Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blog Post: Bing Announces Winners of Angry Birds Sweepstakes

Congratulations to the winners of the Angry Birds Sweepstakes! On April 6th, we offered @bing followers a chance to win an Angry Birds plush toy. To enter, they needed to tweet an answer to any of the four trivia questions related to our Angry Birds video series. In the videos, the evil green pigs use Bing for Mobile to help them plot to steal the eggs, while the Angry Birds use the features to trick the pigs and get their eggs back. The trivia questions asked which Bing for Mobile feature, such as Maps or Deals, the characters used in the videos. The Twitter followers had message @bing with their answer along with the #bingangrybirdsgiveaway hashtag and they were put in the running to obtain an adorable furious fowl.


The 25 lucky winners are:

  1. @Shellbelle1972
  2. @ChristyMayPhend
  3. @Hyph_En
  4. @lindydnil
  5. @bigvincec
  6. @jbstg424
  7. @csharpfritz
  8. @techSage
  9. @GreenEyeBob
  10. @tamrajh
  11. @NatrlBournStarr
  12. @marcham93
  13. @mvtully
  14. @valsparksabc
  15. @ErickHollar
  16. @Patty0616
  17. @jdenwar
  18. @conqui25
  19. @baerwb
  20. @jdnorthwest
  21. @sizzlyshell
  22. @nybabu
  23. @ScottRicks
  24. @iamSYNA
  25. @mailmandave11

For those of you who didn’t win, we appreciate your efforts. Keep following. We’ve got some really cool things planned next.

- The Bing Team


Google Latitude check-in deals now available across the US

Recently, Google has been busy beefing up Latitude to make it more competitive with other location apps -- and more fun to use. Location history was added recently, iOS users can post check-ins via Latitude, and now Google has begun rolling out location-based deals which are tied to the service.

If you're in the U.S., you can now score local savings at participating merchants by checking in with Latitude. Google will also be offering "status deals," which users can unlock by visiting a particular merchant on a regular basis. Mashable notes three status levels: regular, VIP, and guru -- though partners can apparently customize those titles if they choose.

Right now deals are available from merchants like American Eagle Outfitters, Arby's, Finish Line, Macy's, Quiznos, and RadioShack.

Google Latitude check-in deals now available across the US originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 08 Apr 2011 08:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How Apple does damage control

Typically, whenever something goes wrong with a company or its products and services, the company will try to head off a media free-for-all by releasing a brief statement that usually does only two things: it acknowledges that a problem exists and promises more information at a later date. But as Jason Snell at Macworld notes, Apple doesn't work that way. He notes that Apple's response to the so-called "locationgate" issue was almost identical to its reaction to "antennagate" last year.

Instead of doing what everyone expected them to do, which was acknowledge the location tracking issue and promise a fix, Apple let the media have a field day for a week before releasing its official statement. Meanwhile, as Apple silently investigated reports of users' locations being stored on iOS devices and relatively easily accessed from their Macs after a backup, the media spent a week bellowing out various hysterical pronouncements with half-baked arguments supporting sensationalistic headlines, like the New Zealand Herald's Warning: iPhones can spy on you. At the same time, lawsuits ensued, Senators piled on, and even South Park got in on the action.

Continue reading How Apple does damage control

How Apple does damage control originally appeared on TUAW on Sat, 30 Apr 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Speaking of? sex toys with Ethan Imboden from Jimmyjane [TCTV]

Vibrating sex toys have been around for over a century, starting out as crude�steam powered devices and now resembling something very cool that you might pick up at an Apple store. Sex toys have been the source of giggles, controversy, pleasure and up until the last 5 years, were not a mainstream product. They were devices you bought and had shipped in unmarked brown packaging or slipped into a toy store late at night to buy, but were not something you'd ever imagine picking up at Nordstrom or your local Wal-Mart. Millions of men and women use them every day and yet, it isn't something we talk about much. Considering there's a lot of tech that go into these devices these days, I think it is a topic worth exploring and definitely something we should no longer be ashamed of.


Your 1st Day As A Sales Manager

The problem starts day one and the situation is nearly always the same. A new sales manager, fresh from the sales pit, takes over a business development team and, instinctively they begin to coach and mentor the sales representatives in the same way that their old sales manager taught them - to become better sales people.

The aforementioned "status quo" management and teaching method sometimes leads to higher numbers. Regardless, sometimes the numbers unexpectedly fall.

What many don't realize is that this fluctuation in sales performance, whether it be positive or negative is mainly due to external forces that have nothing to do with the sales manager. After all, is the sales manager teaching something that groundbreaking? The answer is: only in very rare cases.

The majority of the time, this increase or decrease in revenue stream is entirely dependent on the economy, the competitive landscape or a corporate marketing initiative that either hits or bombs. As those in the sciences will remind you, correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation.

Yes. There are those who proved this thesis wrong, but they are the ones who are now giving $100,000 per hour motivational lectures at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Armed with this knowledge, as a new sales manager, there are some tactics that could be used to better control the revenue output from your sales team instead of waiting to see whether the next Golden Arches is going to come out of the marketing department.

Here are three ways how:

Train the Team to Think Like Business Professionals, Not Sales Pros

Stop wasting your time teaching the sales team various rebuttals that are scripted and transparent to the educated buyer. Instead, teach your sales team about business. You can't hunt deer standing in an open field with a Yankees cap talking on your cell phone.

If your sales team does not think like their prey, they are going to go hungry. Teach your sales force what a CFO does all day and what his or her common concerns are and you should get further than teaching them very basic, transparent negotiation techniques.

Train the Team to Not Worry About Their Competition

If your sales team loves the competition so much, they should go work for them. You must instill confidence in your sales force. For a sales force to do something truly great, they must be in tandem. Think of their cohesion like an offensive line.

The moment you let them one member of the sales team obsess over what the others their perceived competitive space is the moment that you, the quarterback get sacked. It has happened twice in the past month that someone in our office received an email from another staffing agency telling us we are evil.

While most would post that on the office wall as a trophy, just delete it from the inbox and get on with the day. If your sales members are spending more than 35 seconds a week studying a competitor's product or service, questions should be asked.

Train the Team to be the Best In the Business

The third way to gain better control of your sales numbers and your sales team's performance is to make it an undying goal to make your team the best in the business. This means driving even when you're not driven.

As a sales manager, you are only human and some days you'll have to drag yourself out of bed, however that is no excuse to hide. Keep focus, suck it up and continually make your sales team better. If you aim to have the best sales team in the business and put your mind to it, even if you come up a tad short, you're still in the top 3%.

For the latest media news, visit The Wire. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Blog Post: The Bing homepage gears up for the Royal Wedding

Bing is celebrating the Royal Wedding through its homepage.  As a UK first, the Bing homepage and its respective hotspots, is set to change throughout the course of the day to reveal more topical images and fascinating facts surrounding the big day. The first image of the day is a Kate and Wills fan getting into the spirit of the big day, waiving a Royal Wedding flag against a bright blue sky.


To keep abreast of all the great homepage we’ve got lined up for the rest if the day click here.


As with all Bing homepages, users can access four insightful hotspots of information around the subject of the image. For today’s image, the first hotspot links through to Royal Wedding instant answers on Bing, while the second hotspot details insightful news from UK media on Westminster Abbey. The third hotspot shows a trailer from the forthcoming film, William & Kate: The Movie, and the fourth hotspot reveals stunning images taken from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in South Africa, where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton.


We hope you enjoy the images and the day!


5 More Banks Just Failed Bringing 2011's Total To 39

George BaileyShotgun's signal sounds
Five finance fatalities
Bereaving bankers.
by Soylent Green is People

Read the full post at Calculated Risk >

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Apple, Google to testify at Congressional hearing on location tracking

Senator Al Franken released a statement today thanking Apple and Google for agreeing to attend a hearing on mobile technology and privacy. According to Franken, the goal of the hearing is to "serve as a first step in investigating if federal law protecting consumer privacy-particularly when it relates to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets-is keeping pace with advances in technology."

The hearing is set for May 10 in Washington, D.C. and has the catchy title "Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy." We'll keep you posted on the result of that hearing and we'll reach out to Sen. Franken for comment after they conclude. Full press release below.

Show full PR text
Sen. Franken Thanks Google, Apple for Agreeing to Appear at Hearing on Mobile Technology & Privacy
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, thanked Apple and Google for agreeing to send representatives to testify at the May 10th hearing on mobile technology and privacy. They will be joining officials from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission; Ashkan Soltani, independent privacy researcher and consultant; and Justin Brookman, Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology's Project on Consumer Privacy.

"I'm pleased that Apple and Google have confirmed that they'll be sending representatives to testify at my upcoming hearing on mobile technology and privacy," said Sen. Franken. "This hearing will serve as a first step in investigating if federal law protecting consumer privacy-particularly when it relates to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets-is keeping pace with advances in technology. Each of the witnesses at the hearing will play a critical role in helping us better understand this complex issue and I look forward to hearing from them."

Sen. Franken's hearing, called "Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy," is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10th at 10:00 a.m. in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Protecting Minnesotans' and Americans' consumer rights and privacy has been a priority for Sen. Franken since he came to the Senate. Last week, he sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking him to address privacy concerns about the company's iOS 4 operating system, which security researchers have said secretly stores detailed information about users' locations on their iPhones, iPads, and any computers to which the devices are synched, generally in an unencrypted format. Since then, Apple, Inc. has announced that it will update its iOS 4 operating system to address several of the issues raised in Sen. Franken's letter.

Last year, Sen. Franken pressed Attorney General Holder to incorporate an analysis of geotags-information about a person's location that is embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones-into an updated stalking victimization study connected to the National Crime Victimization Survey. This March, Sen. Franken also led several of his Senate colleagues in urging Facebook to stop plans that would have permitted third party application providers to access users' home addresses and phone numbers. Earlier this month, he asked the U.S. Department of Justice to clarify its interpretation of a critical federal law that protects personal data after a security breach at Epsilon Data Management and allegations that several popular smartphone applications were gathering and disclosing users' private information without their knowledge or consent.

Apple, Google to testify at Congressional hearing on location tracking originally appeared on TUAW on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blog Post: Explore the Royal Ceremony with Westminster Abbey Photosynth

In celebration of the Royal Wedding, we have assembled a Photosynth capturing the ceremony in its full panoramic splendor. You can explore Westminster Abbey from multiple perspectives, zoom in on the Royal Family and see the minute details of this historic occasion. 

Please join us in congratulating Will and Kate!

- The Bing Team


New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes

Having the right programs and hardware to keep the information on your display safe from prying eyes is never a bad idea, and new software from Oculis Labs offers a very interesting take on how to do just that. It's called PrivateEye, and it utilizes facial recognition to automatically pixelate the contents of your display when you look away.

If you step away from your system and someone else decides to sit down and poke around, PrivateEye will present a confusing jumble of garbled text. It'll even notify you if someone tries to peek over your shoulder -- and display a picture of your peeping Tom, throw up an alert, or sound an alarm.

Check out the video embed after the break, and share your thoughts in the comments!

Continue reading New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes

New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 13:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Behind The Scenes: Record Label Demands From Amazon

Amazon defied the record labels by launching an unlicensed personal cloud music service. (Disclosure: I'm CEO of competitor MP3tunes.) Music companies immediately expressed their dissatisfaction and Amazon public stated they would discuss licenses with labels. Since then considerable speculation has swirled about regarding licensing discussions Amazon, Google and Apple are having with the 4 major record labels. Dominating the discussions is the labels concern that personal cloud services will exacerbate piracy and erode their business even further. Consequently they want to impose substantial restrictions on any such service, but each labels has different concerns and demands. Below are examples of the startling limitations major labels wish to impose on such services. Universal Music Group is concerned that users will load pirated songs into lockers. Average MP3 players house more than a thousand songs and UMG believes that many were unpaid for. They do not want to see the billions of songs that came from P2P system laundered (think drug money) in a cloud service and become legitimate.


Redesign by Subtraction


Friday, April 29, 2011

Adobe Ships Flash Player 10.2 For Android 3.x

MojoKid writes "Adobe last night announced the release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets and it is available for download in the Android Market. Eventually, this could prove to be a big deal, but it looks as though a Honeycomb update is needed to take full advantage of the Flash Player 10.2's new features. It's not certain if it was intentional or not, but Adobe's statement points to an updated Honeycomb release, Android 3.1. According to reports, the new Android build is coming out soon for currently shipping Honeycomb tablets like the Xoom and Eee Pad Transformer."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Windows 8 now available to OEMs via Microsoft Connect

windows 8Select Microsoft Connect partners -- major players like HP -- have been given their first taste of Windows 8. According to various sources, the build string currently sits at 7971.0.110324-1900, which is the third milestone build of the successor to Windows 7.

So far, there haven't been many details revealed about Windows 8. An actual System Restore -- which is being referred to as History Vault -- has been reported, and the feature will allow users and administrators to completely roll back a system to a previous state. A factory reset option is also said to be included.

We've also seen Windows Live integration taking shape on the desktop. It's believed that you'll be able to log in to Windows 8 using your Windows Live credentials, not just a traditional offline Windows username and password.

All that's left now is for a leaked Windows 8 build to show up on a torrent site. Feel free to tip us if you see that happen.

Windows 8 now available to OEMs via Microsoft Connect originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tapioca Straitjacket


Samsung brings Apple patent suit to US soil

Last week Samsung countersued Apple in Korea, Japan and Germany for infringements on up to five Samsung patents. The countersuit came after Apple lobbed a massive suit against Samsung for copying the iPhone and iPad. Apple wasn't pulling any punches either. "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," a Cupertino spokesperson said.

Well, Samsung brought its patent infringement countersuit against Apple to the US yesterday. As Bloomberg reports, the new US suit expands the number of alleged patent infringements by Apple to 10. Among the alleged violations: a patent that covers improvements to text messages and their attachments, another that covers technology that allows a user to place a phone call and surf the Web at the same time, and another that allows for increased capacity of mobile networks.

How this is all going to play out is anyone's guess. All I can say with certainty is that this is a great time to be an IP lawyer.

Samsung brings Apple patent suit to US soil originally appeared on TUAW on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 04:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Matrix Partners Closes $650 Million Funds To Invest More In China, India

Matrix Partners, a US-based investment firm with additional offices in India and China, this morning announced that it has closed two new funds: Matrix Partners China II (at $350 million) and Matrix Partners India II (at $300 million). The funds bring the firm's total international assets under management to $650 million in China and $600 million in India. Matrix Partners established an India presence back in 2006 and has an experienced entrepreneur running its investment team there: Avnish Bajaj, co-founder and former CEO of India's largest online marketplace (acquired by eBay). The firm has been active in China since 2008.


Google Voice Search learns Latin American Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian

google voice search
Google Voice Search has just introduced localizations for Latin America, Indonesia and Malaysia, enabling native language search for hundreds of millions of users.

Google's official blog post offers some interesting insights into the process of collecting and analyzing the speech data needed to expand support. Thousands of hours were spent gathering voice samples and choosing key regional accents to analyze, and International Program Manager Linne Ha is clearly very appreciative of the Google users who helped the company complete the expansion. Without an enthusiastic base of users to lend a hand, Google Voice Search's polyglot powers would have been nearly impossible to deliver.

Google Voice Search learns Latin American Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blog Post: A new way to earn with Bing Rewards

Since launching Bing Rewards in September, the Bing Bar has been the main way for members to learn about new offers to earn credits, track their credit balance and redeem their credits for Rewards. We’ve received lots of feedback about the Bing Rewards experience and how to continue to improve it. One of the most frequent suggestions has been to make it available to more users on other browsers and platforms.

Building on that input, starting today we’re pleased to share that we’ve integrated Bing Rewards into the Bing header for easy and quick access to earning credits and redeeming rewards. Bing Rewards is now available to users on Internet Explorer 7 or later and the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari browsers. By expanding the ways to participate in Bing Rewards new members are no longer limited to using IE and the Bing Bar. Existing members can now sign in to Bing to continue earning credits when they are on a computer without the Bing Bar installed.

With Bing Rewards, members are exposed to all the great features Bing has to offer while earning credits that are redeemable for rewards. Offers notify members about free ways to earn credits, which could include searching on Bing, checking out new features, or learning about ways that Bing can help you make faster and more informed decisions. Offers and the number of credits you receive for completing them change regularly so make sure to click the Rewards button in the header to check out your latest earning opportunities.

As we’ve expanded the program, we’ve also added new rewards and ways to redeem the credits you earn. Rewards include a wide selection of gift cards (Amazon, Starbucks, Crate & Barrel and more), Microsoft Points for Xbox LIVE Marketplace, Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions, charitable donations, Facebook Credits, Farm Cash for FarmVille, and sweepstakes entries for a trip to Hawaii, Xbox Kinect bundle and cash*. In the coming months we’ll be adding digital subscriptions for Zune Pass, Slacker Radio, and Gamefly.

We’re excited to bring Bing Rewards to an even broader audience with today’s announcement. Get started with Bing Rewards today!

- Rafael Grijalva, Bing Rewards


· Bing Rewards is only available to residents in the 50 US States and DC only

· Sweepstakes run through June 21st 2011


Microsoft releases sexy Bing app for iPad

It's still a bit odd seeing Microsoft deliver apps for Apple's mobile platform. And it's even stranger still to see one as sexy as the new Bing app for iPad, which brings a slick, immersive search experience to Apple's tablet.

Just as a regular search on will, the Bing app for iPad tailors the results it displays based on what you're searching for. There are loads of custom views, covering everything from movies and maps to weather and shopping. The app also offers a heads-up display of currently trending searches, complete with related images, which is an iPad-exclusive feature.

Navigation is a breeze thanks to multitouch controls, allowing users to flick or swipe through results. And while the development team refers to the app as "touch and decide," Bing Voice Search is also built in -- making it easy to start a query without using the iPad's on-screen keyboard.

The Bing app for iPad is available for download now from the App Store.

Microsoft releases sexy Bing app for iPad originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows 8 App Store images leaked?

windows 8 app store
Windows 8 images continue to leak onto the Internet, despite Microsoft's wallpaper-based pleas to those with access to the early releases. Today's installment courtesy CNBeta shows the upcoming Windows App Store, which will likely feature prominently in Windows 8.

We've got our doubts about the authenticity of the image. In addition to showing several of the built-in games which already ship with Windows, Opera is listed -- and a competing browser seems like an odd inclusion this early on. Of course, with the browser ballot still in place in the EU for quite some time, Microsoft would probably need to include rivals like Opera and Firefox to stay out of trouble. We're also not sure why Clickgamer is shown beneath Angry Birds instead of Rovio -- the game's actual publisher.

It's still early, of course, so it's entirely possible that the Windows App Store image is genuine but merely using placeholder images and text for now. Anyone else thinking Windows Marketplace might be a more logical name? You know, to keep things consistent with Windows Phone and keep Apple's legal eagles at bay.

Windows 8 App Store images leaked? originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Newspaper thinktank predicted the iPad in 1994

It's not often (well, ever) that I consider the possibility someone might be from the future, but maybe Roger Fidler was. In 2007 the Paleofuture blog pointed to the video below, where Fidler and his team at Knight-Ridder describe an electronic newspaper running on what might as well be an iPad... except that the video was made way back in 1994.

Most futurists are off the mark, or make forecasts for technologies that are so far off in the future, you'll never know if they are right, but the Knight-Ridder team's predictions for the "electronic tablet" were just eerie. Granted, they forecast it for the turn of the century -- and in their version of the future, people still wore collarless denim shirts -- but it's otherwise freakishly accurate.

"We may still use computers to create information, but we will use the tablet to interact with print, video, and other information," the video explains. It also goes on to describe personal "profile pages," "interactive maps," and sharing links with friends. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. It even seems like Fidler is channeling Steve Jobs at some points, saying "Nobody needs a manual for their daily newspaper" and that tablet newspapers need to be kept simple. Amazingly, he even seems to describe iAds.

Of course, the Knight-Ridder tablet wasn't the first futurist's take on a pad-shaped newsreader, but at least this one doesn't also come with a neurotic killer computer in space.

If you were watching this video in 1994, you were watching thirteen minutes of the future. Read on to see the clip. Bonus points to Fidler & co. for the classic PowerBook Duo, Newton and other Apple history in the background.

[via The Inquisitr; hat tip to Bronwen Clune]

Continue reading Newspaper thinktank predicted the iPad in 1994

Newspaper thinktank predicted the iPad in 1994 originally appeared on TUAW on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Android to Get Video Chat Via Google Talk Upgrade

Google is beginning its rollout of Google Talk video chat to Android devices. Android device users will be able to use video and voice chat with…


As Steve Carell Departs "The Office," Here Are 12 Other TV Bosses Worth Living For

michael scott

Tonight, NBC's "The Office" bids a final farewell to faithful Scranton branch manager Michael Scott -- and with him, star Steve Carell.

We still don't know who's replacing him (and we've been speculating plenty).

But we can comfort you with this: television is rife with wonderfully fun-to-watch bosses right now.

So if you're anticipating a painful bout of Scott-withdrawal, get to know these characters -- and quick, before much of the primetime TV disappears for the summer.

Amy Poehler's indefatigably positive Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation" (NBC).

Critics once feared that Poehler's Knope would play like a Michael Scott redux. But she's more than come into her own -- and we root for the Madeleine Albright devotee just as we've always cheered for Scott.

But she's not the only amazing boss on "Parks" -- Nick Offerman's "Ron Swanson" is pure character gold.

He's Knope's beef-happy superior -- and the anti-boss, the only man we know whose lips curl into a mustache-hidden smile at the threat of a government shutdown.

Christine Baranski's wry, powerful Diane Lockhart on "The Good Wife" (CBS).

The word fabulous is overused today -- but that's what Baranski's law-firm partner is. There's a "Mad Men" quality to her tailored-suit-rocking, scotch-swilling performance -- but it's her dry one-liners that make her such a joy to watch.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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