The Sony hacking scandal continues, with most US theaters pulling the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy from screening when it launches next week. Now, US officials are reportedly set to blame North Korea for the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, after identifying the rogue country as the point of origin.
The US government has said that North Korea was "centrally involved" even though the attack may have been launched from another origin. There's no exact word on what we should expect the US government to add here, but it's going to get very interesting. One thought: if North Korea is a backwards as the world thinks it is, this is a damn huge job for them to pull off on their own. Hacking one of the biggest companies in the world, leaving various three-letter authorities completely baffled on who did it for a while there.
All of this just makes me want to see the movie more, what about you?
NVIDIA has released a new beta driver in the form of the GeForce 347.09, with the company releasing it as a "Game Ready" driver for two big releases this week: Elite: Dangerous and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.
The former, Elite: Dangerous, is worth noting as it's the first time the company has released a new driver the concentrates on a crowdfunded game like this. Elite: Dangerous isn't some massive AAA title like Call of Duty or Battlefield, but to the fans, it is. It's great to see NVIDIA releasing a driver ready for Elite: Dangerous. MGS V: Ground Zeroes on the other hand, we have full support for it with NVIDIA explaining "ensures you'll have the best possible gaming experience for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Elite: Dangerous."
NVIDIA has also provided an application profile for Project CARS, as well as some new 3D Vision and 3D Compatibility Modes for various games, including Alien: Isolation, Far Cry 4 and Elite: Dangerous. If you want to download the new NVIDIA GeForce 347.09 Beta drivers, grab them right here.
It's no secret that Paramount Pictures desperately want to get a third 'Star Trek' film into theaters in 2016, to mark the 50th anniversary of the much loved franchise. When 'Star Trek' and 'Into Darkness' director JJ Abrams jumped ship to that other science fiction series, the studio turned to writer Roberto Orci to direct the third picture before he jumped too.
Now, according to a report from BadAssDigest, perhaps we know why. With the success of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' exceeding expectations earlier this year, grossing nearly $800 million worldwide at the box office, Paramount have looked over at Disney with jealous eyes, and have wondered 'why can't Trek be more like Guardians'?
'Star Trek 3' is undoubtedly coming at some point, but whether it moves back to a more cerebral and traditional science fiction, or a glitzy and fashionable take is anyone's guess.
If you thought the massive 6.7GB patch for Assassin's Creed: Unity was too much, have a little sympathy for Xbox One owners, where some of them are having to download an insane 40GB.
The reason, according to Ubisoft is an "issue with the patch downloading process is replacing the entire game instead of just the parts affected by the patch." Ubisoft is now "working with Microsoft on a solution to reduce the total download to the intended size so that you can get back into the game faster." The developer doesn't have an ETA for when the patch will be patched, but there is a workaround.
Ubisoft recommends uninstalling, and then re-installing AC:U for the Xbox One, which will then reportedly revert back to its correct 6.7GB download.
There should be plenty of new drone fliers in the new year, as drone sales are reportedly soaring ahead of Christmas. Amazon is selling more than 10,000 drones per month alone, according to industry officials, as interest increases while prices continue to fall.
"It's out of control," said Patric Egan, editor at UASNEWS.com. "I was at the grocery store and you can buy a drone. Everybody's selling them now. It's going to get weird."
However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said there have been more than 40 drone safety incidents per month, and that number will only increase as novice operators take their shiny new toys to the sky. The FAA instructs hobbyists to fly drones only by line of sight, and not to use video image tools, but it's not difficult to find video equipment available for sale online. Drone owners can also purchase long-range radio links, another feature that should only be utilized by experienced drone operators.
If you like your Christmas tunes a little bit.. shall we say 'non traditional', then we have just the treat for you. Legendary British actor Christopher Lee, who will be known to younger audiences as Count Dooku in 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones' and Saruman in the 'Lord of the Rings' has at the age of 92, just released his third heavy metal Christmas song 'Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing' for your listening pleasure.
The song has been released on Lee's own music label Charlemagne Productions Ltd and comes on the heels of previous releases 'A Heavy Metal Christmas' and 'A Heavy Metal Christmas Too'.
There is concern that the cybercriminals responsible for compromising Sony Pictures Entertainment, and then leaking stolen information, cannot face justice if being protected by North Korea, according to US officials. If North Korea sponsored the attack, likely recruiting hackers outside of the country to lend a hand, it would be difficult for them to face justice in the United States, according to an unnamed U.S. official.
Trying to accurately identify and detain hackers has been difficult for the United States and other western nations - as extradition for cybercrimes only happens in extreme cases. Even if the FBI and cybersecurity companies identify those responsible, they should be able to hide and remain safe.
"The Interview" will still launch on Christmas Day next week, but it's unknown how many theaters will actually show the movie following threats against theaters. Expect the Guardians of Peace to release more data stolen from Sony, as they were reportedly able to steal 100 terabytes of information from Sony's networks.
Sony Pictures has blinked in the battle waged against the release of 'The Interview' and the company itself, announcing that the planned Christmas release of the film has been cancelled. In an official statement released just moments ago, Sony Pictures said:
In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.
Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale - all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.
No word yet on what this means for international markets, but its assumed that these will suffer the same fate.
BlackBerry has publicly launched its Classic smartphone, the company's latest effort to appeal to consumers that have been lost to Google Android-powered smartphones and the Apple iPhone. Classic should be somewhat nostalgic for consumers, as its physical design resembles something close to the Bold and Curve smartphones.
The device is powered by BlackBerry 10, utilizes a physical QWERTY keyboard, dual-core Qualcomm processor, 16GB storage, 8-megapixel rear-camera and 2-megapixel front camera, and 3.5-inch display. AT&T and Verizon Wireless plan to offer Classic in the United States - an unlocked version of the phone is available for $449.
"The conversation about BlackBerry has changed in the last year," said John Chen, BlackBerry CEO, during a launch event at Cipriani restaurant in Manhattan. "We are here to stay, there is no question about that. Now we have to engineer our growth."
iRobot has announced the Create 2, a preassembled robot platform that is based off the company's successful Roomba robot. This new platform will allow educators to boost interest in STEM research among students, with a robot unit, 3D printable files, faceplate drilling template, and educational instructions and projects lined up for students.
The platform is now available for $199.99, and has everything necessary for students to immediately begin developing their own robotics platform.
"As a global leader in robotics technology, iRobot believes its greatest social responsibility is to ignite students' passion for STEM-related careers through the excitement of robots," said Colin Angle, iRobot chairman and CEO, in a press statement. "Robots have a cool factor unlike any other learning tool. Create 2, with its online resources, reliable hardware born of the award winning Roomba, and ease of customization simply delivers more robot than anything available to students an educators at or near its price. We are so excited to be able to make this available to the educational community."