02:43 AM

MTV buys Atom for $200mn, Wired spits out bad reporter, Gartner hype cycle

By Richard Koman for SiliconValleyWatcher.com

MTV is buying SF's Atom Entertainment (Atom Films, Shockwave.com) for the big bucks - $200 million. The Chronicle's Ellen Lee is reporting the acquisition as a sign that the chase is on for media corps to snap up online video sites with an attractive demographic.

Atom has been profitable since 2002, making tens of millions a year, according to CEO Mika Salmi.

"It's a move that brings together two really innovative companies whose sum of their part is going to be pretty significant," sai Allen Weiner of Gartner. Not sure how innovative MTV is these days but they have certainly been going digital.

"We are transforming our company into a television and digital company," MTV CEO Michael Wolf said.

Bad reporter

Wired News has removed three articles from their website written by freelancer Philip Chien, freelance space reporter who has worked for online, print and television news outlets, and recently authored a book on the Columbia space shuttle disaster.

Three stories quoted Robert Ash as a "space historian" and "aeronautical engineer and amateur space historian." But Ash is an aeronautical engineering professor.

Chien's reporting came under scrutiny when he submitted a draft article citing a different source, Ted Collins, along with contact information for Collins, as required by Wired News ever since questions arose last year over another reporter's sources.

An investigation traced the name and Hotmail account provided to a Usenet posting praising Chien's work. Wired News senior editor Kevin Poulsen then compared the IP address of the poster and Chien's computer and discovered they matched. An e-mail sent to Wired News from the Ted Collins account also originated with the same IP address.

Poulsen linked Chien's IP address to at least one other Hotmail account, created under the name Robert Stevens, which Chien had provided to Wired News as contact information for Ash. The name and address were used in additional Usenet posts making positive comments about Chien's work.

Chien has used Robert Stevens as a source in at least three articles published in two newspapers, which we have contacted privately. In each case he used a different description, variously calling him a retired engineer, a NASA engineer and an amateur astronomer.

Justifiable hype

Gartner released its Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle report yesterday and the big three hype sectors are no surprise: Web 2.0, Real World Web and Application Architecture.

Under Web 2.0, Gartner picks "social networking analysis" - using the information and knowledge gathered from people's personal networks to identify target markets - and Ajax as "high impact," Information Week reports.

Real World Web apps are essentially concerned with location awareness. Using GPS and location-aware mobile devices, business applications will create new capabilities for delivering location-based services. For instance, field force management, fleet management, logistics and goods transportation, Gartner said.

Finally, "Event-driven architecture, a form of distributed computing, was expected to reach mainstream adoption in five to 10 years. EDA involves the packaging of discrete functions into modular, encapsulated, shareable components, some of which are triggered by the arrival of one or more event objects, Gartner said."