It's not often you see a studio pushing hard for Oscar wins in the less-prized technical categories, but that's exactly what Paramount is doing for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." Despite the film being pointedly snubbed in the Best Picture category, its handlers are spending money on hefty TV promotion for the film's nominations in the Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects races. What's interesting, of course, is that Paramount's prestige baby "Hugo" is competing in the same categories, but according to Pete Hammond, the Michael Bay blockbuster's ongoing franchise status and super-producer connections, make it a priority. The sound awards, in particular, seem up for grabs -- though the Academy tends to favor more critically approved action fare for those. [Deadline

Could next year's switch to online balloting make the Oscar race vulnerable to foul cyber-play? [The Guardian]

Ric Robertson interviews AMPAS president Tom Sherak about the online vote, potentially moving the Oscar date forward, and why the hell this year's Best Picture nominees were announced in random order. [The Odds]

"The Hunger Games" director Gary Ross thinks Jennifer Lawrence deserves an Oscar nomination for her work in the film. Well, he would, wouldn't he? [Entertainment Weekly]

Patrick Goldstein asks: do Oscar pundits know too much? No, but we certainly think too much about the Oscars. [Los Angeles Times]

Anthony Bourdain on who should triumph at the Oscars this year. Because, well, why not? [New York Times]

Mike Goodridge on the potential ramifications and positive outcomes of Lionsgate having bought Summit Entertainment. [Screen Daily]

The Academy might have passed them over, but Chris Laverty is impressed by the era-hopping costume designs in "Midnight in Paris." [Clothes on Film]

Finally, Nathaniel Rogers would like to remind us that he spotted Viola Davis first. Or at least gave her an award before anyone else did. [The Film Experience]