Microsoft’s ‘CaptionBot’ Adds Incorrect Captions to Your Favourite Pictures

Microsoft, as part of its new research into storytelling by artificial intelligence, has released CaptionBot, an AI designed to recognise images and add an appropriate descriptive caption. However, like its previous attempt at AI – chatbot Tay – CaptionBot isn’t entirely successful. As with Tay, though, the results are hilarious (and without any fascistic or incestuous overtones).

The accompanying academic paper, titled Visual Storytelling [PDF], describes how the Microsoft Sequential Image Narrative Dataset (SIND) applies value judgements to picture content, setting, composition, and human expression in an attempt to describe the scene. The paper adds:

“There is a significant difference, yet unexplored, between remarking that a visual scene shows “sitting in a room” – typical of most image captioning work – and that the same visual scene shows “bonding”. The latter description is grounded in the visual signal, yet it brings to bear information about social relations and emotions that can be additionally inferred in context.”

To set CaptionBot’s base level, 10,117 CC-licensed Flickr albums were ploughed through by Amazon Mechanical Turks, who assigned tradition captions to a series of pictures. An ‘average’ description of each picture was derived by the multitude of entries, and that average was reduced to an algorithm that CaptionBot could apply to fresh images in order to evaluate them.

“Captioning is about taking concrete objects and putting them together in a literal description,” Margaret Mitchell, lead researcher on the project, said in a Microsoft blog post. “What I’ve been calling visual storytelling is about inferring conceptual and abstract ideas from those concrete objects.”

XFX Double Dissipation AMD Radeon R9 380X Images Leak

Chinese technology site, Expreview has released images from a reliable “insider source” which could be the first glimpse of AMD’s 380X graphics card. This particular sample appears to be the XFX’s Double Dissipation model and features a dual-fan design. Apparently, the 380X is built on a 384-bit interface which could signify a 3GB or 6GB configuration.

The 380X will also fully utilize the Tonga GPU and could retail for around $250. According to the source, this card is already scheduled for mass production in China but it’s unknown if it will be sold worldwide. Unfortunately, there’s a distinct lack of information from the pictures and it’s difficult to analyze the card’s potential performance and overall build.

Despite this, initial impressions are fairly promising and the gaming-orientated theme should suit a wide array of custom-builds. On a more practical note, the protruding heatpipes should provide enough cooling to remove any thermal throttling. Early speculation about the card’s performance is fairly conflicting so it’s impossible to predict the price to performance ratio on the 380X. With AMD’s delicate financial position, it seems sensible to target the lower-medium end customer. Hopefully, the 380X can alleviate people’s concerns towards AMD and demonstrate they are still more than capable of making fantastic GPUs for the mainstream gamer.

Move Over Goosebumps 1 Because 2 Is Already Being Planned

From a personal perspective, I was indeed a fan of the original Goosebumps TV series when it aired on children’s TV on the BBC in the 90s and just into the 2000s with repeats thereafter. In my day, yes here we go, children’s TV was very much superior to today’s drivel and Goosebumps was part of that superiority. Below is the opening sequence to the show, yes could not resist it. See, this is great, today is rubbish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXiYpfR-cRE

Anyway, do you remember the adaptation which hit the silver screen? Of course you don’t as it’s not out yet but rather hitting cinemas as of October 16th, presumably to coincide with Halloween. That seemingly has not stopped Sony Pictures, again, as the corporation is looking for a “Screenwriter” for Goosebumps 2. Sony believes the first film will kick off a franchise and are aiming to produce a second instalment, the first film has Monsters vs. Aliens filmmaker Rob Letterman directing but it’s unknown if he will return, if indeed there will be a second film, which does look more likely considering speculation centres around key stars being contacted for further films in the soon to be franchise.

The trailer for the first Goosebumps film is below, first impressions for the film have been positive and the buzz with which it is generating can only be seen as an improvement for Sony. As yet I am not so sure considering Sony have produced a few terrible films recently.

Sony believes it will be a success, but this is a company which produced Pixels so anything is possible at the moment. Only time will tell. Now excuse me while I check out the “screenwriter” position… Turns out I won’t be leaving eTeknix anytime soon, (screams from editor).

Thank you ign and tracking board for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of cinemablend

Eating an Epic Meal? Google Wants to Share your Experience

Google wants to know anything and everything about our lives, from knowing where we live by accidentally searching more than 3 times to your home address or predicting the calories in your food. Well, now the information super giant wants your photos of food while you are dining out, or if you’ve just made something that looks good.

In recent years, Instagram users have taken pictures of their food and applied all manners of filters to show off the fact they’re eating out and you’re not and don’t lie, you’ve done it at one point too. Deep down you know that was shameful and people looked at you, but now Google wants those pictures too so you have a reason.

The feature, dubbed “Photo Notifications”, is only currently available to high-ranking members of the Google Maps “Local Guides” community. It works by scanning your pictures for identifiable food and requests for them to be uploaded to a central server and load them onto Google Maps for others to view.

This move could be another step towards Google becoming the ‘One Stop Shop’ for all of your information needs (if it already isn’t). Will you be interested in uploading your meals to the cause or would you use the system yourself to check out the quality of the food? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to Android Police for providing us with this information.

Sony Pictures Announces Future Movie Line Up

Who doesn’t love a good film? Going from an everyday boy or girl to a hero saving the world, or why not have a hero plagued by their demons? Either way you look at it, we as a species love getting engrossed in good book, a great game or an amazing movie. We all know that a good film can never be replaced and the more we watch the more we want to see. For these reasons, I present to you the recently announced release dates for 16 Sony Pictures films!

Set for release in 2016 and 2017 (yes we all know how flimsy release dates can be) and even a 2019 release date, the films are as followes:

  • Money Monster – 8/4/16
  • The Shallows – 24/6/16
  • Ghostbusters – 15/7/16
  • Patient Zero – 2/9/16
  • The Magnificent Seven – 23/9/16
  • Underworld 5 – 21/10/16
  • Passengers – 21/12/16
  • Jumanji – 25/12/16
  • The Dark Tower – 13/1/17
  • Resident Evil Movie 6 – 27/1/17
  • Bad Boys 3 – 17/2/17
  • Baby Driver – 17/3/17
  • Barbie – 2/6/17
  • Uncharted – 30/6/17
  • The Lamb – 8/12/17
  • Bad Boys 4 – 3/7/19

*Dates have been converted to English format of Day/Month/Year from original listing

With such a list of films, ranging from remakes such as Ghostbusters, this time featuring a female team of ghostbuster hunting the things that go bump in the night and the remake of a personal favourite, Jumanji, which is slated for a 2016 Christmas Day release. Going all the way to continuing series such as Bad Boys 3 and Bad Boys 4, then even Underworld 5 and even a new Resident Evil Movie.

With so many good films coming out, how many of you are going to have to dust off that cinema bag and pack for the big screen experience?

Thank you Sony Pictures for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gizmodo.

Moto G 2015 Images Leak Ahead of Launch

Motorola’s successor to the extraordinarily popular Moto G handset has been pictured in Itabuna, Brazil and gives an indication of the device’s capabilities. According to the official box, the Moto G 2015 will feature a 5″ Gorilla Glass display, 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera and 5mp front camera. Currently, we do not know the exact pixels-per-inch of the screen, but I expect it to be around 291.78 ppi. The handset will offer 4G connectivity, dual SIM support and IPX7 water resistance. Please note, that IPX7 does not mean waterproof and only provides enough protection against small splashes. On another note, the dual-sim functionality may be limited to specific countries.

The Moto G 2015 sports 16GB of storage which may suggest the RAM has been increased to 2GB. Furthermore, I would like to know if there is a microSD slot to enhance the expansion.

Included in the box is a USB cable, charger, audio cable extender, and colour fascias. It’s difficult to see what the audio cable extender is for but it might work alongside a premium accessory. Strangely enough there are no earphones for hands-free operation. However, this isn’t a major issue as most of the bundled earphones with handsets are awful. The Moto G 2015 is shaping up very nicely and looks set to be the next budget handheld to own. Although, with so many high-specification clones on the market, it’s difficult to dominate this section of the market.

Would you trust a non-branded Chinese clone?

Thank you Pocketnow for providing us with this information.

Woman Only has her Selfie to Blame After Bison Attack

Yellowstone Park has become a breeding ground for dangerous and avoidable incidents as visitors try to capture the moment in close proximity to a host of wild animals. This particular case involves a 43 year-old Mississippi woman who casually turned her back on a Bison only 6 feet away. Even more worrying, she was accompanied by a young child who could have been seriously hurt. As she lined up the photograph, the Bison hurtled towards her and started a pursuit. In a move which almost redefines stupidity, the woman believed she could outpace the animal. A statement released from the park service outlined the course of events:

“They heard the bison’s footsteps moving toward them and started to run, but the bison caught the mother on the right side, lifted her up and tossed her with its head,”

Colleen Rawlings, a ranger in the park’s Old Faithful District added,

“The family said they read the warnings in both the park literature and the signage, but saw other people close to the bison, so they thought it would be OK,” 

“People need to recognize that Yellowstone wildlife is wild, even though they seem docile. This woman was lucky that her injuries were not more severe.”

This exemplifies how easily people can be distracted by the selfie craze which could have resulted in disastrous consequences. Strangely enough, the term “wild” refers to an uncontrollable beast, so it is bizarre to see people acting in such a cavalier fashion. Perhaps this particular animal was upset because she rudely turned her back and didn’t say Bye….son/Bison. Joking aside, it’s shocking how commonplace these events are and I hope the press coverage will make people prioritize their safety above any kind of photograph.

Could have been worse I guess, remember the guy trying to take a selfie with a moving train?

Thank you CNN for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The New York Post.

New Images from Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Who’s the better superhero isn’t something you should say out loud in a comic book shop, but it might be a question that will be answered for some in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice movie.

Comic-Con in Sand Diego is less than a week away and it is just pure logic that we would get some new images from the new science fiction movie around this time. The new images come to us thanks to Entertainment Weekly and we would like to share them with you too. We know that a lot of people are looking forward to this movie.

As you’ll know by now, the film finds Kal-El (Henry Cavill) going up against Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) as a world-weary Batman decides that Superman is just too much of a threat to ignore.

Naturally Batman can’t fight someone like Superman on his own, he’s just a guy with gear – so that gear has been upgraded and reinforced with some handy Kryptonite.

Batman and Superman aren’t the only two superheroes you’ll get to see in this movie, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is also present.

These are all basically good guys (and girl) and a Hollywood movie can’t be a Hollywood movie without a real bad guy. And who better than good old Lex Luthor.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is scheduled for March 25th next year, so we still need a little patience in that regards. Until then you can watch the official teaser trailer and more fresh pictures below.

 

Thank You EW for providing us with this information

Google Aims To Help Victims Who Have Pictures Posted Without Consent

The internet is a large place, and with it people can read and post a lot of information or content with every little often stopping them or even knowing about it before it’s too late. Google wants to stop people suffering because of this and will soon enact a new policy to help prevent people who have had content published without their permission.

The new policy will come into effect within the next few weeks and will provide a web-based form for people to be able to request the removal of images which they consider distressing. Following the path led by Reddit and Twitter, who already have policies to help users who have had images posted of them which are regarded as explicit and posted without the subject’s consent. Facebook takes a different approach and has a dedicated team to help deal with matters of hate speech or harassment.

By helping people remove access and potentially even track down and remove images posted of them without their permission the aim is that Google will help the many people who are affected by these actions every year.

Google has stated that they know it won’t be able to solve everything with this, but they do hope that by honoring people’s requests they can help not only the people who are suffering but also prevent more cases and pain arising.

Thank you CNET for the information. 

Forza Motorsport 6 Coming September 15th

It’s day one of E3, one of the most popular gaming events that takes place during the year. The event is a week-long and we hope it brings some amazing news!

Today, at the E3 event, Forza Motorsport 6 was announced. We’ve know it has been coming for a while now but they revealed it officially and in the flesh today.

Above is the release trailer that was shown at E3, the game will include a 24 car multiplayer so you can race against your friends and family.There will be a destructible environment that looks to use dynamic physics to throw items such as tires across the track. There will be 26 destinations in the game and a whopping 450 cars too. Forza 6 follows the great Forza Horizon 2, which was made by Playground Games. Turn 10 are going to take responsibility for this release.

ArsTechnica said “Turn 10 doesn’t bother programing in “zero to sixty” times for the cars in its games, because the right number almost always emerges from the physics and the simulation. Greenawalt said the same is true for racing in the wet. “Any one track might have tens and tens of surfaces, so instead of looking at what a lap time should look like in the rain, we just make sure that the coefficient of friction is correct for all the surface types and the lap time comes,” he said. “Dark and wet [simulation] came out of Turn 10 living in the woods,” Hartman added with a touch of humor.”

Above are some pictures of the new, stunning game. What do you think of the graphics? let us know in the comments!

Thank you to The Verge for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Ars Technica

Mad Max’s Insane Vehicles Look Awesome in Lego

No pop culture phenomenon is complete until it gets made in Lego form. Thankfully for fans of Mad Max: Fury Road, that moment has arrived.

A Flickr user has uploaded a massive photo gallery of his collection of Lego inspired by the movie’s incredible array of outlandish vehicles. He’s recreated everything from the ludicrous Doof Wagon to Immortal Joe’s Gigahorse and Furiosa’s almighty War Rig. You can check out more Lego versions of the film’s vehicles over at Lego Will’s Flickr page.

The film was released earlier this month and has an IMDB rating of 8.7/10. A summary of the film is below:

“Years after the collapse of civilization, the tyrannical Immortal Joe enslaves apocalypse survivors inside the desert fortress the Citadel. When the warrior Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) leads the despot’s five wives in a daring escape, she forges an alliance with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), a loner and former captive. Fortified in the massive, armored truck the War Rig, they try to outrun the ruthless warlord’s henchmen in a high-speed, deadly chase through the Wasteland.”

It has made $239,289,534 since the launch based on the box office’s estimated figures and stars the likes of Tom Hardy(mad max himself), Charlize Theron (Imperator Furiosa) and Nicholas Hoult (Nux).

Here are some of the photos:

 

Thank you to Flikr for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Flikr / LEGO Will

ASRock Z170 Motherboards Pictured Ahead of Launch

Ahead of next week’s Computex in Taiwan, ASRock has released pictures of their latest motherboard. Based around Intel’s next-generation 100 series chipset for Skylake, the Z170 will be the top platform for the mainstream segment. The pictures show the Z170 Gaming K6 and the Z170 Extreme 7 in their full glory along with Intel’s LGA 1151.

For the Gaming K6, it’s quite obviously targeted towards gamers with the red and black aesthetic most OEMs are using with their gaming products. Branding remains the same with the Fatal1ty line with the name etched on the board but not in the model. M.2 slot resides pretty much where we have come to expect as well as the now prevalent SATA Express along with the SATA 3 ports. As expected DDR4 is used for the 4 DIMM slots.

The Extreme 7, targetting a more enthusiast audience comes with the industry standard black and gold theme. In line with it’s with enthusiast status, the Extreme 7 comes with not 1 but 3 M.2 slots. Being based on Z170, not all of the M.2 and PCIE slots can be used at the same time. Another differentiator also appears to be two removable BIOS chips, great for eliminating risk when messing with the firmware.

Both boards tout key features offered by Z170, mainly the 20 PCIE 3.0 lanes which is particularly useful for the Extreme 7 with it’s 4 x16 slots. Both boards are expected to feature Realtek ALC 1150 onboard audio, branded Purity Sound 3 with prominent EMI shielding. As high-end boards, both also offer onboard buttons and BIOS code readouts. The large number of USB 3 ports are also prominent with Z170, coming standard with the chipset. With Biostar having also teased their Z170 board, Skylake is sure to be right around the corner.

NVIDIA GTX 980Ti Pictured

The GTX 980Ti, a hot topic for the last few weeks for NVIDIA to try to claw some of the limelight from AMD and the proposed graphics cards. We have heard about specifications, possible release dates, but now we have pictures.

There isn’t much to shout about there, the cooling shroud is that of a typical reference GTX branded graphic card; ‘GTX 980Ti’ smashed in the usual place, a black heat sink and a PCB that look very familiar to the Titan X.

Sadly, when we turn the card over, we can see the very absent backplate, Jensen says “they are not adding backplates, because it would affect tri-SLI airflow.” Just give me my backplate and I will shut up, seriously just give me my own personal engraved backplate.

Early benchmarks can tell us a lot about a graphics card, but the Ti range is slightly odd. Remember back to the GTX 780Ti, when that was released; it pretty much dethroned the original Titan. Let’s hope NVIDIA have reeled this in enough for the Titan X to still deserve the top spot.

With the imminent launch of the GTX 980Ti, are you waiting for the release to choose your new graphics card or will you be waiting on AMD? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to VideoCards for providing us with this information.

Kelly Brooks Private Pictures Hacked for the Second Time

So they are at it again, the hackers just can’t seem to leave the celebrities alone, especially when it comes to their own private images. This time, it is round two for former model Kelly Brooks who was targeted in the original hacking scandal back last year.

Despite Kelly Brooks denying that she had any private pictures, tweeting:

“The only nude photos you’ll ever see of me are the ones that I “leak” and the ones that my head are superimposed on”

She then confirmed that the most recent leak were in fact real during a Twitter conversation between her and David McIntosh.

Now this isn’t the first instance of this happening, back last year we had multiple celebrities hacking their private stash hacked and posted online, which has been dubbed ‘The Fappenning’. A few other celebrities caught up in this are Jennifer Lawrence and Kaley Cuoco.

What is there to gain for the hackers doing this to these people? Is it a form of ‘knocking them down a few pegs’? Ego boost? However, it can then be something blamed on the celeb’s themselves as to why they are taking these images and not storing them securely in the first place.

Thank you HuffPost for providing us with this information

Sony Pictures Boss Keeps His Job After Hacking Reshuffle

Michael Lynton, the Chief Executive of Sony Pictures, has managed to survive a recent reshuffle and keep the top job. Sony decided to make some changes to their motion picture arm following the massive hack they were subject to late last year. The US Government says that North Korea was behind the incident, while others still doubt those claims.

As part of the reshuffle, Amy Pascal, former Chairperson of Sony Pictures, was asked to resign. She left the company earlier this month, marking the first big change as part of the reshuffle, supposedly initiated by Sony CEO Kaz Hirai. However, her boss, Michael Lynton, head of Sony Pictures, has managed to come away unscathed. Lynton appeared to deal with the incident well, appearing on television shortly after the hack to declare the company’s efforts in making The Interview available to view.

Sarah Pascal was faced with petitions calling for her resignation following the leaking of emails that were deemed racist by certain groups. While Sony officially said that she “resigned”, Pascal herself later said that she was “fired”.

Source: Re/code

Steve Jobs Movie to Be Released on October 9th

Universal Pictures has announced that the Steve Jobs movie will be released on October 9th 2015. This news follows the appearance of the first pictures depicting the movie’s stars in their roles.

Earlier this week we saw Fassbender and Rogan as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, dressed in 70s/80s attire – most likely centring around the Macintosh launch in 1984. Aside from making that connection based on their clothing, writer Alan Sorkin has said that the movie will look more closely at Jobs’ earlier years, rather than the more successful years later on. It will also apparently feature heavily his family life too, with reference to his lovechild Lisa, a daughter he previously disowned, but later reconnected with, something that flourished into what would then be a lifelong relationship with her.

Besides those paparazzi shots, we’ve also seen a number of images from extras who have been assembling at the Flint Center for Perfuming Arts – the very place the Mac was released in over 30 years ago.

Source: MacRumors 

 

Miss Disposable Cameras? WhiteAlbum For iOS is For You

Do you miss the days of disposable cameras? The times that meant the picture you took was the picture you got? Well, a new iOS app might be just for you.

WhiteAlbum aims to bring back some of the excitement and mystery of film by making picture taking really important. After taking your picture, you get no chance to see it again, that’s unless you order prints of them. Yes, the photos you take are final and are not transferred to your camera roll. Instead they get sent off to a server for printing – just like the good old days (except the server part).

Another big part of taking pictures before digital was the cost – each picture you took cost you money. For 24 of those prints, that’ll cost you $20; a far cry from today’s trigger happy picture taking.

The app on the other hand is available for free from the iOS App Store.

Source: The Next Web

The Interview Made $1 Million on its First Day

Sony has announced that ‘The Interview’ made $1 Million on its first day. The film was released on Christmas Eve online and in a handful of cinemas on Christmas Day.

“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.

$1 million for a major motion picture isn’t all that much, especially for one that cost $44 million. Estimates for the movie originally said it would earn over $20 million, that’s for a standard release to all cinemas.

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.

About those cinemas, why haven’t they decided to show the film now those “9/11 style terrorist attacks” never occurred? It was cowardly of them to do what they did in the first place, but where are they now?

Source: The Verge

Sony Hack Highlights Cyber Security Concerns

The devastating hack on Sony Pictures has meant at least one good thing – greater awareness of cyber security. A number of businesses, governments and indeed individuals have started to wonder whether they’re susceptible to hacking.

The press has been calling the Sony hack “the biggest cyber attack in history”, but a number of experts have pointed our how it probably isn’t. For years (sometimes secretly and sometimes publicly) government contracted defence companies like Lockheed have been pelted with a number of attacks from the Chinese. In one instance the hackers took top secret plans for a US fighter plane with which the Chinese developed their latest fighter – a complete rip off of the US plans.

So what is signifiant about this hack? Because it involved mass culture – movies and more specifically Seth Rogan. The hacks leaked private details about famous celebrities – things that grab people’s attention. The highly public nature of this breach means that quite possibly for the first time, people have seen the potential of hacking to cause absolute destruction.

The public has become more interested in securing their devices while businesses and government officials are more motivated to protect our infrastructure. That can only be a good thing.

Source: Financial Post

Sony Made the Rental of ‘The Interview’ Too Easy to Keep

As you will all know by now, Sony released ‘The Interview’ online on Christmas Eve following the massive hack. They released the movie as a rental and as a download for which you can keep. However, it turns out, some people have found it very easy to download and keep the rental copy.

According to some of those who have rented the movie, a right click and “download video as…” is all it takes to keep the rental version for good, saving people a couple of dollars. This is undoubtedly an embarrassing hiccup for Sony, a company trying to prove its technological competence after the largest cyber attack in history.

It’s not yet clear whether this has been fixed, but for those in the US and Canada who have access to the movie, I think it’s safe to say you should go for the rental if you want to see the movie North Korea didn’t want you to see.

Source: The Verge

‘The Interview’ to Be Released on YouTube and Google Play

After a number of hasty negotiations and discussions, Google has agreed to stream ‘The Interview’ on Google Play and YouTube. It will be available from 10am PST/6pm GMT for $6. It’ll also be streamed by Sony and on Xbox Video.

Google’s Statement:

Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we’d be able to make their movie, “The Interview,” available online. We’d had a similar thought and were eager to help—though given everything that’s happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.

Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).

So starting at 10 a.m. PST in the U.S., you can rent or buy “The Interview” on Google Play and YouTube Movies. It will also be available to Xbox Video customers and viahttp://www.seetheinterview.com.

Source: TechCrunch

George R. R. Martin Offers His Private Cinema To Show ‘The Interview’

The creator of ‘The Game of Thrones’, George R. R. Martin has offered Seth Rogan the opportunity to show ‘The Interview’ in his private cinema.

He days that it was “corporate cowardice” that led to the film’s cancellation and that he’d gladly invite them to his Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe. He doesn’t care how good or bad the film is, saying that “there are thousands of small independent theatres across the country, like my own, that would gladly screen THE INTERVIEW”.

“The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me.  It’s a good thing these guys weren’t around when Charlie Chaplin made THE GREAT DICTATOR.  If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes.”

You can read the full message to Sony on his LiveJournal page here.

Source: Esquire

Sony Pictures Being Sued Over Massive Hack

Sony Pictures is being sued by former employees over the failure to keep their private details secure. The former employees are being led by Michael Corona, who worked for Sony between 2004 and 2007.

“An epic nightmare, much better suited to a cinematic thriller than to real life, is unfolding in slow motion for Sony’s current and former employees.”

You’d think that sentence above is from one of Sony Pictures’ screenplays, but is actually the opening line of the complaint submitted to the California District Court. The former staff are particularly angry about the leak of 47,000 Social Security numbers, something for which Michael Corona is taking out $700 a year identity theft protection – given for free only to current Sony Pictures employees.

“Their most sensitive data, including over 47,000 Social Security numbers, employment files including salaries, medical information, and anything else that their employer Sony touched, has been leaked to the public, and may even be in the hands of criminals.”

They allege that Sony avoided attempts to ensure the security of its computer systems even after a number of signs, including an earlier breach that wasn’t made public, that suggested they were vulnerable.

Source: The Verge

Cougar 600K Mechanical Keyboard Pictures Revealed

Cougar has just revealed pictures of the new 600K mechanical keyboard. The keyboard is due to launch very soon, no doubt around the time of CES 2015 and it’s already shaping up to be an interesting product.

It’s very similar to their 700K flagship keyboard, but it doesn’t feature the on-board macro keys down the left side. This means the keyboard is a little less wide than its big brother, saving you a little desktop space and also a little money.

The keyboard has all the usual gaming bells and whistles included, such as adjustable backlighting, adjustable repeat rate, n-key rollover and more.

The 600K will be available in a choice of Cherry MX black, red, brown and blue switch types. No details on price or availability just yet, but we’ll update you as soon as we know more.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Sony Demands News Outlets Destroy Leaked Data

Sony has sent letters to a number of news outlets requesting that they do not disseminate, distribute or publish leaked data, as well as asking for them to destroy any copies of the “stolen” information they may possess.

In a letter published by Re/code and sent by Sony’s legal representative for the hacking case, David Boies, the company asks that outlets “arrange for and supervise the destruction of all copies of stolen information in your possession” and that “If you don’t comply with this request,” the company “will have no choice but to hold you responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by you.”

The letter has been distrubuted to Re/code, The New York Times and Gawker among others. It highlights an important facet of the leaking of this data – the ethics and legalities of publishing e-mails stolen by the hackers.

Sony Letter to Re/code

Source: Re/code Via: The Next Web

Sony Hackers Offer to Withhold Employee Data

Re/code reports that the attackers behind the massive Sony hack have offered employees the chance to have their e-mail data withheld from release. The hackers have asked employees to write in with their name and title to prevent their e-mails being leaked.

“Message to SPE Staffers,” reads the posting written in halting English. “We have a plan to release emails and privacy of the Sony Pictures employees. If you don’t want your privacy to be released, tell us your name and business title to take off your data.” 

The hackers have already released a cavalcade of private e-mails between executives at Sony Pictures, including that now infamous exchange between Sony’s Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin, where Rudin referred to Angelina Jolie as a “minimally talented spoiled brat”.

Apparently the most recent haul of data is 6GB worth of e-mails to and from Steve O’Dell, the President of Sony Pictures Releasing, the links to which have been posted on Pastebin and Friendpaste. However, that’s not the end of it – the hackers apparently are promising a “Christmas gift” with “more interesting” data to come our way in the next dump.

Source: Re/code

Sony Hack: Leaked E-Mails Reveal Spat Over ‘Jobs’ and ‘The Interview’

An incredibly revealing treasure trove of e-mails have been leaked from the massive Sony Pictures hack. We’ve already seen the leaking of movies and even celebrity aliases, but today’s leaks are probably some of the most damaging.

The messages sent between Sony executives and staff have revealed some interesting detail regarding the production of the Steve Jobs movie. The whole thing has been fraught with difficulties from the very beginning, with actors agreeing to join the production, then dropping out, then coming back, then leaving the whole thing altogether.

Now these e-mails reveal what really went on behind the scenes, through the medium of a massive spat between Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. Apparently Rudin wanted acclaimed director David Fincher to direct the Jobs movie, but a certain Angelina Jolie got in the way of that. Jolie wanted Fincher to direct her movie ‘Cleopatra’ instead and Rudin demanded Sony’s Amy Pascal to not let this happen.

Another interesting set of e-mails revealed today, concern ‘The Interview’ – the movie about the assassination of Kim Jong Un, supposedly the reason why this whole thing happened. The e-mails show that Sony CEO Kaz Hirai personally intervened in toning down the movie following North Korea’s threat of “merciless retaliation” if it is released. Specifically, Kaz wanted a particular scene in which Kim’s head “explodes” to be toned down, with Seth Rogan agreeing to reduce the “number of head chunks”.

This whole thing is unprecedented in nature and is clearly bringing the whole of Sony Pictures into disrepute. With the hackers promising there is “terabytes” of data still to be released, I don’t think this will be the last of our stories on this hack.