Sony will release “The Interview” after all

Sony has backed down from its backing down to North Korean hackers, announcing that it will release “The Interview” simultaneously  on Christmas day in select theaters and on Video on Demand. [Read more...]

North Korean hackers win

We blogged about  the hack of Sony pictures, apparently by North Koreans angry about “The Interview,” a comedy about an attempt to assassinate that country’s dear leader, Kim Jong-un.  The organization that broke into the company’s data released vast amounts of embarrassing information online, including racially charged remarks about President Obama from chief executives, insulting information about how the studio viewed certain stars, and financial details about who makes more than who.  Not to mention entire movies that can now be pirated before their release.

But then the hackers had this to say about the release of the movie on Christmas day:  “The world will be full of fear.  “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

With this dirrect threat,  many theater chains and distributors cancelled the showings.  Whereupon Sony has killed the movie completely. [Read more...]

North Korea hacks Hollywood

Sony Pictures will soon release a comedy about two reporters who are enlisted to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.  The movie, entitled The Interview, combines fiction with non-fiction, bringing the venerated “dear leader” of the notoriously touchy Communist country into a silly comedy plot.  But North Korea is outraged and breathing threats.

So apparently North Koreans hacked into Sony’s computer system, deleting files, stealing personal information about its employees, and downloading unreleased movies and making them available on the internet.

Notice how our inter-connected global technology doesn’t just spread the Western ideal of freedom.  It can also be used to attack freedom, to the point of authoritarian governments punishing people who aren’t even citizens of their country. [Read more...]

Professional trolls

Trolls–those who make harsh and nasty comments just to take over and disrupt discussions–are the bane of the internet.  It turns out, some trolls are paid for their work. [Read more...]

Supreme Court takes up Facebook threats

Does this message from an estranged husband to his wife after she filed a restraining order against him sound like a threat to you?

“Fold up your PFA [protection-from-abuse order] and put it in your pocket.  Is it thick enough to stop a bullet?”

Does it matter that it was posted on his Facebook page?  The poster is claiming that rants posted on social media should not be taken seriously and should have free speech protection.  The poster argues that his violent fantasies about killing his wife are no different from what his hero, Eminem, raps about and so deserve protection as artistic expressions.

The Supreme Court has taken up the case.  Oral arguments begin December 1.  What do you think about this?

[Read more...]

The future of sports

In Europe and Asia, thousands of spectators are rooting for their favorite well-paid players, listening to color commentary, and filling arenas to watch people playing video games.

The time may come when, instead of watching professionals play in the NFL, we will watch professionals play Madden NFL. [Read more...]


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