WSJ: Moody’s cuts Kodak credit rating

The Wall Street Journal reports Moody’s Investors Service cut Eastman Kodak Co. credit ratings a notch to Caa1, , seven notches from investment-grade territory, with a negative outlook. Moody’s is the second agency, after Standard & Poor’s,  to move the film company to highly speculative territory this week. Moody’s noted the company’s “weak financial performance and the challenges Kodak faces in achieving sustained profitability and positive cash flow.”

According to Moody’s, the downgrade “reflects the ongoing weakness in the company’s core business operations that we believe will remain challenged to achieve and sustain profitability” says Richard Lane, Moody’s senior vice president. Excluding potential intellectual property (IP) licensing income and proceeds from non strategic asset sales, “we believe the company could see its current $1.6 billion cash balance decline by $600 million to $700 million during 2011,” says Lane.

American Greetings acquires U.K.’s Watermark Publishing

American Greetings Corp., Cleveland, Ohio, announced its European subsidiary, U.K. Greetings Ltd., acquired Watermark Publishing Ltd., a privately held company located in Corby, England. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Established in 1990, Watermark has grown to approximately $40 million of annual revenue and employs about 250 associates.

Amaya intros Brno Dri+Cap to Canada

Brno Dri+Cap

Brno Dri+Cap

The Brno Dri+Cap is now available in the Canadian marketplace through Amaya Foto, a division of Amplis Foto, Markham, Ontario. The product is designed to reduce moisture in a camera body or lens and maintain a relative humidity of 35-45 percent.

Moving from a cooler temperature to warmer environment can cause condensation in a camera and lens. To prevent the condensation and keep the ideal humidity in a camera body and lens, the Dri+Cap has a color indicating silica gel in a special packet that does not shed dust particles.

The packet is placed in a chamber in the rear of each Dri+Cap. The chamber has an O ring to keep the cap sealed and not allow the packet to absorb moisture when the cap is not on the item. When attached, the Dri+Cap has another O ring to keep moisture out of the camera body or lens and to allow the packet to absorb whatever moisture the lens or body has been exposed to.

The Dri+Cap can be purchased in a kit for Canon or Nikon cameras which includes a rear lens cap and a body cap. Dri+Caps can also be purchased separately for individual lenses or bodies.

Olympus updates E-PL2, E-5 firmware

Olympus E-PL2 firmware updated

Olympus E-PL2 firmware updated

Firmware updates have been announced by Olympus Imaging America Inc., Center Valley, Pa., for the E-PL2 and E-5.

For the E-PL2, version 1.1 allows for increased control when using the new Add-on Conversion Lenses. The update changes the default setting of the Image Stabilizer to “On” when a photographer selects converter lens scene modes Fisheye (for use in conjunction with Fish-eye Lens Converter FCON-37), Wide-Angle (with Wide-angle Lens Converter WCON-37), and Macro (with Macro Lens Converter MCON-58).

For the E-5, version 1.1 ensures the camera’s LCD monitor’s color compensation will not be automatically reset.

To download and install these firmware updates, camera owners need to launch Olympus camera software and connect the camera via USB cable to an internet connected computer. Choose the Update function from the Camera menu in the software.

DayMen has new Sekonic meter in Canada

Sekonic DigiCineMate L-308DC

Sekonic DigiCineMate L-308DC

The Sekonic DigiCineMate L-308DC is now available in Canada from DayMen Canada, Markham, Ontario.

The compact meter is the first that can be customized to display only the specific functions needed for the task at hand. There are three ways to meter: HD Cine Mode, for DSLR videographers, making exposure readings and controling light using shutter speeds and frame rates, delivering aperture settings with one-tenth stop accuracy; Cine Mode, for digital cinematography, allows selecting the most useful frame rates and shutter angles for exposure control with one-tenth stop accuracy, with lux and foot-candle readouts for set-up of lights; Photo Mode, with sambient and flash functions including cord and cordless flash measurements as well as ambient EV measurement.

There are three ways to measure light: with the Lumisphere, Lumidisc and reflected light readings.

DustSnapper now in Canada

Visible Dust DustSnapper

Visible Dust DustSnapper

The Visible Dust DustSnapper is now available in Canada from the Amaya Foto, a division of Amplis Foto, Markham, Ontario. The product provides an ultra-clean polymer pad surface for critical cleaning of digital camera sensors and lenses. The combined ionic and magnetic action of the Dust Snapper is said to remove and lock dust particles.

DustSnapper can be cleaned by placing it under running water and letting it air-dry, or blast it with canned air.

Rebuilding lost trust in the workplace — in this month’s Imaging Executive

One-third of working Americans say they plan to look for a new job when the economy gets better, and of this group, 48 percent cite a loss of trust in their employer as the reason, according consulting firm Deloitte LLP.

In the March issue of the AIE <i>Imaging Executive</i> newsletter, Drs. Dennis and Michelle Reina,  coauthors of “Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace” and “Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace,” and cofounders of the Reina Trust Building Institute, explain how business owners and managers regain lost trust before it erodes the workplace:

“For the first time in recent history, trust and transparency are more important to corporate reputation in the United States than the quality of products and services — a key finding from the “2010 Edelman Trust Barometer,” an annual survey on trust and credibility conducted by PR giant Edelman.

While trust in business is up modestly in the U.S. — after plunging 20 percent in 2009 — the rise is tenuous, the Edelman survey reports. CEOs rank next to last on the list of trusted spokespersons, and nearly 70 percent of people worldwide say companies will revert to “business as usual” after the economy recovers.

Major betrayals in the workplace — from corporations grossly mismanaging worker layoffs to CEOs committing crimes and misdemeanors — can, and these days do, make headlines. To be sure, these breaches of trust are significant and often newsworthy. They do not, however, stand alone.

Minor betrayals, such as gossiping, finger-pointing, or taking credit for others’ work, are more pervasive than major betrayals and erode trust over time. In most workplaces, the accumulation of these “little” betrayals becomes a big problem, negatively impacting people’s confidence, commitment, and energy. What’s more, according to our research, 90 percent of employees report they feel the effects of eroded trust on a daily basis. Additionally, we know betrayal is universal; everyone has been betrayed, and everyone has betrayed others.

The high price of not rebuilding trust

When trust in a workplace remains broken, no one wins. Not individuals. Not teams. Not organizations.

The consequences also come with a high price. On the “hard” side, there are major hits to productivity, performance, and profits. And on the soft side? In interviews, employees tell us, “My heart isn’t in this place anymore,” or “I just look out for myself.” Team members confess, “We’ve stopped thinking big and taking risks.” And leaders report “a real loss in energy, passion, and creativity.” (Some even sheepishly utter the words, “I hope we make it.”)

Broken trust won’t magically disappear, however, and the process of rebuilding it can’t be short-circuited.

Trust is easy to break and hard to repair. Yet, as a leader, in the absence of trust, your vision and objectives are virtually irrelevant.

The good news is there is a proven, seven-step process, drawn from two decades of research, for taking concrete, constructive, and compassionate action. By practicing these seven steps, you can muster courage, mend broken trust, and move forward with a more engaged and energized workforce.

AIE members can discover those steps by reading the article here. A podcast of an interview with Dr. Michelle Reina is available to all on the Imaging Executive podcast.

For information on joining AIE and receiving the <i>Imaging Executive </i> newsletter each month, contact the PMA Membership Department.

Kodak completes acquisition of relief plates business from Japan’s TOK

Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y., completed its previously announced acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the relief plates business of Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co. Ltd. (TOK). The acquisition expands and enhances Kodak’s capabilities to serve customers, particularly in the packaging industry, a key growth segment for the company.

The relief plate business includes flexography, letterpress, Braille and molding plate products produced and marketed by TOK worldwide. Included in the acquisition agreement is a manufacturing plant and development facility located in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, which produces relief plates.

This newly acquired business is now a part of Kodak’s Prepress Solutions business and will conduct business under the name of Yamanashi RPB Supply Co.

 

Canon U.S.A. is official sponsor of Copa America Argentina 2011

Canon U.S.A. Inc., Lake Success, N.Y., is a global sponsor of the upcoming Copa America Argentina 2011. This marks the first time Canon will be an official sponsor for Latin America’s most prestigious soccer tournament. Organized by CONMEBOL1, this year’s tournament, taking place from July 1 – 24, 2011 at eight stadiums throughout Argentina, will be the 43rd edition of Copa America, the main international soccer tournament for national teams in South America.

Under the terms of the sponsorship agreement, Canon U.S.A. will be the official camera, lens, binocular, video camera, broadcast lens, printer, calculator, digital radiography system and office equipment for the tournament. Also included in the sponsorship agreement, Canon will feature two on-field advertisement boards per match, a logo on all press conference backdrops and brand exposure in all official promotional materials and souvenir programs, among other items.

Participating in this year’s tournament are teams from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and special guests Japan and Mexico.

eMarketer: Facebook ads to surpass those on Yahoo!

eMarketer predicts the largest share of U.S. display ad revenues will go to Facebook this year.  The social network’s 80.9 percent growth in display ad revenues, to $2.19 billion this year, will mean Facebook sees 21.6 percent of all U.S. display ad dollars.

That will put it ahead of Yahoo!, where eMarketer estimates display revenues will also be up. Yahoo!’s market share will inch up to 16.4 percent, while display gains at Google push the site’s share of display spending to 12.6 percent. Meanwhile, AOL will drop from 5.3 percent of display ad revenues in 2010 to 4.4 percent this year.

“Yahoo!’s US display ad revenues will increase by double digits each year from 2010 through 2012. Despite that, not only will Facebook’s display revenues surpass Yahoo!’s this year, Google’s revenues will exceed Yahoo!’s next year,” said David Hallerman, principal analyst at eMarketer. “What that leapfrogging trend confirms is the strong demand among brand marketers for online display ad placements.”