Kim Dotcom MegaChristmas

Kim Dotcom taunts his adversaries in new ‘MegaChristmas’ pageant

By on December 12, 2012 at 12:12 AM.

Kim Dotcom taunts his adversaries in new ‘MegaChristmas’ pageant

Christmas is a time of peace on Earth, good will toward men, and Kim Dotcom. New Zealand’s 3 News reports that the Megaupload founder will make his stage debut in Auckland this week when he plays the role of “Santa Dotcom” in a satirical Christmas play called “MegaChristmas.” Dotcom, who will be joined by New Zealand Labour Party politician Jacinda Ardern and soap opera stars Kimberley Crossman and Mick Innes, apparently takes some shots at his many adversaries in the play, including New Zealand prime minister John Key. More →

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Netflix Disney Agreement

Netflix signs deal with Disney to exclusively show movies in first pay TV window [updated]

By on December 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM.

Netflix signs deal with Disney to exclusively show movies in first pay TV window [updated]

Score this as an enormous win for Netflix (NFLX). The content distribution company on Tuesday announced that it had signed a multiyear deal with Disney (DIS) to deliver major Disney theatrical releases to users’ living rooms in the first pay TV window. In a joint press release, the companies said that starting with Disney’s “2016 theatrically released feature films, new Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature titles will be made available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the pay TV window on multiple platforms, including television, tablets, computers and mobile phones.”

UPDATE: According to The Next Web, the deal gives Netflix “the ability to show those titles as soon as they’re available for anyone to watch in the first pay window, not just those with video on demand.” The companies’ full press release is posted below.

More →

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Steve Jobs Biopic

Steve Jobs biopic will consist of three scenes that take place right before product launches

By on November 15, 2012 at 3:44 PM.

Steve Jobs biopic will consist of three scenes that take place right before product launches

Steve Jobs was famous for his product launch keynotes, so it’s not entirely surprising that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has decided to make those product launches the center of his upcoming Jobs biopic. Speaking at Newsweek’s Hero Summit on Thursday, Sorkin said that the entire film would consist of three 30-minute scenes shot in real time that take place right before Apple (AAPL) product launches. Newsweek CEO Baba Shetty wrote on his Twitter account that the three products would be the original Mac, the NeXT Cube and the iPod. Regarding Jobs himself, Sorkin told the summit that he would be portrayed realistically since there’s “no point in writing about someone unless they’re flawed.”

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Review
Skyfall Gadgets James Bond

How Skyfall delivered a great movie by dialing down the gadget product placement

By on November 9, 2012 at 2:47 PM.

How Skyfall delivered a great movie by dialing down the gadget product placement

The latest James Bond movie Skyfall finally arrived in U.S. theaters on Friday. Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 for his third straight Bond movie and unlike in previous movies, he trades in the high-tech gadgetry for rawer mano y mano fights and action sequences filled with explosions that don’t ever feel too over the top. At its core, Skyfall is about both an ex-MI6 agent turned cyber terrorist who wants to kill “M” (Judy Dench) and take down the world with his computer hacking skills, and a Bond that’s out to redeem himself as the best secret agent that ever lived. But underneath all the British sex appeal and cyber warfare plot is a Bond film that is more than just a two-hour long infomercial made to schill Sony (SNE) gadgets and show off rugged Land Rovers. Skyfall is actually watchable because the producers have decided to resist bombarding us with as many product placement gadgets and instead just tell a story. More →

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James Bond Skyfall Plot

How a real-life computer virus inspired the latest James Bond film ‘Skyfall’

By on November 8, 2012 at 8:35 AM.

How a real-life computer virus inspired the latest James Bond film ‘Skyfall’

A computer virus known as “Stuxnet” was released into the wild in 2010 and crippled Iran’s nuclear program. The sophisticated attack, which has been described as the atom bomb of cyberwarfare, is widely believed to have been the result of a joint project from Israel and the United States. This is just one of several attacks that have taken place around the world over the last decade. The filmmakers behind Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, acknowledged the growing number of cyberattacks and inserted the title character into a realistic world where he faces off against a high-tech villain. This isn’t your grandfather’s James Bond, and while the film still features near-endless action, high-class equipment and beautiful women, Skyfall is also stark reminder of the growing number of problems we face in a high-tech society.

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Roku and 3M’s portable ‘Streaming Projector’ can output a 120-inch projection for $299

Roku and 3M’s portable ‘Streaming Projector’ can output a 120-inch projection for $299

By on October 8, 2012 at 11:59 PM.

Roku 3M Streaming Projector Release Date

Roku and 3M have a new streaming media device that has something the Apple TV and older Roku boxes don’t: a built-in projector. Touted as “the first-of-its-kind,” the Streaming Projector combines 3M’s history of tested portable projection technology with Roku’s expertise in providing digital media content. Armed with a rechargeable battery, the Streaming Projector can project an image up to 120 inches in size for up to two hours and 45 minutes on continuos play, which does seem a little short. In addition to the 600 channels from services including Amazon (AMZN) Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix (NFLX), smartphones and tablets can also be connected to the projector to stream content via an iOS and Android app.  More →

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Live from HTC’s Windows Phone press conference

Live from HTC’s Windows Phone press conference

By on September 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM.

HTC Windows Phone 8 Live Blog

We’re live at HTC’s (2498) press conference , which is set to get started in just a few minutes. What will HTC announce? Will it be the rumored Droid Incredible X ‘phablet’ with a 5-inch 1080p resolution display? The Windows Phone 8-powered HTC 8X? Or perhaps the HTC One X+ with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean? Rumors suggest HTC has some Windows Phone news in store and whatever the company announces, the big question on everyone’s mind is: Will it be enough to keep Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 and Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy smartphones from stealing the holiday season? Hit the break for our live coverage of HTC’s press conference, which is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. EDT, 8:00 a.m. PDT.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out our hands-on look at the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S! More →

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Live from Motorola’s press conference

Live from Motorola’s press conference

By on September 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM.

Motorola DROID Live Blog

We’re on the scene at Motorola’s press conference, where the company is expected to unveil its latest killer Android phone. Motorola is set to announce the DROID RAZR M and possibly a device called the DROID RAZR HD, though it’s unclear if there will be an additional flagship smartphone as Bloomberg has reported. Hit the break for our live coverage to check out all the news as it breaks. More →

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Live from Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 event

Live from Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 event

By on September 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM.

Nokia Windows Phone 8 Live-Blog

Nokia (NOK) has seen limited interest in its early Windows Phones, but not nearly enough to prevent three consecutive quarterly losses that topped $1 billion each. 2012 is a year of transition for Microsoft’s (MSFT) software platforms, however, and Microsoft previewed its next-generation Windows Phone 8 platform back in June. Nokia is Microsoft’s premier Windows Phone partner, and now we finally get to see what the Finnish vendor has in store for its new line of Lumia smartphones. Recent leaks suggest the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 will be among the handsets Nokia unveils today, but who knows what else might be in store? Our live coverage of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 press conference, which is scheduled to begin at around 10:00 a.m. Eastern, follows below.

UPDATE: Sorry, guys — the site crashed midway through our coverage of Nokia’s event due to ridiculous traffic volume. We apologize for the inconvenience and recommend you check out our hands-on post with the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. More →

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New Google studio aims to turn YouTube celebrities into actual stars

New Google studio aims to turn YouTube celebrities into actual stars

By on July 25, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

Google YouTube Studio London

Imagine if the Star Wars Kid could have had a real light saber, or if Chris Crocker could have had Britney Spears show up to comfort him in his time of sorrow or if Keyboard Cat could have a professional pianist teach him to play Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto? Per the Telegraph, it seems that Google (GOOG) is trying to make such wonderful dreams come true by opening up a new studio aimed at helping “some of the most popular YouTube posters make their videos look more professional.” More →

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Dark Knight teardown reveals how much it costs to be Batman

Dark Knight teardown reveals how much it costs to be Batman

By on July 23, 2012 at 3:40 PM.

Dark Knight Annual Cost

It’s a good thing that Bruce Wayne is so filthy rich because otherwise, his vigilante heroics would send him to the poor house. The Centives economics blog, run by econ students at Lehigh University, has been trying to figure out what it might cost for a real-life Wayne to run around in a giant bat costume every year, and has concluded that he probably pays $2.8 million annually, including $2 million for graphite helmets, $262,800 for Alfred’s salary and $74,880 a year for personal training, among other things. Although one has to wonder, given Batman’s effectiveness at fighting crime relative to the Gotham police force, why the city isn’t providing him with subsidies of some kind of help offset his personal expenses. More →

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Microsoft to launch ‘Xbox Music’ Spotify-like streaming service this year

Microsoft to launch ‘Xbox Music’ Spotify-like streaming service this year

By on June 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM.

Xbox Music Streaming

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new streaming music service that will tie in to its Xbox suite of gaming and entertainment services. Bloomberg on Thursday cited multiple anonymous sources in stating that Microsoft is in talks with major music labels in order to secure licensing for a new streaming music service that will compete with the likes of Spotify when it launches later this year. Details are limited, but the service sounds very much like the Zune service Microsoft already offers, which allows users to purchase digital downloads or stream unlimited custom radio stations. Bloomberg notes that Zune music services will be shuttered following the launch of Xbox Music, and users will be moved over to the new offering. More →

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