couple of city buses, making off with the passengers’ mobile phones and iPods
  • More than 20 young men attack a guy parking his scooter near the downtown campus of Northwestern University. “It was boom, like a swarm of insects,” the victim recalled. They took his phone

Up to 50 people storm a drugstore in the Magnificent Mile shopping district, cleaning out the shelves of merchandise, overwhelming any security that tried to respond

Similar stories of “flash mobs” — often coordinating their attacks via cell phone — come from Washington, D.C.; Venice Beach, California; Philadelphia; and St. Paul, Minn. The trend is building pace at a time when many cities are cutting back their police departments.

Tech News –

Twitter posts way up – As we reach the halfway point of 2011, users of the microblogging service now post 200 million tweets a day, Twitter announced. That’s up from 65 million tweets a day a year ago. Even in little 140-character bites, that’s a lot of verbiage. Twitter offers some context on this: Assuming the average tweet is 25 words, that means that “every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book” — or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel “War and Peace.”

A federal judge has denied Google’s request to dismiss several lawsuits accusing the company of illegally collecting private information from open Wi-Fi networks. The ruling, filed in California court Wednesday, is a setback for Google as it tries to put its “Street View” debacle behind it. In May 2010, Google admitted that the cars it uses to capture images for the “Street View” map feature accidentally collected about 600 gigabytes of data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries. Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., apologized in a blog post and called the data collection “a mistake” Google also said that it never used the data and would work to dispose of it as quickly as possible.But several lawsuits hit a few months later, accusing Google violations of state and federal wiretap laws. The complaints have been consolidated into one case seeking class-action status. In Google’s motion to dismiss, the company maintained that the data collection wasn’t illegal because open Wi-Fi networks are “readily accessible to the general public.”

(Mr. Pop Video) Hackers apparently broke into the FoxNews.com’s Twitter feed for political news early Monday and used it to announce — falsely — that President Barack Obama had been assassinated. Obama was “shot twice at a Ross’ restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family,” read one of several Twitter messages posted on @FoxNewsPolitics early Monday. “We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there’s light at the end of tunnel,” the last in the series of tweets said later. An article on FoxNews.com confirmed the hack.

This week, Verizon Wireless, the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier, caps the amount of data downloads allowed under its $30-a-month wireless broadband plan; it will also unveil more costly options for users with big appetites for digital data. The changes will affect only new customers. Customers who now have unlimited data plans, or who sign with Verizon today, will be able to continue paying a flat fee for all the data they wish to download. Verizon follows the country’s number one carrier, AT&T Inc., which did away with unlimited data plans last year. The smallest of the nation’s top four cellular companies, T-Mobile USA, still offers an unlimited service, but the company dramatically slows down data transfers for heavy users – in effect, imposing a speed limit instead of a usage quota. Of the top wireless companies, only Sprint Nextel  still offers unlimited data plans.

Facebook will add Skype video chat to its pages, aiming to spice up the appeal of the world’s No. 1 Internet social networking service while fending off increased competition from Google The agreement, announced by Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters on Wednesday, deepens the company’s cooperation with Microsoft Corp, which is in the process of buying Skype to build up its web presence. Zuckerberg said Facebook has hit a record 750 million users. The new service, rolling out from Wednesday, could be a huge boost for Skype, which currently has about 145 million regular users.

Sports –

(Mr. Pop Video) A man attending a Texas Rangers game with his young son died after falling out of the stands and about 20 feet to the ground while trying to catch a baseball tossed his way Thursday night, the Rangers and Arlington fire officials said. Arlington Fire Department officials in a statement that another fan nearby tried unsuccessfully to grab the man to keep him from falling. They said the victim’s son did not fall. “We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball,” team president Nolan Ryan said. “As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we’re very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.” The accident in Texas occurred in the second inning after Oakland’s Conor Jackson hit a foul ball that ricocheted into left field. Josh Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP, retrieved the ball and tossed it into the stands. Replays on Oakland’s television broadcast show the man reaching for the ball and apparently catching it before tumbling.

Entertainment news –

Patricia Arquette and Thomas Jane are officially single. The couple’s divorce was finalized in Los Angeles. The two, who wed in 2006, will share joint custody of their 8-year-old daughter, Harlow.

Passing – Anna Massey, the member of an acting dynasty whose roles ranged from lonely spinsters to Margaret Thatcher, has died. She was 73. Massey died Saturday after a battle with cancer, with her husband and son at her side, her agent Pippa Markham said Monday.

Mr. Pop Culture/Lady GagaLady Gaga slams critics who accuse her of “[using] the gay community to sell records.” That’s “one of the most ridiculous statements anyone can make about me,” the 25-year-old pop star says. “I would say the top thing I think about every single day of my life, other than my fans, loving the music, and my family being healthy, is social justice and equality.” Gaga (real name: Stefani Germanotta) put her money where her mouth was in a recent controversy with Target. The retailer was planning to sell a special edition of her Born This Way album, but members of the LGBT community were outraged at the deal when Target contributed thousands in cash and in-kind goods to a PAC that supported antigay candidate Tom Emmer in his failed 2010 run for governor of Minnesota. After the incident, Gaga met with the company’s “entire executive staff” and shortly thereafter canceled the deal.

Comedy Central set to roast Charlie Sheen – “You could say I’ve been providing kindling for this Roast for a while,” 45-year-old Sheen says of the special, airing Sept. 19. “It’s time to light it up. It’s going to be epic.”

(Mr. Pop Video) A man arrested outside Paris Hilton’s coastal home was charged Tuesday with disobeying a court order to stay away from the socialite. Sheriff’s deputies arrested James Rainford on Monday, the third-time in less than a year that the 36-year-old has been jailed for trying to meet Hilton. Rainford is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon on the misdemeanor charge. He is being held on $20,000 bail and jail records do not indicate whether he has an attorney. Authorities said Rainford was arrested Monday after paparazzi who were outside Hilton’s home recognized him.

Hot hits this week In 2011 –

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Give Me Everything- Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer

PartyRockAnthem – LMFAO fea. lauren Bennett & GoonRock

Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry

E.T. – Katy Perry (Mr. Pop Video)

The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 fea. Christina Aguilera

The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars

How To Love – Lil Wayne

The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco

Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton

Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae

On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez

Don’t Wanna Go Home – Jaseon Derulo

Till The World Ends – Britney Spears

Good Life – OneRepublic

I’m On One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne

Who Says – Selena Gomez & The Scene

Motivation – Kelly Rowland fea. Lil Wayne

Look At Me Now – Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes

Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band fea. Jimmy Buffet

Roll Up – Wiz Khalifa

At the movies this week in 2011 –

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (1st week $97.4 million)

Cars 2

Bad Teacher

Larry Crowne – (1st week $13 million)

Monte Carlo (1st week $7.6 million)

Super 8

Green Lantern

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Bridesmaids

Midnight In Paris

X-Men: First Class

Rick Dees Back Again – Morning Los Angeles Radio. Pop Culture Radio History.

He’s back. It’s the fourth time around for Rick  Dees on morning Los Angeles radio. Hope it works for Rick.

Back in the 1980′s and into the 1990′s – Dees was on top. He was unstoppable on LA’s KIIS-FM. He was on television, had a top-rated morning show – and a national radio countdown show. Rick Dees.

My understanding is that his new show on LA’s 92.3FM – is voice tracked. He’s not “really” there. And it’s not in real time. Money thing. Morning drive – voice track. Kind of a bummer. For me – I hate knowing I’m listening to a track that was cut, perhaps, a day earlier – especially on morning radio – where it should be live. The expectation must be mediocre ratings – but hey, you never know! During his KIIS-FM days, Dees would have eaten his competition alive knowing “they” were doing what he’s doing today.

Dees never really shined on TV – you always expected the real Dees to come out – but – his gifted radio personality never ever translated to video. On radio – Dees was/can be incredible… very entertaining. His funniest moments were when the show was seemingly “out of control” – something you can only do live/spontaneous – and with other elements such as a sports guy, sidekick, music, producer, phone calls, bits, drop-ins and music. It was pure Dees magic on KIIS-FM and it never got better.

That just can’t happen on a voice track. You can set it up and all that – but clearly – the whole element of surprise and the unpredictable is gone.

I’ll always be a fan of those KIIS-FM shows – particularly the 1980′s. Pure, great morning radio entertainment.

Gary West - www.mrpopculture.com