Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) today announced a new multi-year licensing agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run live-action and animated feature films from The Walt Disney Studios.
Safety, courtesy, show and efficiency; these are the four guiding principles (or keys) that Disney Parks and Resorts ingrains into its ‘cast members’ that not only highlight how to conduct themselves in their ‘roles,’ at the parks, but stress their order of importance. Therefore, safety is the primary concern of the company and its employees.
But what if a cast member were to run ‘afoul’ of the organization and its management and cite concerns regarding safety? And especially where management is effectively swapping the importance of safety for the sake of efficiency? Worse yet, what if that cast member claims retaliation for their whistle-blowing and says they were wrongfully terminated as a result?
Disney Research Pittsburgh has just released the video below which demonstrates one of its latest projects: an audio animatronic robot that can interact with people by playing catch with them. The system uses an off-the-shelf Microsoft Kinect (according to the video’s narration) along with an external camera system (ASUS Xtion PRO LIVE) to locate balls and a Kalman ?lter to predict ball destination and timing. So not only is the robot able to track a human’s position and size by the location of their head, but it can attempt to move its hand to catch the ball. If the robot misses the catch, it’s fully aware and even responds with one of several different humorous animations to elicit a response from the person interacting with it.
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The Walt Disney Company Commits $2 Million for Hurricane Sandy Relief and Rebuilding Efforts
BURBANK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today a $2 million cash commitment to the relief and rebuilding efforts for those severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. One million dollars will be donated to the American Red Cross for immediate, critical assistance, and another $1 million will be designated for organizations working on rebuilding efforts. In addition, Cast Member and employee eligible donations to organizations involved in disaster relief will be matched, dollar for dollar, by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation.
Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
Disney today announced a new Paper Sourcing and Use Policy, establishing guidelines for paper used in Disney’s day-to-day business operations as well as its consumer products and packaging. The policy — effective immediately — continues Disney’s commitment to responsible forest practices and conservation, and will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will focus on paper sourced directly by Disney or on behalf of Disney for use in Disney-branded products and packaging, and the second will address paper sourced by the Company’s independent licensees.
The policy aims to:
- Minimize the consumption of paper
Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced a comprehensive distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Cablevision TV customers across television, internet, tablets and handheld devices. The new agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms.
For more than half an hour earlier this morning, the internet arm of The Walt Disney Company suffered a major outage, affecting access to all of its internally run sites, across the board from ESPN to Disney Parks and Resorts to Disney Store and potentially much more.
Visitors attempting to reach the sites, most of which are actually subhosts off of Disney’s GO.COM, were greeted with delays while their browsers attempted to communicate with the websites which were unresponsive, eventually timing out. The only responding server appeared to be that of DisneyStore.com, but it would return just a line of text resembling an md5 hash.
As part of National Preparedness Month this September, the American Red Cross today announced a $1 million grant from Disney (DIS:NYSE) to help kids and families prepare for disasters and other emergencies. Disney’s investment will support the Red Cross Pillowcase Preparedness Program as well as other youth services. Disney also developed an interstitial that will air throughout the month of September on Disney Channel, which highlights simple actions kids can take to prepare for emergencies.
Last month, we offered up evidence that Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) proprietary digital film access system, once known as Disney Studio All Access, had undergone a name change to now be known as ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’ Although DISNEYMOVIESANYWHERE.COM ultimately goes to the DSAA preview site (via disneymoviesanywhere.disney.go.com) and the company has kindly removed the website pictured here (which was never at the aforementioned domain name ironically enough).
Despite making changes to hide the new name, however, the Walt Disney Company formally filed several trademark applications last week for ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ for the following areas:
- Online retail store services