Everything is changing, from the device in your pocket to your way we communicate with the whole world, we see something new come out every week. With Samsung hosting meetings for 5G connections, it’s only a matter of time before your phone is as good as any home line when it comes to the internet speed you get. A recent study shows that this may already be the case in America where the use of mobile internet may be replacing home lines.
The recent study by the US Census Bureau revealed that there are now a number of American households which have ditched the internet coming in on the home line in favour for the internet their mobile phones give them. The exact numbers show that the 82 percent of households used DSL, cable or fiber connections back in 2013, a number which now sits at just 75% while mobile internet usage has doubled from 10% to 20% in the same period.
What doe that mean? According to these figures, it means that one in five houses now relies on mobile internet. These figures may change how companies look at new projects and programs with the like of Facebook pushing for faster wireless internet speeds.
First, we had live music, then we got vinyl records, then cassettes and CD’s and now we can enjoy our music anywhere we like in the palm of our hand thanks to Digital music. The problem is that being able to share and copy music so easily isn’t for everyone and the American music industry wants the Digital Copyright Law Reformed.
Why does someone want the Digital Copyright Law reformed? The American music industry argues that the approach of issuing takedown notices to people who upload content illegally just doesn’t work when combating the number of web addresses and options people have for uploading music. They claim that the safe harbor passages of the Digital Copyright Law actually protect those who benefit from piracy, such as google with its search engine and YouTube videos.
As part of the reform, the music industry is looking at technology like audio fingerprinting to spot piracy before something is even uploaded. They are also asking that a takedown notice for say a song on YouTube, would affect all illegal copies of the song on that site. While the music industry may argue that issuing takedown requests at the moment doesn’t help enough, Google would argue that after a recent study as many as 30 percent of the takedown requests they received were dodgy.
People currently argue that the Digital copyright law is a guilty-until-proven-innocent piece of legislation, that often ends up with videos and content that use music for legal reasons are flagged up on systems. Asking for copyright law to be reformed, especially around its safe harbor passages, could result in the law being relaxed, or entirely new measures being put in place to combat the onslaught of takedown requests sites and search engines receive for both genuine and ‘dodgy’ reasons.
ZTE is a well-known manufacturer of telecom equipment, and while they have seen success in the past they are more than worried about the future with the US looking to impose sanctions on the company. As you can imagine, China’s not happy about this turn of events and are looking to hopefully stop this action before it goes too far.
Hong Lei, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, stated that “China is opposed to the US citing domestic laws to place sanctions on Chinese enterprises”. The restrictions were only announced yesterday and were made on the back of allegations that the company planned have sold US-made equipment to Iran in 2012. This is in violation of the US export restrictions with Iran, but this move may have an impact on other companies just as much.
Intel, Qualcomm and Microsoft all supply parts and equipment to ZTE, something which will now require paperwork which will “generally be denied”. ZTE are obviously worried that, since they cooperated with the US since the trading with Iran first surfaced in 2012, they are going to be hit badly by the restrictions, ultimately causing “significant supply problems to ZTE”. The company has already taken a hit with the trading of company shares being halted.
It’s been well-known for a while now that information, online and offline, has always been searched for and monitored. From GCHQ to the NSA, it sometimes seems like the entire alphabet is watching your every move online. With items like the ‘snooper charter’ making changes to digital monitoring, many countries are yet to see eye to eye when it comes to whom and what people should be able to see.
Sunday came and went without an agreement between American and European officials regarding how data should be transferred between the two areas. With information on the internet being sent around the world before reaching you at your computer, handling private and sometimes confidential information is a sensitive topic.
One of the key areas of debate is how European’s data would be protected against surveillance from the American government, with legal support for anyone to settle disputes in the American courts relating to their information.
With big companies like Facebook and Google operating around the world, although with large bulks of their companies based in America, you can see why they are interested in how this discussion will end.
This negotiation began three months ago, with a 15-year-old data transfer pact (also known as a safe harbour agreement), being invalidated due to Europeans data not being protected well enough when transferred to the United States.
With some people arguing that the standards in the US match those present in Europe, the deadline for a resolution is slowly creeping in, putting pressure on every party involved to resolve the matter.
The recent US snowfall has absolutely hammered the East Coast of America in terms of size and ferocity which has led to the cancellations of thousands of flights as well as leaving tens of thousands without power, below is a selection of stats which conveys the extent of this force of nature.
40 inches of snow – Has been recorded in Glengary, West Virginia; 39 inches fell in Philomont, Virginia; and Redhouse, Maryland, received 38 inches.
11 states declared states of emergency – Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. Washington, D.C., has declared a “snow emergency.
8,569 flights – Have been cancelled for Saturday and Sunday
More than 74,000 people – Without power.
Below is a selection of beautiful, fantastic yet thought-provoking images that conveys just how disruptive this storm has been for residents as well as the country as a whole.
Below is the first image of “Henry Street in the Chinatown neighbourhood of New York”, as you can see, this bustling street has rather ground to a halt.
Next Image below is of a “snowball fight at Dupont Circle in Washington, DC”, this image has been captured in pretty good detail.
The next image below conveys a gentleman by the name of “John Mexner who tries to make headway by shoveling his vehicle out in Washington”. The morning commute looks rather in vain after the size of disruption from the storm.
The next image below certainly conveys the amount of snow that has been dumped on the US, the gentleman within the photo is “Ben Osborn who walks with a shovel past a line of snowed-in cars in northeast Washington”, each car looks similar to a giant snowball.
The next image below is beautifully shot and conveys an individual who is producing a “snow angel in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C”, the blueness of the sky is a striking contrast to both the memorial and also the snow.
The last image is certainly thought-provoking and shows “Gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia” being almost completely hidden from snow.
The last image may not be relevant to the US, but it is certainly stunning, it conveys a frozen mast within Fujian Jiuxian China, wow.
We’ve all been there, sitting there and suddenly feeling that your phone is vibrating in your pocket. The feature that lets your phone vibrate is called haptic feedback, it’s used to inform you of changes, such as when you press a button or when you’re playing a game with a controller and get injured. Some people like the feature, others just look for the off button. It would seem though that some are just creative and instead, they use that features to create music; such as the Star Spangled Banner.
The steam controller was created by Valve for the purpose of rivaling the Xbox and PS4 controllers that people use for PC games. It would seem that adding support for helping the disabled to play again wasn’t enough when PC Gamer got their hands on the controller.
In the video below, a PC gamer used the haptic feedback feature to play a song, but not just any song. They decided that the only song they could start with was the Star Spangled Banner and what a performance it is!
If you could play any music with haptic feedback, what would it be? A soundtrack to a movie or a rock song? List your favorite songs to recreate in the comments below.
FItBit’s range of smart fitness products has catapulted the company onto bigger and better avenues over the last year or so, the new breed of small, light yet powerful wearable pieces of tech has captured the imagination. It now looks as if the company has another fan that is rather more powerful than your average consumer.
That consumer in question is 44th US president and a fan of tech Mr Barrack Obama who was seen sporting what looks to be a FitBit Surge while being interviewed by comic legend Jerry Seinfeld. Below is a snap that was taken of Mr Obama wearing the device, it seems the president has been looking forward to test driving the watch since last year. There has also been a humorous take concerning Mr Obama’s preference for FitBit considering both Apple and Samsung smart watches have a recording function built-in which might be slightly dodgy for the president.
According to research that was conducted by IDC, FitBit is the world’s highest selling wearable device and leads Apple. It conveys the paradox that many government officials find themselves in, on one hand they attempt to clamp down and pursue tech companies over surveillance and various laws, yet they also use the gadgets that have been created by that industry.
It’s always interesting when people release studies on video games and even more interestingly their users. While asking people for their opinions and ideas in polls may not be the best way to get accurate figures, it’s always interesting to see what people come back with. This time, the interesting figure is the number of console owners, or rather the number that identified themselves as female.
From the Pew Research Centre, the study looked at device owners, and what demographics they fit into. For example, they calculated that over 80% of 18-49-year-olds had a smartphone, with around 45% of U.S. adults owning a tablet (up from only 10% back in 2011).
Computer owners range at around 74% of U.S. Men, with 71% of Women stating they owned a computer, with 42% of women stating they own a console (described as “e.g. Xbox or Playstation“), a whole 5% above the stereotype of male gamers (who sit at a mere 37%). Dedicated portable gaming devices sit at 14% for each gender, with devices like the PSP and Sega Genesis (yes that was included in the category of portable gaming devices), while MP3 players still have roughly 40% ownership within the U.S. (38% and 42% for Men and Women respectively).
With roughly 3.7% margin of error stated on the gender, and up to 2.6% stated as the error in calculating the percentage of U.S. adults in whole, are there any figures that have surprised you or did you expect something different for any of the figures?
How often do you use your card? When you pop down to the shop and breaking that ten-pound note will result in too many coins to carry back? How about when you’re buying things online? Finally, how many have used their cards to book hotels? If you’ve stayed at a Hilton hotel recently and used your card to pay at one of their Point of Sale (POS) terminals, you may want to double check your cards not got anything suspicious on it.
Hilton Hotels has stated they are investigating the possible security breach reported by Brian Krebs, an investigative journalist, who traced a collection of misused cards and found a common source in the till’s that are located in one of the many restaurants and gift shops located in Hilton Hotels located in the US.
Sadly this is not the end of the story, the security alert that Visa released for this flaw was made in August, with the malware apparently being active between April and July this year. Given the number of hotels, and the ease at which people can pay for things using their cards, the number of potential cards that have been affected by this issue is surely only going to rise as more and more people become aware of it.
As with all cards, credit or debit alike, you should always keep an eye on it and raise any concerns regarding payments that you don’t recall making, or seem to be to companies you’ve never heard of, to your bank/building society.
Let’s take a minute to remember back to the days of sitting in front of the TV watching insane robots mutilate each other in an arena full of deadly traps. Now fast forward to 2015 and our love for robots has grown, which has resulted in movies such as Real Steel and mechs introduced into games such as Call of duty. So what about real life? Well nothing interesting really, apart from a massive grudge match being ignited online thanks to American and Japan building mechs for whatever reason.
Sources have gone quiet lately, but it has surfaced that America has started a crowd-funding campaign to raise $500,000 to help finish and upgrade the robot. But why would you want to donate your hard earned cash to help build something that will probably get smashed like a bug? “Because we’re going to make history, and it will be the most patriotic dollars that they can spend in 2015,” Brinkley Warren, a co-founder, told Ars with pride.
At the time of writing, the campaign has reached over $261,000 with 28 days to go. All is not lost, however, the founders has given a long term goal plan in case funds reached up to $1.5 million; which will end up ranging from high-performance track bases for ultimate speed and eevn a Hollywood paint job. Funnily enough, a life safety system only comes in at $1.25 million, which means moving fast is more important than safety #Murica!
Now a Kickstarter campaign wouldn’t be worth entering if there wasn’t something for the donator. The basic $5 gets you a mutual online handshake, but the best donation of $10,000 allows you to join the pit crew at the fight and be hands on. Personally if I had the spare cash, I would donate $5,000 and punch a Prius.
Who do you think will win? America with brute force or Japan with engineering marvels? Are you going to donate? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information
Buffalo America has just introduced their latest storage offering and this time it isn’t an NAS but a DAS instead. DAS stands for direct attached storage and it’s as such directly connected to another system instead of sharing the stored data over the network like an NAS does. Other than that, it’s a lot of the same.
The new Buffalo DAS is the DriveStation Ultra, a 10-bay system that connects through Thunderbolt 2 and comes as equipped with either ten 4TB NAS drives or ten 8TB Helium filled Enterprise drives. Thanks to the Thunderbolt 2 connection, this DAS can achieve up to 1243 MB/s write speeds in RAID 0.
This DAS could very well be the perfect storage solution for people who work with a lot of large files such as 4K videos or CAD projects. You should have the best possible storage and speed with a unit like that.
If one shouldn’t be enough storage, then attach some more. The Mac Pro comes with six Thunderbolt 2 ports and you can daisy-chain up to six DriveStation Ultras per port. With enough money, you could attach an incredible 2.88 Petabytes of storage to a single Mac Pro. Impressive, but not cheap.
The DriveStation Ultra has an MSRP of $4799.99 for the 40 TB model or $9999.99 for the 80 TB model. It is available now at D&H and at other Buffalo Americas distribution and reseller partners.
Desktop form factor with 10 hard drives provides up to 80 TB of storage within easy reach
40 TB model features 10 NAS hard drives and 80 TB model features 10 helium-filled enterprise hard drives optimized for continuous operation
Multiple I/O interface support to deliver maximum flexibility and compatibility for Mac and PC users, including two Thunderbolt 2 ports, one eSATA port and one USB 3.0 port and corresponding cables
RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6 options allow users the flexibility to maximize capacity or protect data with RAID redundancy
Three-year warranty and 24/7 U.S.-based technical support
Google has done some neat packaging over time for their gadgets and accessories, not cutting back on the presentation. Project Fi is no different and Google sends out a very large box when you sign up for the new carrier to help make sure you have a good first experience with the invite-only service.
Android Central managed to get their hands on the new kit and posted the below:
The welcome box, which is about the size of a Nexus 9, matches the look of Nexus device boxes with white cardboard and bright primary colors inside. And when you open it up, you’re greeted with a great stash of accessories for you Nexus 6. Check ’em out.
The box is divided into three sections with plastic containers holding a set of headphones, a mobile battery pack and a white case for your Nexus 6. Each one is neatly wrapped in plastic with a cheeky saying on the front, and will definitely have you feeling giddy if you’re a Google fan.
The headphones are white with blue ear tips (there are three pairs) and a green/white/blue volume rocker along the right wire with a nice “Fi” logo on it. The headphones end with a gigantic 3.5mm headphone jack that has a splitter coming off of it so you can plug in a second set of headphones “fora friend” … I don’t really need to share my music all that often, and with how big the headphone jack is I can guarantee I won’t be using the headphones at all. Shame, they’re actually quite cool other than that.
The battery pack carries the Google colors and a Project Fi logo on the front, and has a 6000 mAh capacity. It has dual USB outputs — one at 2.1A and another at 1A. The design of the battery is decidedly more practical than the headphones.
The case is a very standard white Case Mate model that’s a hard shell with a small rubber bumper that goes on it to give it more grip around the phone. Another “Fi” logo adorns the bottom-left corner of the back, and the button covers on the side are fun blue and green colors.
The new service was announced last month to American users and google are now sending out invites to their project. If you want to get involved then you should request an invite here.
The US Army is in the process of developing an invisibility suit for its troops. It has requested firms developing “Stealth Fabrics” to get in touch and have stated that they want to get the first prototypes created within 18 months; they hope that the suit will be able to function in all terrains, from ice caps to desserts, and in all temperatures.
The companies that are selected will undergo a one-year phase will have to submit 10 suits for testing, and all suits must work in all terrains from all angles. They also said if the adaptive camouflage requires power then it must weigh less than 0.45KG and last for at least 8 hours of operation.
The Army have stated they want the following:
Has 360-degree coverage and ‘can actively respond to various land environments under changing light conditions.’
Can be integrated with soldier’s equipment.
Ideally, will not require a power supply. If it does require a power supply, it ‘should last a minimum of four hours and weigh no more than two pounds’ including batteries and connections.
Reflects infrared light the same way as other army uniforms
Works in a range of terrain, including desert, forest, urban areas, jungle, and mountains.
Works below freezing and at temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, in high wind, in stormy weather, and in smoke, dust, or fog
Guy Cramer may be one of the people who have their materials used to help the military. You can see a short video about his company – Hyper Stealth below. He says he demonstrated it to the Military last year and that the new project will allow him to move forward with it. Cramer won’t release details of how the technology works or photographs.
If you are a fan of the Avengers film series and branched films; you’ll sure to be up to date with the film timeline. We’ve just had the release of Age of Ultron and Ant-Man will be out in the Summer, which stages the end of ‘Stage two’ of the film series. That then leave Captain America: Civil War to kick us back off in 2016 for the third and proposed, final filming stage.
With only a year until the release, filming has most likely already started (under wraps of course), but we are starting to get some pretty hefty details in regards to the filming cast; basically everyone apart from the Green Guy.
The official film synopsis given by the studio reads:
“Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.”
Let’s kick off the cast list, the team at the end of the last Avengers film will be directly included, so we have Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Paul Bettany (The Vision), Don Cheadle (War Machine) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlett Witch)….that’s six straight away.
It has then been confirmed that Paul Rudd will make an appearance as Ant-Man after the release of the standalone film this Summer. We should also expect a visit from Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) before he has his own standalone film in 2018. Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) is named to appear despite his seeming departure in Age of Ultron and of course Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) will be back, establishing the rivalry between him and Cap that follows the comic story line; ten now.
Even though this will be an almost smaller sequel to Age of Ultron, the past of Winter Solider will make it into the new film. Sebastian Stan (bucky Barnes) will return at the Winter Solider, Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter) and Frank Grillo (Brock Rumlow) will also be returning.
Almost there, really. Daniel Brühl will be appearing as Nazi villain Baron Zemo, Martin Freeman will also appear, but no confirmed role for him just yet.. Lastly, William Hurt will make his first appearance in the film series since his debut in The Incredible Hulk back in 2008. That’s sixteen major roles, SIXTEEN; how will directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, give each of these enough screen time to warrant them? Who knows.
The directors have a tough job on their hand with this one, this will be the first film to include more than 2-3 other Avengers cast, leading almost directly off the Age of Ultron, but also having to make sure this has enough traction to stand alone AND set up for the rest of the film series.
I can’t wait for it, the chemistry all played on screen makes me like Captain America more and more with his unseemly witty responses that just doesn’t fit in with our very matured sense of humor. Are you excited for the rest of the series? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you to Wired for providing us with this information.
We love to hear about new car technology at eTeknix; Electric Vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving have caught our eye a lot recently. Self-driving cars have given us a look into the future and now it seems the next step has come to pass, self-driving trucks.
American truck company, Daimler, has now put the finishing touches on their semi-autonomous truck. This can now legally operate on the highways of Nevada thanks to thousands of hours and miles of rigorous testing. It had to drive over 10,000 miles on a self-contained circuit in Germany before it was ‘granted’ a license. Nevada governor, Brian Sandoval, has officially granted the “Freightliner Inspiration Truck” a license for road use in the state, giving it the status of “First of its kind” to navigate public roads in the US.
The system, dubbed “Highway Pilot System” isn’t fully autonomous, it operates by cameras, radars and hundreds of other sensors, but still requires a human input from behind the wheel; this system sounds more like a highway co-driver and the human driver has to take over for manoeuvring off the highway. When the system takes over, the sensors and computers then take charge of maintaining a legal speed, lane selection and maintaining braking distance from the car in front. This then frees up the driver to take on other tasks like stock take and route planning and scheduling.
Currently, there are only two of these trucks in operation and it’s unclear whether more will be made. I actually like the sound of this, the little black box in The Simpsons has now become a reality, but surely this is just another step towards ‘Robots taking over jobs’? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Thank you to engadget for providing us with this information.
The recent White House power outage has turned into being something more than that. CNN reports that US officials have admitted that the White House’s network has been hacked in the process, but the affected computers were part of a non-classified network serving the executive office.
Still, the attackers were able to access sensitive information, such as the president’s real-time daily schedule. CNN also reports that the attackers used an account on the State Department network to phish their way into the White House.
“We’re constantly updating our security measures on our unclassified system but we’re frankly told to act as if we need not put information that’s sensitive on that system. In other words, if you’re going to do something classified, you have to do it on one email system, one phone system.” Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security adviser, told CNN.
The Secret Service and Intelligence Agencies are already investigating the matter, but it looks like clues point to Russia being behind the attack, or at least the hackers originate from the aforementioned country.
The attackers are said to have covered their tracks by routing their activity through a lot of servers throughout the world.
Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Up until now, Sony had no feature that would allow users to check if the PSN network is up and running in Europe. Whether you had trouble connecting to the store or accessing online functions, you wouldn’t have known if your Internet connection was at fault or Sony’s PSN was down.
However, this is about to change very soon. Sony has just announced that it would add a service status indicator for PSN in Europe, giving users the option to check whether the servers for PSN are up or down. The company has also launched a similar service indicator in America recently, so it would have made sense to launch a similar service in Europe as well.
Sony seems to have been moving slow in terms of providing users with a service indicator, having Nintendo already providing a similar service to its users long before Sony even added its feature in America. Also, Sony’s PSN is known to go down often either by DDoS attacks, hacking, maintenance or even unexpected outages. Therefore, the service indicator seems to be quite useful for the majority of players using PSN.
Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information
Hilary Clinton, who is currently under scrutiny for not using an official government email account, has said that she wants to release all of her emails to the public. Clinton has caused controversy for using a private email account rather than an official government one for government matters. She believes releasing her emails may settle concerns about transparency.
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
She informed people of her decision via Twitter, saying that her emails will be released as soon as possible. The State Department later released a statement in response to Clinton’s Tweet, suggesting that it may take some time to review the supposed 55,000 emails already handed over.
“The State Department will review for public release the emails provided by Secretary Clinton to the Department, using a normal process that guides such releases. We will undertake this review as soon as possible; given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete.”
Clinton broke the rules by setting up a private email server registered to her home – a significant difference to others who have breached such protocol, often because they simply made the mistake of undertaking official business via a personal webmail account. In this case, Clinton went above and beyond the rules, something that we as of yet don’t have a reason for.
Apparently you couldn’t trust the White House yesterday. Well, while some may say that everyday, you really shouldn’t have yesterday, according to Google that is.
In an embarrassing blunder, the US government-owned site forgot to update its SSL certificate, resulting in insecure connections to the site, as well as the above warning message showing up on Chrome. It couldn’t have came at a worse time than yesterday, considering President Obama was speaking at the Cybersecurity Summit at Stanford University.
That summit was attended by a number of industry figures, including Apple’s Tim Cook, who spoke at the event. You can watch it in its entirety below.
Facebook has announced that it will begin including alerts regarding missing children into American Facebook news feeds. The company announced a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the US organisation behind the famous AMBER alert programme.
Alerts will appear only in people’s News Feeds (no push notifications) and will only be limited to people in the area relative to the child that is currently missing. Facebook says that users may see very few alerts each year, so nobody should be worried about their News Feed being clogged up.
AMBER alerts were introduced in 1996 with the aim of reducing the number of missing children. More than 720 children have been found thanks to the system that has until now been used via road signs, text messages and television.
The Facebook alerts will be much more detailed than the traditional alerts delivered via television, digital traffic signs and text messages, as they will include pictures, background information regarding the child’s circumstances and links to the NCMEC website.
We’ve all been captivated recently by the massive hack upon Sony Pictures that was supposedly carried out by North Korea. However, not many of us know what using a computer is like in the ‘self-reliant’ hermit kingdom.
Well now we do. Ex-Google employee Will Scott previously visited one of the country’s top universities and bought a copy of the operating system they were using while he was there. He somehow managed to sneak that back to the states and provided screenshots for us all to see.
Now, obviously their OS isn’t going to be anything built by Microsoft, Apple or Google or any other Western company, so they’ve built their own. Well, sort of their own, because it bears a startling resemblance to Apple’s OS X.
From log in screen to the iconic dock and menu bar, it’s a complete rip-off of what appears to be OS X 10.5 Leopard. This image of file manager could easily be mistaken for an old version of Apple’s Finder.
Take a look at the browser – a modded Firefox perhaps?
A defector of North Korea has announced that he intends to send 100,000 USB drive and DVD copies of ‘The Interview’ into North Korea via balloons. With the support of the US Human Rights Foundation, the copies have been edited to include Korean subtitles.
In an interview to the Associated Press, Park Sang-hak said that the ballon drop would help the “idolization of leader Kim” break down.
“Park said foundation officials plan to visit South Korea around Jan. 20 to hand over the DVDs and USBs, and that he and the officials will then try to float the first batch of the balloons if weather conditions allow.
“North Korea’s absolute leadership will crumble if the idolization of leader Kim breaks down,” Park said by telephone.”
Similar efforts have been carried out before by the same man and by other groups – dropping leaflets, posters, pictures and DVDs of other films. Copies of news programming have also been sent via balloons, often showing the toppling of other dictators like Muammar Gaddafi and videos of uprisings like those seen in Egypt.
Sony Pictures was the subject of “the biggest cyber attack in history” last month after it’s believed North Korean hackers had their revenge in response to ‘The Interview’ – a movie about the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un.
The Interview is doing alright online, raking back a third of its crazy $44 million budget. It’s also Sony’s most downloaded movie ever.
“Considering the incredibly challenging circumstances, we are extremely grateful to the people all over the country who came out to experience The Interview on the first day of its unconventional release,” – Rory Bruer, Sony’s President of Global Distribution in a statement to The Wrap following the movie’s opening.
Sony will certainly be interested in these figures. Analysts have suggested that the company could lose billions of dollars due to the hack – something an already struggling Sony doesn’t need. It’s questionable as to how much money the movie will make online and in such a limited number of cinemas.
This figure also poses something else – what will the non-theatrical release of this major motion picture mean for the future of cinema? We’ve seen movies released to DVD/Blu-Ray and downloads sooner and sooner following their theatrical release. We’ve also seen movie studios expressing interest in cutting out cinema releases altogether in an attempt to curb piracy. So does the modestly successful online release of The Interview further compound the beliefs of those who think we should say goodbye to cinema?
Just a few days after it was reported that Apple declined streaming ‘The Interview’, Apple has just confirmed that it will indeed be offering the movie.
According to Re/code, an Apple representative informed them that the movie will be available from 1pm EST for streaming and downloading. This means that the movie will be available on many of the big streaming platforms, including iTunes, Google Play and YouTube.
Sony said that they intended to deliver the movie on a “different platform” following their decision to pull it from its Christmas Day release. The company did say that no streaming or download service had initially come forward with an offer to provide the movie, but now that’s obviously a different story. The movie did also see its cinematic release, but only in handful of venues.
In Sony Pictures’ hunt to find a place to show ‘The Interview’, they reportedly asked Apple, who supposedly declined the offer.
According to The New York Times, Sony apparently asked the White House to help them get it on iTunes, but Apple was having none of it, “at least not on a speedy timetable”.
“It remained unclear, however, whether any on-demand service would take “The Interview.” According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.”
We reported yesterday on the news that the movie will now see its original Christmas Day release, showing at a handful of cinemas, but it’s still unclear as to how everybody will be able to see it.
In an interesting turn of events, Sony has delivered one of those threatening letters to Twitter. Sony Pictures has asked the social network to delete accounts that have been sharing leaked material, that’s if they don’t want to face legal action.
Motherboard says that it has seen a letter addressed to Twitter’s general counsel Vijaya Gadde from David Boies, the lawyer given the job of helping clear up Sony’s mess. It says essentially the same things that the one delivered to news outlets says, asking people to stop disseminating or publishing “stolen information”.
“SPE does not consent to Twitter’s or any Twitter account holder’s possession, review, copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading, or making any use of the Stolen Information, and to request your cooperation in suspending the Account Holder’s Twitter account and the account of any other user seeking to disseminate the Stolen Information via Twitter”.
Oddly, the same letter has been delivered directly to a Twitter user, namely Val Broeksmit, who has extensively shared portions of the leaked e-mails on his Twitter account.