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Economist takes a close look at impact of file sharing on Hollywood

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 16, 2014 1:15 am

An economist, Koleman Strumpf, has published an academic paper that thoroughly examines just what effect file sharing can have on profits for the movie industry - and it turns out the answer's not a great deal.

 

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In Using Markets to Measure the Impact of File Sharing on Movie Revenues, Strumpf tracks statistics from both the Hollywood Stock Exchange and Bittorrent, and ultimately, BoingBoing reports, file sharing is not the monster it's made out to be. In fact, sometimes it even helps at the box office, in particular when leaks help to generate pre-release hype.

 

"Using movie-level tracking stocks in conjunction with the arrival date of illicit copies," the paper reads, "I find that file sharing has only a modest impact on box office revenue." That's not exactly nothing - but it's not quite the song and dance Hollywood made it out to be either. The full paper is available here (PDF).

Don't rule out a return from Crash Bandicoot, says SCEI chief

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 16, 2014 12:30 am

Woah! Old PlayStation staple and Naughty Dog retiree Crash Bandicoot could well make a comeback, Sony Computer Entertainment's CEO Andrew House has said.

 

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Speaking with Britain's Telegraph newspaper, House remarked that not only is it too soon to be closing the door on old friends like Bandicoot, but that the company has actively been thinking about the possibilities of bringing the character back, along with other franchises such as Spyro. "In concept, it is something we've been thinking about and discussing, and this is a shift for us," House said. "We've started to say that maybe there isn't anything wrong with going back and looking at characters that people still talk about, that were a big part of either their childhood or their youth. I definitely wouldn't close the door on that."

 

When Crash Bandicoot made his debut on the original PlayStation he was touted as Sony's answer to Nintendo's iconic Mario. And although he may not be quite that level of legendary - Bandicoot spurred platformer after popular platformer along with some well received spinoffs, like karting game Crash Tag Team Racing. As House says, it's certainly a bit of a shift for Sony to be considering such a resurgence, but we're sure fans new and old would welcome back the marsupial.

Classic 80's animated show SuperTed to be rebooted for new audience

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jul 16, 2014 12:01 am

Following off the back of news that staple 1980's animated shows such as 'Bananaman' and 'Danger Mouse' are being revived, comes confirmation from creator Mike Young that 'SuperTed' will be receiving similar treatment.

 

 

The delightfully irreverent classic series which entertained a generation of children on the ABC network in Australia and BBC1 in the United Kingdom before reaching the attention of Hanna Barbera in the United States followed the adventures of a super powered bear, an astronaut banana and a trope of ridiculous villains.

 

Creator Mike Young has publicly stated that the reboot won't feature the same characterisations and will be updated for today's sensitivities. "In SuperTed, we had a gun-slinging cowboy, a flamboyantly gay skeleton and a fat guy who had jokes made about his weight. And all these things you just wouldn't do today. But you can still write the show in a funny, entertaining way".

Continue reading 'Classic 80's animated show SuperTed to be rebooted for new audience' (full post)

AMD rumored to have 1GHz core clock on the next-gen Radeon R9 390X

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 11:57 pm

We know it's coming, but we don't know what exactly to expect. AMD is preparing its mammoth new GPU, which will be a huge 500sq.mm+ GPU, something that will arrive into our hands as the Radeon R9 390X.

 

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AMD's new Radeon R9 390X is being designed by Synapse Design, a company that recently announced new GPU tapeouts - including two 28HPM silicons. The first is the massive 500sq.mm+, which will be as powerful as 20nm SoC technology, which should end up being the new R9 390X. The R9 390X should have a core clock of over 1GHz, but will unfortunately not feature High Bandwidth Memory, or HBM.

 

We should begin to hear more on the new GPUs as time goes by - but if these rumors are correct, the Radeon R9 390X is shaping up to be a beast.

Apple, IBM team up to offer iPhones and iPads to the corporate world

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 11:50 pm

Apple and IBM have teamed up to help bring iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets into the consumer workplace, with the former rivals also creating almost 100 enterprise mobile applications. Both companies will team up on data analysis, mobile technology development, and cloud computing, providing both the iPhone and iPad enhanced corporate offerings.

 

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IBM once manufactured its own PCs, but after selling the PC unit to Lenovo in 2005, transitioned to B2B software and IT support. Apple is best known for its iPhone and iPad mobile devices, and wants to generate new revenue by selling products directly to consumers - and avoid potential "bring your own device" problems.

 

"In '84, we were competitors," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a joint statement with IBM. "In 2014, I don't think you can find two more complementary companies. This is a really landmark deal."

Continue reading 'Apple, IBM team up to offer iPhones and iPads to the corporate world' (full post)

North Korea has conducted more than 100 missile tests so far in 2014

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 11:18 pm

Shortly after firing two more ballistic missiles in its latest tests, North Korea has launched more than 100 artillery shells into the ocean, using multiple rocket launchers. There have been more than 100 missile, rocket and artillery tests conducted by North Korea so far in 2014, with military experts expecting tests to continue.

 

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North Korean President Kim Jong Un will order additional missile tests, in an effort to annoy South Korea and the United States, while developing its controversial ballistic missile capability. It's ironic because North Korea wants to meet with political leaders from the south, but will continue its missile tests regardless of what happens.

 

"The North fired 100 artillery shells between 11:43 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.," according to the South Korean government. "The shells fell 1-8 km north of the NLL [Northern Limit Line] in the East Sea. The artillery pieces are evaluated as having ranges between 3 and 50 km, and there were no shells that fell south of the NLL."

Israel shoots down Hamas-owned drone using a Patriot missile

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 10:14 pm

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) successfully shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as Israel and Hamas continue intense fighting in Gaza. The drone was likely unarmed and was promptly shot down with a Patriot missile, causing a large explosion - but Hamas said other drones were also sent into Israel to conduct "special missions."

 

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Although there is fear of armed UAVs, there are little details about the Hamas drone technology, and security experts say there is little fear of air threats targeting Israeli populations. Hamas reportedly says the group has surveillance drones, armed-missile drones, and some type of craft able to nose-dive into targets - a concern if some type of improvised explosive device (IED) is placed on the kamikaze aircraft.

 

"Drones are probably bigger and more problematic to smuggle into Gaza through tunnels than normal rockets, they are probably more expensive, and they are going to be more vulnerable and easier to shoot down," said Paul Schulte, London's King College senior research fellow of the department of war studies. "Their remote controlling could also be jammed by Israel."

Google, Novartis collaborate for contact lens that tracks blood sugar

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 9:15 pm

Google has partnered with biotech giant Novartis to create "smart" contact lenses that will allow diabetics to track blood glucose levels. The lenses would allow diabetics to measure glucose levels in tear fluid, with the data immediately sent to a smartphone or other mobile device. The contacts should also be able to help the eye better focus if a medical scare occurs.

 

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Novartis wants to "transform eye care" and hopes to commercialize the Google X contact lens technology, as the biotech company looks to utilize technology to help manage human medical diseases and conditions.

 

"We are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs," said Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO, in a press statement. "This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye."

Continue reading 'Google, Novartis collaborate for contact lens that tracks blood sugar' (full post)

Marine Corps developing amphibious assault vehicle

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 8:00 pm

The United States Marine Corps is developing the Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC), which will be used to replace the Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC). The UHAC could help shuttle Marines, supplies, and vehicles quickly and safely to the shore, including unloading multiple tanks.

 

 

The UHAC has two tracks utilizing foam flaps that allow it to cover rough terrain and still be buoyant while in the water. The current prototype is about 18-feet high, meaning it's not necessarily difficult to see, but developers hope to streamline it a bit smaller before final production. It should also be able to travel up to 25 mph at top speed in the water, though only reaches 5 mph during testing.

 

U.S. military researchers are always investigating how they can develop next-generation technology to improve battlefield efficiency. The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab has a difficult task to create realistic technologies while fighting falling budgets, and hopes its UHAC shows what the department can truly do.

Continue reading 'Marine Corps developing amphibious assault vehicle' (full post)

CNET attacked by Russian hackers, more than 1 million users affected

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 7:13 pm

CBS Interactive-owned tech news site CNET was recently hacked by W0rm, a Russian-based hacker group, which led to usernames, encrypted passwords and emails of more than one million site visitors. Meanwhile, CNET said it has identified the security vulnerability and has worked to fix it already.

 

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The hackers used a Symfony PHP framework security hole to carry out the database theft - and it was reportedly done to improve Internet security. W0rm previously took credit for hacking BBC, Adobe Systems and Bank of America over the past couple of years.

 

"It definitely can feel like a slap in the face to an organization to be hacked, but in reality, most of the time in circumstances like this it's actually a good thing," said Robert Hansen, White Hate Security Web security expert, in a statement. "W0rm was careful not to give the full path to the actual exploit, and informed the general public that the compromise occurred."

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