Tech 2.0 for Friday, July 12, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 7/12/2013 1:45 pm


What happens when a tornado whips up hundreds of sharks and hurls them at Los Angeles? Syfy network's "Sharknado" suggests that such a siege can take a big chomp out of social media. Aired Thursday night, the disaster thriller was a trending topic on Twitter as it inspired amazed, often jeering messages to reflect viewer amusement at the film's jaw-dropping premise. One tweeter expressed satisfaction that here was a natural disaster that finally makes Aquaman useful. Another jokingly questioned the film's scientific authenticity. Yet another described the sharknado as "an act of cod." "Sharknado" was the night's most social program, generating nearly 5,000 tweets per minute at its peak. The network says it scored 387,000 social media mentions during its premiere.

The on-again, off-again sale of Hulu is off again. The parent companies of ABC, NBC and Fox said Friday that they would stay owners of Hulu, while providing a cash infusion of about $750 million to ensure future growth. The owners had accepted formal bids for the online video service last week. The announcement Friday suggests the bids were too low. 21st Century Fox President Chase Carey says this was the "best path forward" for Hulu. Hulu, which carries recent reruns of TV shows from ABC, Fox, NBC and other networks, has more than 4 million paying subscribers, as well as a free service. Last year, the service brought in about $690 million in revenue. Hulu's owners are The Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal.

Online retailer Amazon.com says it will soon start publishing original comics through its new imprint, Jet City Comics. The name is a nod to Seattle's historical ties to the development of jet aircraft. It's also a sign of growing demand for more and more original comics and graphic novels that has seen established authors develop their own titles. Jet City issues will publish on Kindle as stand-alone comics, serialized comics released over multiple episodes, and bundled graphic novels, with print editions available at Amazon.com and other comic retailers. The first issue of "Symposium," the first original Foreworld comic, was released Tuesday. More titles are due in October, including George R.R. Martin's "Meathouse Man" and Hugh Howey's "Wool."
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