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Media

Ask Slashdot: Video Streaming For the Elderly? 165

Posted by timothy
from the remember-that's-for-not-of dept.
First time accepted submitter ChrisC1234 writes "My grandparents are getting older and don't get out much anymore, and with the demise of video stores (and not even understanding what a RedBox is), they don't see movies anymore. They've got internet access, so I'm thinking of getting them a streaming appliance and a Netflix account. So I'm wondering what device is the easiest for elderly people to use. I'm thinking either a Roku or Apple TV, but open to other options. It just needs to be easy to navigate and support closed captioning. Has anyone else done this successfully?"
Businesses

Hulu Not For Sale, Time Warner May Join 48

Posted by timothy
from the business-model-is-to-annoy-with-ads dept.
HighOrbit writes "Engadget reports that the consortium behind Hulu have issued a press release and have taken Hulu off the market. The current owners will maintain their joint ownership of the video streaming service. Hulu is currently a joint project of Fox, Disney (ABC), and Comcast (NBC-Universal). Instead of selling off Hulu, the consortium will inject $750 Million to grow the streaming service. Slashdot previously reported possible buyers rumored to be Yahoo, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, and Chernin Group/AT&T. Additionally Bloomberg reports that Time Warner Cable is still interested and seeks to join the current consortium by acquiring a 25% stake."
DRM

How DRM Won 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the subliminal-messages-in-all-those-FBI-warnings dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "In 2009, when Apple dropped the Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions from songs sold through the iTunes Store, it seemed like a huge victory for consumers, one that would usher in a more customer-friendly economy for digital media. But four years later, DRM is still alive and well — it just lives in the cloud now. Streaming media services are the ultimate form of copy protection — you never actually control the media files, which are encrypted before delivery, and your ability to access the content can be revoked if you disagree with updated terms of service; you're also subject to arbitrary changes in subscription prices. This should be a nightmare scenario to lovers of music, film, and television, but it's somehow being hailed by many as a technical revolution. Unfortunately, what's often being lost in the hype over the admittedly remarkable convenience of streaming media services is the simple fact that meaningfully relating to the creative arts as a fan or consumer depends on being able to access the material in the first place. In other words, where your media collection is stored (and can be remotely disabled at a whim) is not something to be taken lightly. In this essay, developer Vijith Assar talks about how the popularity of streaming content could result in a future that isn't all that great. 'Ultimately, regardless of the delivery mechanism, the question is not one of streaming versus downloads,' he writes. 'It's about whether you want to have your own media library or request access to somebody else's. Be careful.'"
Movies

Police, Copyright Industry Raid Movie Subtitle Fansite 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-fans-wanting-to-understand-your-movies-is-terrible dept.
Swedish Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge reports that a fansite providing subtitles for movies has been raided by Swedish police at the behest of the copyright industry. "The movie subtitle fansite undertexter.se, literally meaning subtitles.se, is a site where people contribute their own translations of movies. This lets people who aren't good at the original language of a movie or cartoon put those fan-made subtitles – fansubs – on top of the movie or cartoon. Fansubbing is a thriving culture which usually provides better-than-professional subtitles for new episodes with less than 24 hours of turnaround (whereas the providers of the original cartoon or movie can easily take six months or more). What’s remarkable about this raid is that the copyright industry has decided to do a full-out raid against something that is entirely fan-made. It underscores the general sentiment of the copyright monopoly not protecting the creator of artwork, but protecting the big distribution monopolies, no matter who actually created the art."
Movies

Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie 1448

Posted by Soulskill
from the flexing-his-iron-knee dept.
interval1066 writes "A story in Wired describes Orson Scott Card's quest for tolerance in response to a boycott for Gavin Hood's film adaption of Ender's Game, saying that 'The gay marriage issue is moot' in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. Card is a long time anti-gay and defense of marriage activist. 'His concern, ostensibly, is that someone might be petty enough not to see his movie simply because he spent years lobbying for laws that treated certain people as less than human. The fallacy he employs here — that calling out hate-speech is intolerance on par with curtailing the human rights of others — is a favorite fallback of cowards and bullies, and a way of evading responsibility for the impact of their words and actions.' I guess he didn't see this film and the box-office importance of wide appeal coming, did he?"
Entertainment

The Physics Behind Waterslides 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the slide-science dept.
theodp writes "National Geographic takes a high-level look at the physics behind waterslides. A lot of science goes into providing a safe 60 mph trip down slides like Walt Disney World's 10-story Summit Plummet. 'Safety is our number one concern,' explains Rick Hunter of ProSlide Technology. 'We're thinking about things like, "are you going to stay on the fiberglass tube," it's really easy to do a computer model and look at curves and drops and forecast rider position and speed.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Real Version of Homer Simpson's Dream Car Built 53

Posted by Soulskill
from the mmmmm,-dreeeeam-car dept.
Meshach writes "Some fans of The Simpsons have built a real-life version of Homer Simpson's dream car. In The Simpsons' world, Homer finds out he has a long, lost cousin named Herb Powell (voiced by Danny DeVito), who owns a car company in Detroit. Herb is so delighted to meet Homer that he allows Homer to design a car, which eventually ruins the company. This real vehicle is a working replica of the infamous car from the series."
The Media

NSA Recruitment Drive Goes Horribly Wrong 530

Posted by Soulskill
from the recruitment-unsuccessful dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian is running a story about a recent recruitment session held by the NSA and attended by students from the University of Wisconsin which had an unexpected outcome for the recruiters. 'Attending the session was Madiha R Tahir, a journalist studying a language course at the university. She asked the squirming recruiters a few uncomfortable questions about the activities of NSA: which countries the agency considers to be 'adversaries', and if being a good liar is a qualification for getting a job at the NSA.' Following her, others students started to put NSA employees under fire too. A recording of the session is available on Tahir's blog."
Books

How Copyright Makes Books and Music Disappear 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the copyright-is-the-world's-worst-magician dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new study of books and music for sale on Amazon shows how copyright makes works disappear. The research is described in the abstract: 'A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows three times more books initially published in the 1850's are for sale than new books from the 1950's. Why? A sample of 2300 new books for sale on Amazon.com is analyzed along with a random sample of 2000 songs available on new DVDs. Copyright status correlates highly with absence from the Amazon shelf. Second, the availability on YouTube of songs that reached number one on the U.S., French, and Brazilian pop charts from 1930-60 is analyzed in terms of the identity of the uploader, type of upload, number of views, date of upload, and monetization status. An analysis of the data demonstrates that the DMCA safe harbor system as applied to YouTube helps maintain some level of access to old songs by allowing those possessing copies (primarily infringers) to communicate relatively costlessly with copyright owners to satisfy the market of potential listeners.'"
Television

BBC Gives Up On 3-D Television Programming 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-waiting-on-smellovision dept.
RockDoctor writes "After spending several years on supporting the uptake of 3-D TV, the BBC has accepted that people don't want it, and are turning off their 3-D channels following an uptake of under 5% of households with 3-D equipment. I can just feel the joy at not having wasted my money on this technology."
Space

Iain M. Banks Gets Asteroid Named After Him 30

Posted by Soulskill
from the singing-a-song-of-stone dept.
Charliemopps writes "On June 23rd, 2013, asteroid (5099) was officially named Iainbanks by the IAU, and will be referred to as such for as long as Earth Culture may endure. The official citation reads, 'Iain M. Banks (1954-2013) was a Scottish writer best known for the Culture series of science fiction novels; he also wrote fiction as Iain Banks. An evangelical atheist and lover of whiskey, he scorned social media and enjoyed writing music. He was an extra in Monty Python & The Holy Grail.'"
Star Wars Prequels

Disney's Titling Problem With Its Star Wars Movies 279

Posted by timothy
from the what-occupies-the-mind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When George Lucas produced his Star Wars movies, he subtitled them 'Episode I,' 'Episode IV' etc. But that style will become inappropriate and confusing with Disney producing a new Star Wars movie each year, observes blogger Christopher Knight: 'Those were individual chapters of one story in an epic fantasy setting. And it suffices for that one multi-generational epic on film. Except now, there is the intent to produce several stories in that same setting. And they aren't necessarily going to pertain to the tale of the Skywalker family from Anakin to Luke to whoever it will be in the next trilogy.' Knight's solution is to retroactively amend the titles of Episodes I through IX to reflect it being the Skywalkers' saga, just as Lucas retroactively subtitled the first movie to be Episode IV."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Zynga Puts Random Stranger In Customer Support Role 158

Posted by timothy
from the have-you-tried-plugging-in-a-toaster-and-dancing? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A server error has meant that for the past few months, a man not associated in any way with social gaming powerhouse Zynga has been getting customer support emails. When Zynga failed to return his messages, he started replying to the customers himself. Hilariously." Sadly (though perhaps some of his correspondents would disagree), the glitch has now been fixed.
Television

Boxee Sold To Samsung 128

Posted by timothy
from the korean-volvo dept.
New submitter TheRecklessWanderer writes "Boxee, manufacturer of The Boxee Box and Boxee DVR as well as developer of the Boxee software, has been sold to Samsung. Boxee has had a hard time adapting to the quickly changing environment where appliances have converged with televisions (morphing into Smart TVs), and I'm sure Samsung is looking to integrate the software in some form or another into their smart TVs."
Transportation

Why Automakers Should Stop the Infotainment Arms Race 317

Posted by Soulskill
from the driving-under-the-influence-of-angry-birds dept.
New submitter SomewhatRandom writes "Dailytech recently published an article titled 'Detroit Automakers Vie For App Devs Amid Infotainment Arms Race.' Unfortunately for auto manufacturers, they are in a poor position to complete with companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc... and they should give up the arms race and take a different direction. Mobile operating systems and their associated hardware have a rapid release cycle that significantly outpaces vehicle infotainment systems. Additionally, mobile OSs are developed by specialized companies that can spend dump trucks filled with money on their platform. I'm sorry Dodge, Toyota, Honda and all your friends; you simply can't compete."
Music

MagicPlay: the Open Source AirPlay 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the does-not-involve-shivan-dragons dept.
New submitter JonLech writes "Ever since Apple launched AirTunes in 2004 (later renamed AirPlay) they have remained unchallenged in the Wi-Fi music streaming market. With various manufacturers releasing AirPlay-only Wi-Fi speakers, Android and other non-Apple device users have been left out in the cold. Today that changes with the release of MagicPlay, an open standard for music streaming (think 'HTTP for music') with a BSD-licensed open source reference implementation that any app developer or hardware manufacturer can integrate into their products. For the Linux fans out there, I've written up some instructions on how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a MagicPlay device."
Entertainment

Sarah Thee Campagna Makes Robot Sculptures (Video) 33

Posted by Roblimo
from the some-people-do-car-rescue-and-some-do-robot-rescue dept.
Sarah's CyberCraft "about" page says, "Here at CyberCraft Robots, our Orbiting Laboratory allows us to search local star systems for Artifacts from the Future." CyberCraft's Earthside component is in St. Petersburg, Florida, where Sarah assembles robots from found parts that others might think are just ordinary industrial detritus, but that she has learned to recognize as parts from disassembled or abandoned robots. She has an alternate version of CyberCraft's history for people "with less imagination," about how she jumped from being a math whiz to studying for an EE to working as a programmer to art... and into making art robots. Or robot art, depending on how you look at it. The robots, ray guns, and spaceships Sarah makes will not fight battles or clean your house. They just sit there and look good. And they get shown in fine art galleries, so we know they're art, not just ordinary robots. This isn't to say Sarah is the only human making robot sculptures. A Google search for "robot sculpture" turns up plenty of others. We met Sarah purely by chance. We easily could have met one of the many other robot sculptors instead, but she's the one we happened to come across first. Perhaps the Quantum Computer that runs the Orbiting Robot Laboratory directed us to her. That's as good an explanation as any, isn't it?
Cellphones

The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens 924

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-why-there-are-tasers dept.
theodp writes "The "average" movie theater reportedly has a capacity of 200-300 people. Which, thanks to the wonder of mobile devices, means that it also has hundreds of screens. And — thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and texting — hundreds of potential annoyances. Which prompts NY film critic David Edelstein to ask: How Should We Treat Texters and Talkers at Movie Theaters? 'Has our culture become so private that no one knows how to behave anymore in public?' Edelstein wonders. 'Is selfishness the rule rather than exception? Are people who say, "Shut up and turn off your phone" today's version of "You kids get off my lawn"?' Jason Bailey argues that the only way to solve movie theaters' talking and texting problem is to give in to it, perhaps with anything-goes phone-friendly talk-amongst-yourselves screenings in the seven and eight o'clock hours coupled with no-tolerance shows later in the evening. Any other ideas?" You could always throw it.
Australia

Australian Air Force's Recruiting Puzzle Shown To Be Unsolvable 113

Posted by timothy
from the we-meant-to-do-that dept.
KernelMuncher writes "Australia's Royal Air Force has been left red-faced after a job ad asked applicants to solve a complex math problem that was revealed to be unsolvable. The service posted the puzzle in a bid to attract the country's best minds to its ranks. 'If you have what it takes to be an engineer in the Air Force call the number below,' it read, above a complicated formula which candidates had to crack. But there was a slight difficulty: The problem had typos and ended up not giving potential operatives the correct contact information."
Space

Scientists Work To Produce 'Star Trek' Deflector Shields 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-don't-give-out-the-prefix-codes dept.
cold fjord writes "This might be useful. From CNN: 'Recent evidence from NASA's Curiosity rover mission to the Red Planet has revealed that astronauts on the round-trip would be exposed to high levels of radiation from cosmic rays and high-energy particles from the sun ... this would clearly be bad for your health — and it is proving difficult to find a solution. ... [S]hielding to completely block the radiation danger would have to be "meters thick" and too heavy to be used aboard a spacecraft. In contrast, ... science fiction fans have once again got used to the ease with which Captain Kirk gives the order for "shields up" and the crew of the Enterprise being protected instantly from the hostility of space. Perhaps though, a real Star Trek shield may no longer be science fiction — scientists at the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) certainly think so. They have been testing a lightweight system to protect astronauts and spacecraft components from harmful radiation and working with colleagues in America to design a concept spaceship called Discovery that could take astronauts to the Moon or Mars. "Star Trek has great ideas — they just don't have to build it," said Ruth Bamford, lead researcher for the deflector shield project at RAL. ... The RAL plan is to create an environment around the spacecraft that mimics the Earth's magnetic field and recreates the protection we enjoy on the ground — they call it a mini magnetosphere." Related: 'Deflector Shields' protect the Lunar Surface.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Kick-started Remake of Leisure Suit Larry Now On Sale 113

Posted by timothy
from the they-stay-the-same-age dept.
First time accepted submitter Zanadou writes "Al Lowe, the original creator of Leisure Suit Larry and other classic games, announced earlier today the final release of the remake of the first game of the series, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: 'This is the moment I've been waiting a year for – Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is finally available! Right now. Tonight. For PCs and Mac. At the Replay Games site. (It would also be available via Steam, but they refuse to release a game at midnight; they said 'Tomorrow.' Hmm.) iOS versions will be available as soon as Apple releases it in the iTunes store. Android will follow shortly. What a night! Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign. It's been a long, hard year but I think this game is well worth it.'"
Media

Netflix Ditches Silverlight With HTML5 Support In IE11 337

Posted by timothy
from the such-comfortable-handcuffs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Netflix today announced that it has finally taken the first step towards ditching Silverlight for HTML5, largely thanks to Microsoft, no less. The company has been working closely with the Internet Explorer team to implement its proposed 'Premium Video Extensions' in IE11 on Windows 8.1, meaning if you install the operating system preview released today, you can watch Netflix content using HTML5 right now. Back in April, Netflix revealed its plans to use HTML5 video in any browser that implements its proposed 'Premium Video Extensions.' These extensions allow playback of premium video (read: with DRM protection) directly in the browser without the need to install plugins such as Silverlight or Flash."
Movies

Buy the WarGames IMSAI 8080 and Possibly Impress Ally Sheedy 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-you-want-to-play-a-game? dept.
ilikenwf writes "Todd Fischer, the man behind this iconic prop from WarGames, the movie that spawned countless hackers, has come forward recently to announce its sale in the near future. Interestingly enough, the IMSAI 8080 still works, although the disk drive was damaged in shipping after the movie's conclusion, and was trashed."
Books

Science Fiction and Fantasy Author Richard Matheson Dead At 87 57

Posted by timothy
from the long-and-storied-career dept.
New submitter no bloody nickname writes "The BBC reports that well-known U.S. author Richard Matheson has passed away. He was 87 years old. Mathesons prolific career lasted for more than 60 years and his works include the novels Hell House, The Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, and I am legend. Matheson also wrote for television and cinema. Among the screenplays he wrote were the Spielberg movie Duel as well as multiple episodes of The Twilight Zone. Several of his novels have also been adapted into movies. In the case of I Am Legend this was done not just once but three times. Matheson continued to write books until recently and his most recently published book Generations was released in 2012." Adds reader Dave Knott: "Richard Matheson was a recipient of lifetime achievement recognition in both fantasy (World Fantasy Awards, 1984) and horror (Bram Stoker Awards, 1991), and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. Matheson passed away on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles."
AI

The Men Trying To Save Us From the Machines 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-bet-the-borg-queen's-name-was-Siri dept.
nk497 writes "Are you more likely to die from cancer or be wiped out by a malevolent computer? That thought has been bothering one of the co-founders of Skype so much he teamed up with Oxbridge researchers in the hopes of predicting what machine super-intelligence will mean for the world, in order to mitigate the existential threat of new technology – that is, the chance it will destroy humanity. That idea is being studied at the University of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute and the newly launched Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, where philosophers look more widely at the possible repercussions of nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence and other innovations — and to try to avoid being outsmarted by technology."
Businesses

Pro Bono Lawyer Fights C&D With Humor 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-it-is-worth dept.
Zordak writes "When Jake Freivald received a questionable Cease and Desist letter from a big-firm attorney, demanding that he immediately relinquish rights to his website http://westorage.info, his pro-bono lawyer decided to treat the letter like the joke that it was. In a three-page missive, the lawyer points out the legal, constitutional, and ethical problems with the letter that led him to conclude that the letter was a joke. He concludes, in a postscript, with an unsubstantiated demand for $28,000 in overpaid property taxes, and offers to lease the city the domain name 'westorange.gov' in exchange."
Star Wars Prequels

The Plight of Star Wars Droids 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the george-lucas-doesn't-care-about-metal-people dept.
malachiorion writes "Does George Lucas hate metal people? I know, sounds like standard click-bait, but I think I present a relatively troll-free argument in the piece I wrote for Slate. We stuck to the Star Wars canon, pointing out the relatively grim state of affairs for droid rights, and the lack of any real sympathy for their plight from the heroes, or, it would seem, George Lucas. C-3PO is more correct than he might realize, when the says that droids 'seem to be made to suffer.'"
Television

TiVo Series 5 Coming This Fall 178

Posted by timothy
from the are-there-even-six-bladed-razors-yet? dept.
WebGangsta writes "The rumor mill continues to grow closer and closer to reality, as The Verge is reporting the upcoming SERIES 5 TiVo will have 6 tuners, support OTA recording (an old TiVo feature being brought back), storage beyond the 2TB limit, and more. While some would say that TiVo today is nothing more than a Patent Holder (albeit a successful one), there's still a market for a cable box that doubles as a streaming player. Is hardware the future of TiVo, or should they go and just license their software to all? And don't get us started on those 'TiVo Buying Hulu' or 'Apple/Google buying TiVo' rumors... that's a different story for a different day."
Education

High TechCarnival Aims To Entertain, Inspire, and Educate 28

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-send-in-the-cyborg-clowns dept.
kkleiner writes "A self-described think tank of engineers and inventors called Two Bit Circus have completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to launch a high tech reinvention of carnivals from yesteryear. The campaign raised over $100k to launch the STEAM Carnival (as in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) to take place in Los Angeles and San Francisco next year. Showcasing robots, fire, and lasers, the goal of the carnival is to inspire young people into science and technology through these entertaining and educational events."
Movies

Man Of Steel Leaps Over Record With $125.1 Million To Mixed Reviews 364

Posted by samzenpus
from the It's-a-bird-it's-a-plane-it's-a-guy-in-front-of-a-green-screen dept.
The Superman reboot Man of Steel broke the record for the biggest June opening weekend ever with a whopping $125.1 million. Reviews have been mixed so far, ranging from: "DC and Warner Brothers have opted to produce a movie that foregoes a character-driven story. Instead, we're left with a trite blockbuster that holds beautiful special effects, an inspiring music score, a story that panders to the movie-goer who refrains from looking deep into the story, and neglects to define Superman as character, leaving him only as a hollow symbol and stock character, which ultimately leaves the movie about the events that transpire rather than the characters involved in them," to " What this version of the iconic DC Comics superhero does is emote convincingly. Thanks to director Zack Snyder and a serious-minded script by David S. Goyer (who shares story credit with his The Dark Knight collaborator, Christopher Nolan), Man of Steel gives the last son of Krypton an action-packed origin story with a minimum of camp and an intense emotional authenticity. Not bad for somebody who spends half the movie wearing blue tights." Personally, I found it to be the best 2-hour action sequence with 30 minutes of stock romance involving Superman that I am likely to see this summer. What did you think?
Television

Legislators Introduce Bill To Stop Set Top Boxes From Watching You 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-looking-at-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For a few years now, we've been hearing about TV-related devices that have built-in cameras and microphones. Their stated purpose is to monitor consumers and gather data — often to target advertising. (We'll set aside any unstated purposes — the uses they tell us about are bad enough.) Now, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have submitted legislation to regulate this sort of technology. '[They] said they want to get out ahead of the release of this new technology and pass legislation that ensures it would include beefed up privacy protections for consumers. They added that this legislation is particularly relevant given the recent revelations about the National Security Agency's Internet surveillance programs. ... Additionally, the bill requires a cable box or set-top device to notify consumers when the monitoring technology is activated and in use by posting the phrase "We are watching you" across their TV screens.'"
Government

Kickass Torrents' KAT.ph Domain Seized By Philippine Authorities 122

Posted by timothy
from the corporate-cronyism dept.
hypnosec writes "Kickass Torrents hasn't been accessible since sometime yesterday, and now it has been confirmed that the domain name of the torrent website has been seized by Philippine authorities. Local record labels and the Philippine Association of the Recording Industry said that the torrent site was doing 'irreparable damages' to the music industry and following a formal complaint the authorities resorted to seizure of the main domain name. The site hasn't given up, and is operating as usual under a new domain name. The government of the Philippines has confirmed that the domain name has been seized based on formal complaints and copyright grounds."
Music

Birthday Song's Copyright Leads To a Lawsuit For the Ages 442

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-many-more dept.
New submitter chriscappuccio sends this excerpt from the NY Times: "The song 'Happy Birthday to You' is widely credited for being the most performed song in the world. But one of its latest venues may be the federal courthouse in Manhattan, where the only parties may be the litigants to a new legal battle. The dispute stems from a lawsuit filed on Thursday by a filmmaker in New York who is seeking to have the court declare the popular ditty to be in the public domain, and to block a music company from claiming it owns the copyright to the song and charging licensing fees for its use. The filmmaker, Jennifer Nelson, was producing a documentary movie, tentatively titled 'Happy Birthday,' about the song, the lawsuit said. In one proposed scene, the song was to be performed."
Lord of the Rings

Dotcom Alleges Megaupload Raid Was Part of Deal To Film The Hobbit 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the hobbit:-the-speculation-of-com dept.
c0lo writes "Kim Dotcom alleges, in an 20 min interview with the Australian public television, that Megaupload was offered up by the New Zealand's PM 'on a silver platter' as part of negotiations with Warner Brothers executives for shooting The Hobbit in New Zealand. He promises that he'll substantiate the claims in court. He also says that the extradition case the U.S. government is weak and the reason behind the latest delay in extradition hearing (postponed from August this year to March next year) is an attempt to bleed Dotcom dry of his money. Also interesting, Dotcom says that the latest debacle of the massive scale online online surveillance by U.S. spy agencies has triggered an 'explosion' of interest in mega.co.nz, the 'cloud storage' site with user generated encryption."
Sci-Fi

Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Be Back As the Terminator 245

Posted by samzenpus
from the he-told-you-he'd-be-back dept.
sfcrazy writes "Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to movies after his role as Governator of California and the legendary actor is all set to play the role of The Terminator once again — the character which turned him into an icon. Schwarzenegger told the fan site TheArnoldFans.com, 'I'm very happy that the studios want me to be in Terminator 5 and to star as the Terminator.'"
Television

The Trajectory of Television: A Big History of the Small Screen. 134

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-in-the-day dept.
antdude writes "Ars Technica has a three pages article on the trajectory of TV--starting with a big history of the small screen. From the article: 'Though it's a relatively recent invention, television is a pillar of Western—and even global—culture. Even if you're that one guy who makes it a point to mention that you don't watch or even own a television, your life has inevitably been shaped by the small screen to some degree. Popular culture has its moments of being swept up in the comedies and dramas of the airwaves, and television (cable news in particular) indelibly established in the minds of the world that instant access to breaking news on faraway continents is a normal thing.'"
Earth

Pandora's Promise and the Problem of "Solutionism" 293

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the blind-faith dept.
Lasrick writes "Kennette Benedict of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reviews Pandora's Promise, a new documentary that focuses on environmental activists like Stewart Brand who have gone from vehemently anti-nuclear to vehemently pro-nuclear views. Good points brought up by Benedict that weren't really addressed in the film." From the article: "The flaw in the film's approach is its zealous advocacy of one solution — one silver bullet — to meet the tremendous challenges of providing for some nine billion people by 2050, while also protecting societies from the ravages of climate disruption. The kind of thinking that led some of these environmentalists to single-mindedly protest nuclear power plants during the 1970s and 1980s leads them to just-as-single-mindedly advocate a push toward nuclear power 40 years later."
Toys

Man Creates ATLAS Detector From Lego Bricks 54

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the type-thirteen-planet dept.
First time accepted submitter Vicsun writes "It won't be smashing hadrons at speeds that are fractions of the speed of light, but it will still be a hell of a lot of fun, and could be in your hands soon. A post-doc at the Niels Bohr Institute, in Copenhagen, has recreated the ATLAS detector in Lego bricks, and is now trying to transform his design into an official LEGO product."
Censorship

Greek Government Abruptly Shuts Down State Broadcaster 230

Posted by Soulskill
from the going-dark dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Greek government shut down broadcasting of all TV and radio channels operated by the state-owned broadcaster ERT at midnight local time, with police ejecting journalists and other employees occupying the building. The above link is a prominent Greek economics professor's (and Valve's in-house economist) analysis of the political motivations for the move."
Networking

UK ISPs Secretly Start Blocking Torrent Site Proxies 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the slowly-winning-the-war dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Several UK Internet providers have quietly added a list of new sites to their secretive anti-piracy blocklists. Following in the footsteps of Sky, the first ISP to initiate a proxy blockade, Virgin, BT and several other providers now restrict access to several torrent site proxies. The surprise isn't really that proxies have been added to the blocklist, but that the music industry and ISPs are failing to disclose which sites are being banned."
Music

FLAC Gets First Update In 6 Years 197

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the new-and-improved dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Free Lossless Audio Codec, FLAC, loved by audiophiles for its lossless fidelity has been updated to version 1.3.0. FLAC is an audio format similar to MP3, but 'lossless', meaning that audio compressed in FLAC doesn't suffer any loss in quality. FLAC v1.3.0 is the first update in almost 6 years and it is also the first release from the new Xiph.Org maintainer team." Big new feature: ReplayGain works for sampling rates up to 192kHz so you can finally control the volume of your obsessively ripped LPs.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Linus Torvalds Promises Profanity Over Linux 3.10-rc5 334

Posted by samzenpus
from the cover-your-ears dept.
hypnosec writes "Linus Torvalds has released Linux 3.10-rc5, and he is certainly not happy with the changes merged last week. Rc5 is bigger than rc4 and has code scattered across its entire code base because it addresses many outstanding problems. In the release announcement, Torvalds noted, 'I wish I could say that things are calming down, but I'd be lying. rc5 is noticeably bigger than rc4, both in number of commits and in files changed (although rc4 actually had more lines changed, so there's that).' Torvalds has warned that he is going to start cursing again, and said, 'I'm going to call you guys out on, and try to come up with new ways to insult you, your mother, and your deceased pet hamster.'"
Movies

Google Loves The Internship; Critics Not So Much 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-jj-abrams dept.
theodp writes "It was the best of movies; it was the worst of movies. GeekWire reports that The Internship — the new comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two 40-something guys who get internships at Google — is getting high praise from Googlers but low marks from movie critics. Google CEO Larry Page called the movie 'a lot of fun' in his Google+ post, while fellow Google exec Vic Gundotra gushed, 'I laughed a lot while watching this movie!' After screening a sneak preview with Google companions, Wired's Steven Levy wrote, 'From Google's point of view, the movie could not possibly be better.' USA Today's take, on the other hand, is that 'Google has never looked lamer thanks to The Internship.' And the NY Daily News calls the movie 'an unfunny valentine to Google.' But perhaps the unkindest cut of all comes from the NY Post, who suggests that 'maybe The Internship was secretly funded by Bing.' Ouch." Update: 06/07 20:02 GMT by T : Peter Wayner saw the movie (a "harmless bit of summer fluff"), and his full-length take below takes on some of the tech-company misconceptions that the film-makers gleefully adopted as script material.
NASA

NASA Teams With LEGO To Offer Model Competition 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the build-and-win dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today said it would team up with Lego to offer a competition to see who can build the coolest models of future airplanes and spacecraft. The 'NASA's Missions: Imagine and Build' competition is open now with an entry deadline of July 31. Winners in each category will be selected by a panel of NASA and LEGO officials and announced Sept. 1."
Security

European HbbTV Smart TV Holes Make Sets Hackable 39

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the all-the-better-to-spy-on-you dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "Vulnerabilities in Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV television sets have been found that allow viewers' home networks to be hacked, the programs they watched spied on, and even for TV sets to be turned into Bitcoin miners. The laboratory attacks took take advantage of the rich web features enabled in smart TVs running on the HbbTV network, a system loaded with online streaming content and apps which is used by more than 20 million viewers in Europe."
Movies

World of Warcraft Film Shooting Begins Early 2014 181

Posted by timothy
from the get-those-academy-awards-ready dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this year Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) was announced as Director of the long-awaited movie based on World of Warcraft. Legendary Pictures finally appears to be ready to move forward with production. Producer Charles Roven confirmed to SlashFilm that World of Warcraft: The Movie 3D IMAX Experience (suggested title) begins shooting in early 2014."
Movies

Green Lantern Writer To Pen Blade Runner Sequel 326

Posted by samzenpus
from the I've-got-some-good-news-and-bad-news-for-you dept.
First time accepted submitter MovieEnthusiast writes "Alcon Entertainment, the production company that own the rights to Blade Runner, have announced that the Blade Runner sequel will be re-written by Michael Green (The Green Lantern) and hinted at other possible Blade Runner spin-offs. From the press release: 'Writer Michael Green is in negotiations to do a rewrite of Alcon Entertainment's "Blade Runner" sequel penned by Hampton Fancher ("Blade Runner," "The Minus Man," "The Mighty Quinn") and to be directed by Ridley Scott. Fancher's original story/screenplay is set some years after the first film concluded. Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, along with Ridley Scott. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO's of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Green recently completed rewrites on "Robopocalypse" and Warners Bros "Gods and Kings."'"
Sci-Fi

Salvaging E.T. In Software, Instead of New Mexico 146

Posted by timothy
from the dust-to-dust dept.
Yesterday, we mentioned a just-approved effort to uncover the remains of goods dumped by Atari in New Mexico decades ago. New submitter Essellion writes "Among the games that legend has it are there is the Atari 2600 E.T. game, infamous for how bad it was. However, an excavator of another kind has cast doubts on how bad it was by exploring in depth the E.T. ROM, how it played and why, and designing some bug fixes for it."
Sci-Fi

Matt Smith Leaves "Doctor Who" 375

Posted by timothy
from the later-you-won't-know-you-don't-remember-this dept.
First time accepted submitter Dave Knott writes "The BBC has announced that Matt Smith will be leaving 'Doctor Who', after spending the last four seasons in the titular role of The Doctor. Smith will remain for the upcoming 50th anniversary special, where he will star alongside a majority of the other actors who have taken on the character, and will exit following the yearly Christmas episode. No actor has yet been cast as the twelfth incarnation of The Doctor, although there was a teaser involving John Hurt at the end of the most recent season of the show."
Books

Writer Jack Vance Dead At 96 83

Posted by timothy
from the 96-is-a-good-run dept.
New submitter angelofdarkness writes "Jack Vance died Sunday evening. He was 96. Thank you for the stories and adventures and for influencing the games I still play after all these years. From the article: 'A science fiction Grand Master, Vance is probably best remembered for his four Dying Earth novels, which take place in a far-future Earth where the sun has dimmed and magic has been reestablished as a dominant force. They feature a brilliant picaresque adventure tone, including the unforgettable thief Cugel the Clever, and they were also celebrated in a recent anthology Songs of the Dying Earth, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. These books contain Vance's characteristic ironic, lightly humorous style, which has influenced generations of science fiction writers." Reader paai points to the official Jack Vance website, and this 2009 profile in the New York Times.

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