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Sony Movies Leak Online

The company is certainly no stranger to security issues but this week has been particularly miserable even by Sony’s ‘high’ standards.

Hacked on Monday by a group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, Sony Pictures’ systems remain down today, a sign of the situation’s gravity.

While the attack appears to be aimed at punishing Sony for its actions in the past, reports suggest that the attackers also made off with an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of files. Seriously upping the ante, the hackers warned Sony that “sensitive” data would be released into the wild if their demands were not met.

 

DVD screener copies of four Sony movies began appearing online. Making matters worse, just one has been officially released in the United States. They are:

Still Alice‘ starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin (US date: Jan 16, 2015)

Mr Turner‘ starring Timothy Spall. (US date: Dec 19, 2014)

Annie‘ starring Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. (US date: Dec 19, 2014)

Fury‘ starring Brad Pitt (US date: Oct 17, 2014)

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Posted by plates55 - December 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

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Links MISC

LINKS YOU NEED FOR tuesday, march 11th

True Detective” finale crashes HBO Go

Wichita State t-shirt does not believe in Wichita State

George Zimmerman signs autographs at a gun show

Sorry, Planet X Doesn’t Exist (from Sal)

Good guy w/ a gun accidentally shoots, kills his pregnant wife

Finally, the Comedians in Cars XXX parody 

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Posted by plates55 - March 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm

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Pogo Sticks of Doom and Other Gems From a Massive Toy Fair

The Toy Fair is exactly what it sounds like. It’s been going on for 111 years, and it’s huge. This year, more than 1,150 toy companies squeezed into New York City’s Javits Convention Center to show off the new things kids will be clamoring for later this year. Toy traditionalists and forward-thinkers have much to get excited about: While apps, robots, and meme-based toys are all trending, plenty of old-school playthings are in the mix, too.

 

There was plenty for us older “kids” too. A home version of the classic Chexx bubble hockey table from the early 1980s — complete with customizable teams and your very own “Boo” button — was on display at the show. If you’ve always craved a 1965 Volkswagen Camper Van but want to avoid paying for gas, there was an actual-size, four-person Volkswagen Camper Van tent. And if you want to hone your ping-pong skills but don’t have anyone to compete against, the Joola iPong Pro is essentially a table-tennis pitching machine with a 100-ball hopper.

But enough banter. Let’s go look at some toys.

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Posted by plates55 - February 21, 2014 at 11:48 am

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Cool site that tests your upload/download speed

http://testmy.net/

 

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Posted by plates55 - February 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm

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Free Ubuntu E-Books

Ubuntu Linux Toolbox: 1000+ Commands for Power Users (PDF Guide)

This updated bestseller from Linux guru Chris Negus is packed with an array of new and revised material.

As a longstanding bestseller, Ubuntu Linux Toolbox has taught you how to get the most out Ubuntu, the world’s most popular Linux distribution. With this anticipated new edition, Christopher Negus returns with a host of new and expanded coverage on tools for managing file systems, ways to connect to networks, techniques for securing Ubuntu systems, and a look at the latest Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu, all aimed at getting you up and running with Ubuntu Linux quickly. Covers installation, configuration, shell primer, the desktop, administrations, servers, and security Delves into coverage of popular applications for the web, productivity suites, and e-mail Highlights setting up a server (Apache, Samba, CUPS) Boasts a handy trim size so that you can take it with you on the go Ubuntu Linux Toolbox, Second Edition prepares you with a host of updated tools for today’s environment, as well as expanded coverage on everything you know to confidently start using Ubuntu today.

Linux Bible

More than 50 percent new and revised content for today’s Linux environment gets you up and running in no time!

Linux continues to be an excellent, low-cost alternative to expensive operating systems. Whether you’re new to Linux or need a reliable update and reference, this is an excellent resource. Veteran bestselling author Christopher Negus provides a complete tutorial packed with major updates, revisions, and hands-on exercises so that you can confidently start using Linux today.

Offers a complete restructure, complete with exercises, to make the book a better learning tool     Places a strong focus on the Linux command line tools and can be used with all distributions and versions of Linux     Features in-depth coverage of the tools that a power user and a Linux administrator need to get started

This practical learning tool is ideal for anyone eager to set up a new Linux desktop system at home or curious to learn how to manage Linux server systems at work.

An Absolute Ubuntu Beginners Guide

Ubuntu is a free, open-source computer operating system with 20 million users worldwide. Long Description: This 30 page guide was written for beginners and will tell you everything you need to know about the Ubuntu experience. You will learn how to install and setup Ubuntu on your computer, find technical support in your community, understand the Ubuntu philosophy, navigate the Unity desktop interface and use Ubuntu compatible software programs. Also with this free guide you will receive daily updates on new cool websites and programs in your email for free courtesy of MakeUseOf.

Getting Started with Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) PDF Guide

This 143 Page guide will cover the basics of Ubuntu 12.10 (such as installation and working with the desktop) as well as guide you through some of the most popular applications.

Getting Started with Ubuntu 12.10 is not intended to be a comprehensive Ubuntu instruction manual. It is more like a quick start guide that will get you doing the things you need to do with your computer quickly and easily, without getting bogged down with all the technical details. Ubuntu 12.10 incorporates many new features including a new kernel supporting newer graphic cards, updates to the Update Manager, and full-disk encryption, to name just a few.

Getting Started with Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) PDF Guide

This 143 Page guide will cover the basics of Ubuntu 12.04 (such as installation and working with the desktop) as well as guide you through some of the most popular applications.

The guide will help you become familiar with everyday tasks such as surfing the web, listening to music and scanning documents. With an emphasis on easy to follow instructions, it is suitable for all levels of experience. As with prior versions, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS incorporates many new features, including enhancements to the Unity shell and HUD.

Old Computer, New Life: Restoring Old Hardware With Ubuntu

Marketing departments want us to believe that PCs, laptops and netbooks become obsolete after a couple of years, but it’s not true. Long Description: The computer industry has evolved over the years more rapidly than any industry in contemporary history. Year after year engineers have worked valiantly to bring us, the end users, faster and more capable hardware without sacrificing reliability. Programmers and application developers have been equally quick to develop new software that puts to use the new hardware specifications. However, while striving to sell more and more products, marketing departments want us to believe that PCs, laptops and netbooks become obsolete after a couple of years, and not replacing them makes us luddites. Read more…

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Posted by plates55 - February 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm

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Prince Targets Facebook Users in $22m Live Concert Piracy Lawsuit

International superstar Prince is back on the copyright warpath, yet again targeting individuals who are quite possibly some of his biggest fans. In a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California, Prince is chasing down fans who found links to his live concerts and posted them on Facebook and blogs. The unlucky 22 individuals, 20 of whom are yet to be identified, face a damages claim of $22 million.

prince1Prince Rogers Nelson is undoubtedly a great and prolific singer/songwriter, but if people want to be a fan they better pay for every last second of his music they listen to – or else.

Prince loves to file copyright infringement lawsuits and at the start of 2014 another has landed, ready to stir up a storm as the details become known and the case develops.

Filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California, the lawsuit targets 22 individuals, only two of which are referenced by their real names. The others remain ‘Does’ although eight are indicated by their online nicknames.

Sadly, with names such as PurpleHouse2, PurpleKissTwo and NPRUNIVERSE it’s difficult to see these people as anything other than Prince fans. But it is Doe 8 – THEULTIMATEBOOTLEGEXPERIENCE – that gives the clearest indication of what this lawsuit is all about.

Prince
 

“The Defendants in this case engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince’s material,” the lawsuit reads.

“For example, in just one of the many takedown notices sent to Google with respect to Doe 2 (aka DaBang319), Prince identified 363 separate infringing links to file sharing services, with each link often containing copies of bootlegged performances of multiple separate musical compositions.”

While it’s clear by now that Prince doesn’t share the same opinions as the Grateful Dead or Nine Inch Nails on bootlegs, for once a file-sharing site isn’t in the cross hairs. The lawsuit says that the defendants used Facebook and Google’s Blogger “to accomplish their unlawful activity”, either by running fanpages or blogs and linking to live concert recordings without permission.

The complaint lists several pieces of audio offered by the defendants, concluding Prince performances from 2011 in North Carolina, 2002 in Oakland and 1983 in Chicago. Apparently even the circulation of a 31-year-old live set damages Prince’s earning capability, with the singer leveling charges of direct copyright infringement, ‘unauthorized fixation and trafficking in sound recordings’, contributory copyright infringement and bootlegging.

“Prince has suffered and is continuing to suffer damages in an amount according to proof, but no less than $1 million per Defendant,” the lawsuit reads.

Prince has a long tradition of suing anyone who dares to use his material without permission, but doesn’t always carry through on his threats. A 2007 effort to sue The Pirate Bay went nowhere. This new lawsuit is likely to go much further.

Update Jan 28: Without giving any reason, Prince has now dropped the lawsuit. The dismissal was without prejudice so could be raised again in the future

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Posted by plates55 - February 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm

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Study: 80% of Super Bowl Ads Don’t Help Sales

That famous John Wanamaker quote about half of advertising spending being wasted may not apply to the Super Bowl : A study by research firm Communicus suggests 80% of the ads don’t sell stuff.

Indeed, the $4 million advertisers spend for a 30-second Big Game ad actually buys a much bigger chance that their ads won’t work, according to the Tucson, Ariz.-based firm. In general, Communicus has found about 60% of ads it tests don’t increase purchase or purchase intent.

Tide’s 2013 ‘Miracle Stain’ ad, which was well liked and did well on branding, still didn’t increase purchases or intent.

The firm reached its Super Bowl conclusions through interviews with more than 1,000 consumers before and after they were exposed to the ads in the 2012 and 2013 games. Before the game, Communicus asks people what they’ve bought recently and what they intend to buy in the categories spanning the Super Bowl advertiser base. Then it follows up with the same group within the next couple of weeks and asks similar questions as well as others in order to gauge whether consumers actually saw Super Bowl ads for various brands. For categories with longer purchase cycles, such as automobiles, Communicus uses other measures such as changes in intention to investigate buying a brand.

CEO Jeri Smith said it takes its first read on a typical ad four weeks after it starts running to allow for multiple exposures. She said one thing that she suspects hurts Super Bowl ads is that many of them don’t air regularly after the game and “we find that one ad exposure often isn’t enough to make anything happen.”

She believes there are other factors at play, too.

“The advertisers really dial up the entertainment quotient to pop to the top of the USA Today rankings and such,” she said. “But we find the brand association with Super Bowl commercials is much lower than you’d get with a typical buy, just because of the way the creative is structured.”

Super Bowl ads actually do better than average in ad awareness, with 44% of people remembering they’ve seen an average Super Bowl ad vs. 32% for other ads that get similar gross-rating-point exposure, Ms. Smith said. But because the creative often focuses less on the brands, she said, people not surprisingly remember the brands less often in Super Bowl ads. People who remember seeing a Super Bowl ad recall the brand 35% of the time vs. about half the time for other ads, she said.

The Super Bowl works better for new products, Ms. Smith said, because the ad message tends to be clearer. Yet, some brands without any real news have fared well too.

Budweiser‘s “Brotherhood” ad from the 2013 game, showing the relationship between a Clydesdale and its trainer, fared well in terms of entertainment value and increasing purchase intent, she said, because the iconic horse is so well linked to the brand and the creative was compelling. “Beer is an affinity product,” she said. “I want a beer that makes me feel good about myself.”

But Tide’s 2013 “Miracle Stain” ad, which was well liked and did well on branding, still didn’t increase purchases or intent, according to Ms. Smith. “It didn’t tell people anything they didn’t already know,” she said. “And unlike Budweiser, I don’t buy Tide because of my personal connection.”

Long-form commercials such as Tide’s 60-second spot “run the risk of people being so caught up in the story that they forget about the brand,” Ms. Smith said. And in “Miracle Stain,” the brand appeared at the end as “kind of the anti-hero” by eliminating a stain that looked like former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Joe Montana.

Meanwhile, last year’s Mercedes spot did well because it drove home the message that the brand had a more affordable model coming and helped boost interest in the brand more broadly. But most of the automotive commercials “go to the bottom of the list in terms of effectiveness because they all run together in people’s minds,” she said.

Communicus uses some of the same purchase-comparison metrics copy pre-testing firms use, but gauges the ads’ effect on consumers who’ve seen them (or not seen them) in the real world rather than through forced viewing. Asking about purchase intent is not precise as sales data but is superior in isolating the impact of the advertising with the individuals involved, since they’re going back pre- and post with the same individuals and the only real variable is whether they saw the ad (given that both groups are just as likely to have been influenced by promotions or other factors).

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Posted by plates55 - January 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm

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Startup Spotlight: ResolutionTube helps technicians fix broken machines with a mobile app

When Arnav Anand worked as a technician at Boston Scientific, he sometimes spent hours — even days — trying to fix machines. The whole process ended up costing the company millions of dollars annually.

He knew there was a better way.

“With the advent of mobile and other developments within the industry, I saw an opportunity to fix this problem and, in fact, fundamentally change the way customer service is done today,” Anand said.

So, Anand took the entrepreneur leap and started ResolutionTube in August of 2012. The company uses a mobile app and augmented reality to bring intelligent technology to the physical-product troubleshooting process. The goal is to help technicians fix problems faster and in turn, save money.

arnav

ResolutionTube CEO Arnav Anand.

“We have a big vision: to fundamentally change the way broken machines are fixed and in the long run how customer service is done altogether,” Anand said.

Resolution Tube, a three-man team currently in Techstars Seattle, is already building an app for Google Glass. We caught up with Anand to learn more about the company in the latest edition of Startup Spotlight.

Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: ResolutionTube is a mobile application for people who fix complicated machines, helping them collaborate and access important information, at a fraction of their current cost and time.

Inspiration hit us when … For the last decade or more, my life has been in manufacturing. During my last job at Boston Scientific, I was managing the manufacturing floor at a large medical device company. Whenever a machine would go down it would cost the company tens of thousands of dollars and we would need to fly in an engineer from the machine manufacturer to fix the troubled machine. During the same time, I chanced upon a video about Telemedicine. My fixing of machines had a strong analogy with the doctors treating remote patients remotely. With remote troubleshooting facilities, doctors were treating sick patients separated by thousands of miles and similarly technicians could treat their sick machines. This spawned a flurry of ideas for machine repair collaboration.

resolutiontube12VC, Angel or Bootstrap: Angel and/or VC. We’ve made a ton of progress on absolutely bootstrapped money, but we are always looking for ways to “do more faster” (as per the TechStars motto). With a little extra fuel we are looking to kick things into high gear and grow this company as fast as possible!

Our ‘secret sauce’ is: Paul Graham said it best when he boiled being a good founder down to two words: relentlessly resourceful. We believe in the power of hard work and determination, and we will do anything (within moral and ethical parameters, of course) to make this business a success!

The smartest move we’ve made so far: Spencer Poff, a young ambitious and smart UC Berkeley engineering senior, started working with us for sometime. Just a few days before his graduation we got the offer to pilot our product at a customer on the East Coast. We as a team from Berkeley made the fast call to abandon all other obligations and move to the East Coast to test our product in the Field and get real feedback!

The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: We really should probably be sleeping more…

Would you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: Bezos. His tenacity is truly inspiring and resonates with our philosophy on what it takes to be successful.

Our world domination strategy starts when: Last August.

Rivals should fear us because: We are laser-focused on our customers and are willing to do whatever it takes. We as a team have stayed and worked out of an office 24/7 to meet customer deadlines. We will not stop until this business is off the ground and soaring.

resolutiontubelogoWe are truly unique because: We care deeply about all of our customers, not just the decision-makers. We are passionate about making a product that is not just extremely useful, but also one that people love to use.

The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: There’s a new hurdle every day, we just focus on doing our best to cross them one at a time. The way how we managed to overcome the visa challenge always keeps our faith in being optimistic that things will eventually work out.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: I don’t know if we are qualified to be giving out advice just yet, but I’d say one thing we’ve learned is that in entrepreneurship good things happen to those who work hard, are willing to fail and then wake up again to keep pushing on the journey. Just keep pushing forward!

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Posted by plates55 - December 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm

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The Top 7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2014

Strap yourself in, it’s going to be a wild ride. In considering the changes we’ve seen in technology over the past year, I’m bracing myself for unprecedented growth when it comes to anytime, anywhere, on-demand information and entertainment.

Based on the trends we’ve seen so far in 2013, I predict 2014 will see many fledgling technologies mature and grow beyond what we could have imagined just a few years ago.

So without further ado, here are my top 7 predictions for technology trends that will dominate 2014.

1. Consumers will come to expect Smart TV capabilities

With Smart TV shipments expected to reach 123 million in 2014 – up from about 84 million in 2012 – we are poised to see explosive growth in this industry.

In the midst of this growth, we will continue to see fierce competition between major players like Samsung, Panasonic, and LG. Prices will need to continue to drop, as more consumers crave, and even expect, the ability to use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and their web browser via their TV.

Of course, the development we’re all waiting for in 2014 is the release of Apple’s much anticipated iTV. It appears the iTV is now in the early development stage, and that Apple may be in the process of making a deal with Time Warner to facilitate programming on Apple devices.

The device is rumoured to include iCloud sync, the ability to control your iPhone, and ultra HD LCD panels. Keep an eye out for this release as early as summer 2014.

2. Smart watches will become ‘smarter’ Rather than having to pull out your smartphone or tablet for frequent email, text and social media updates, you’ll glance at your watch.

2014 is the year to keep an eye out for the Google watch. Rumor has it the device will integrate with Google Now, which aims to seamlessly provide relevant information when and where you want it (and before you’d asked for it).

We’ll see smart watches become even smarter, learning what news and updates are important to us, when we want to receive them, and responding more accurately to voice controls.

For smart watches to succeed, they’ll need to offer us something that our smart phone can’t; whether this means more intuitive notifications, or the ability to learn from our daily activities and behaviours (for instance, heart rate monitoring), it will be interesting to see.

3. Google Glass will still be in “wait and see” mode

While Google Glass hasn’t yet been released to the general public, we’ve heard enough about it to know it’s still very early days for this technology. With an estimated 60,000 units expected to sell in 2013, and a predicted several million in 2014, it’s still a long way from becoming a common household technology.

These augmented reality glasses allow you to access information like email and texts, take hands-free pictures and videos, effortlessly translate your voice, and even receive overlaid walking, cycling or driving directions, right within your field of vision.

It’s predicted that both Google Glass 2.0, and its companion, the Glass App Store, should be released to the general public sometime in 2014.
Be on the lookout for competition in this market, particularly from major players like Samsung. I predict we’ll see much of this competition aimed at niche markets like sports and healthcare.

4. Other applications and uses for Apple’s TouchID will emerge

The release of the iPhone 5S has, for the first time, made on-the-go fingerprint security a reality. The potential for Touch ID technology to really take off is, I believe, an inevitable reality. Touch ID, which uses a high-resolution camera to scan your fingerprint, allows convenient ultra-security for your iPhone.

Currently, the technology is limited; the only real uses are unlocking your iPhone, and making purchases in the App store. I predict that we’ll see this technology incorporated into other Apple products soon. I think we’ll even see TouchId integrated into MacBook products later this year or next.

I also predict TouchID, though not quite bug-free, will be used for other purposes, such as to securely integrate with home security systems, access password software, and even pay for groceries (more on that in an upcoming article).

5. Xbox One and PS4 will blur the lines between entertainment and video gaming

The new gaming consoles (Xbox One and PS4) will increasingly integrate social media-like connectivity between players. Players could have followers, work together to achieve in-game goals, and new technology will allow for equally-skilled players to compete.

The PS4, slated to be released November 15th, will track both the controller and the player’s face and movements for more intuitive play.

Apart from great gaming, these systems will allow for a far more integrative entertainment experience. For instance, rather than switching between TV, gaming, music and sports, you’ll be able to do two or even three activities side-by-side, or by easily switching back and forth.

6. 3D Printing will begin to revolutionize production

We’ve seen a huge rise in the popularity of 3D printing this year, coupled with a dramatic fall in pricing. The ability to easily create multi-layered products that are actually usable – well, that’s pretty amazing.

I’ll be watching for a movement towards simple products being produced close to home, and to greater customization given the ease of manufacturing. I think it’s inevitable that manufacturing in countries such as China will become less appealing and lucrative for businesses given the high costs of shipping and managing overseas contracts.

I don’t expect these changes to reach their full effect in 2014, however I believe businesses will be starting to consider how this will affect their production plans for 2015 and beyond. 7. The movement towards natural language search will make search more accurate and intuitive

There was a time when we used terms like “personal digital assistant” to describe a hand-held calendar. Oh, how times have changed.

With the emergence of intelligent personal assistants like Google Now and Apple’s Siri, the goal is to have information intuitively delivered to you, often before you even ask for it. The shift seems to be away from having to actively request data, and instead to have it passively delivered to your device.

Natural language search will continue to overtake keyword-based search, as seen by Google’s move towards longer, more natural searches in its recent release of Hummingbird, Google’s largest algorithm update thus far.

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Posted by plates55 - December 16, 2013 at 9:05 am

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Clip of the Day: Could You Survive as a Sea Turtle?

A new video from TED-Ed showcases the life of a sea turtle, including what it takes to make it to adulthood.

Sea turtles are miraculous,” narrator and educator Scott Gass begins. “Sea turtles have survived through the challenges of eons…Throughout the centuries and up until today, every living sea turtle has overcome the odds.”

From a whopping thousand eggs laid in a nesting season, just 20 survive to breeding age—but in today’s environment, only two actually survive, because human interference has wiped out the rest.

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Posted by plates55 - December 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

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