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Hundreds in Mexico Protest Telecommunications Law

Time - 12 hours 49 min ago

(MEXICO CITY) — Hundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico’s capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.

Protesters carrying signs that read “No to Censorship” and “Freedom of Expression” walked along Mexico City’s main Reforma Avenue on their way to the Senate building after organizing the demonstration on social networks.

The government says the proposal seeks tools to combat illegal activities on the Internet, including child pornography.

One of the most controversial articles in the law allows the government to request that internet providers “block access to certain content, applications or services,” including cutting off cellphone service or Internet access if it considers there is a risk to public safety.

“If they can block Internet and cellphone signals whenever the government wants that will leave us very vulnerable and go against our own security,” said Carla Sandoval, a 30-year-old who joined the march along with a friend.

In recent years, social networks have served as the main sources of information in many parts of Mexico affected by drug violence because mainstream media has stopped sending reporters there because of security fears.

Carlos Brito, a graduate student and member of the Network in Defense of Digital Rights, said the law could lead telecommunication companies to impose limits on Internet access to avoid being accused of promoting illegal acts.

“What we are saying is that maintaining neutrality on what goes on the Internet has allowed it to become what it is today,” said Brito, a graduate student.

Deputy Communications Secretary Jose Ignacio Peralta posted on Twitter that the law aims to punish those who use it for illegal purposes.

“It doesn’t oppose a free Internet,” Peralta wrote on Twitter.

 

Categories: Magazines

This Smartphone Is Apparently Soft as a Baby’s Bottom

Time - 12 hours 50 min ago

There are a lot of interesting things about the OnePlus One smartphone, from its sleek design to its use of high-end tech specs at mid-range prices.

But no detail stands out quite like this one, from Engadget:

What’s more, OnePlus took one step further and applied corresponding textures onto the back of the “silk white” and “sandstone black” versions. The white one is our favorite, as its special coating — apparently made out of powdered cashew nuts — gives a “baby skin” feel, which is most noticeable when you gently stroke it with your cheek.

I don’t know what’s weirder: that you can emulate the feel of baby skin with powered cashews, or that there’s now a smartphone you can snuggle up to in lieu of human contact. (I’d probably just swap in one of the optional wooden covers instead.)

Underneath the skin-like coating, the OnePlus One packs a 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB of RAM, a 3,100 mAh battery, a 13-megapixel rear camera (with f/2.0 aperture) and a 5-megapixel wide-angle front camera. The 1080p display measures 5.5 inches, and Android 4.4 is on board with CyanogenMod, which maintains the stock Android feel but adds some more customization options.

OnePlus says it’ll sell a 16 GB version for $300 and a 64 GB version for $349 starting next quarter–those are off-contract, subsidy-free prices, mind you–but the exact launch details are a bit shaky. The phone will first be available to 100 people through an invite program, and those users can in turn invite other people. There’s no word on when the baby skin smartphone experience will open up to everyone.

Categories: Magazines

9 Terrifying Digital Threats Lurking in the Shadows

Time - 12 hours 51 min ago


This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

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It’s that time of year again: Spring is in the air, Monarch butterflies are traveling north, and Verizon’s data breach report is making the rounds, freaking out already freaked-out chief information security officers around the globe.

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The annual report compiles and analyzes more than 63,000 security incidents (as well as 1,300 confirmed data breaches) from about 50 companies worldwide. This year’s 60-page document identified nine main patterns of attack, including point-of-sale intrusions, denial-of-service attacks and acts of cyberespionage. According to Verizon, 94% of all security incidents in 2013 can be traced to these nine basic categories.

(As for the other 6% of threats facing corporate America, well, ignorance is bliss, right?)

Here, our summary of the most pressing security threats for major companies:

1. Web app attacks

Hands down, this is the most common type of data breach. According to Verizon’s report, web applications remain the “proverbial punching bag of the Internet.” How do the bad guys do it? Phishing techniques, installing malware, and, yes, correctly guessing the name of your first stuffed animal, your oldest cousin’s eye color and your nickname in sixth grade. There are ways to better protect Internet-facing applications, Verizon insists, and it starts with two-factor authentication.

2. Cyberespionage

Incidents of unauthorized network or system access linked to state-affiliated actors have tripled — that’s right, tripled — over the last year. Espionage exhibits a wider variety of “threat actions” than any other attack pattern, Verizon says, which means that once intruders gain access, they’re making themselves comfortable and partaking in all sorts of activities, from scanning networks to exporting data. Verizon warns that we can’t keep blaming China, though — at least not just China. About 21% of reported incidents are now being instigated from Eastern Europe.

3. Point-of-sale intrusions

Given the recent high-profile Target breach, in which hackers gained access to the credit card numbers of some 40 million customers, this may seem like the attack pattern du jour. But Verizon claims point-of-sale intrusions have actually been trending down over the last several years. “Recent highly publicized breaches of several large retailers have brought POS compromises to the forefront,” the report’s authors write. “But at the risk of getting all security-hipster on you — we’ve been talking about this for years.” Still, retailers and hotel companies in particular need to be concerned about this kind of attack. It only takes one massive point-of-sale intrusion to scare away customers and investors — just ask Target.

4. Payment card skimmers

Skimming mainly affects ATMs and gas pumps, and is a relatively crude form of attack that requires a skimming device to be physically added to a machine. It’s hardly a new tactic, but what’s different today is the way that the data from “skimmed” payment cards is collected. Before, a criminal had to retrieve the skimming device; now, a thief can remotely collect the data using Bluetooth or other wireless technologies. More modern ATMs are designed to be relatively tamper-free, but this is still a big problem in some parts of the world, such as Bulgaria and Armenia.

5. Insider misuse

Not sure what falls under this category? Imagine someone akin to the rebel NSA defense contractor Edward Snowden, or pretty much any unapproved or malicious use of organizational resources. The most common examples of this are employees using forbidden devices (e.g. USB drives) or services to send intellectual property to their personal accounts — or, more deliberately, posing as another user and sending messages aimed at getting a colleague fired. According to Verizon, many of the people committing these crimes are payment chain personnel and end users, but C-suite managers were more to blame in prior years. Bottom line: Trust no one.

6. Crimeware

This category includes any malware incident that doesn’t fit into the espionage or point-of-sale buckets. The goal is always some kind of illicit activity, such as stealing users’ online banking credentials. Most forms of crimeware start with web activity such as downloads or so-called drive-by infections, where a virus can be downloaded when a user unknowingly clicks on a deceptive pop-up window. What can corporations do to combat these types of attacks? Keep software such as browsers up to date.

7. Miscellaneous errors

Oops, I did it again — as in, I sent an email containing sensitive information to the wrong recipient. That’s the most common example of this kind of unintentional data disclosure. Others include accidentally posting non-public information to a company’s web server or even snail-mailing documents to the wrong physical address. There’s no cure for human error (other than replacing them with computers, of course), but Verizon says corporations can implement data loss prevention software to reduce instances of sensitive files sent by email and tighten processes around posting documents to internal and external websites.

8. Physical theft/loss

Here’s a fun fact: It turns out that corporate assets like phones and laptops are stolen from corporate offices more often than from homes or vehicles. The primary cause of this type of incident? Carelessness. According to the Verizon report: “Accidents happen. People lose stuff. People steal stuff. And that’s never going to change.” The only thing you can change, advises the company, is to encrypt devices, back up data, and encourage employees to keep their gadgets close.

9. Distributed denial-of-service attacks

Last but not least, so-called DDoS threats include any attack aimed at compromising the availability of networks and systems. These are primarily directed at the financial, retail and public sectors. And while the motives behind shutting down corporate, consumer-facing websites remains the same — extortion, protest, or perverse fun — the tools at attackers’ disposal have become more sophisticated and more thoughtfully named, such as “Brobot” and “itsoknoproblembro.”

More on cybersecurity from Fortune:

Categories: Magazines

Barack Obama Just Ate The Best Sushi In The World

Time - 12 hours 54 min ago

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed President Barack Obama to Tokyo Wednesday by taking him to the greatest sushi restaurant in the world, the three Michelin star Sukiyabashi Jiro.

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The unassuming restaurant is located in the basement of an office building off a subway station and seats just 10 people at a time at a long bar. It is owned and operated by Jiro Ono, who turns 90 next year, who has been learning and perfecting the art of sushi since the age of nine, with Jiro’s eldest son, Yoshikazu Ono, pitching in. Their restaurant was popularized by Anthony Bourdain’s television show No Reservations, and gained mythical status after the 2011 release David Gelb’s documentary film Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

What makes this sushi so good? First off, the ingredients. Each morning Yoshikazu bikes to the Tsukiji fish market to select fish and seafood to his and his father’s exacting standards. In the film, the restaurant’s tuna dealer (they have a prefered vendor for each seafood variety) scoffs at an array of beautiful tuna, “People say there is good quality here today—there is nothing good here today.” Jiro has his own special rice vinegar for the sushi rice. “It has good body and is both mild and sharp,” the restaurant website explains. “Although its degree of vinegar is high, it does not have that pungent smell of vinegar. This is the perfect rice vinegar for sushi.”

Next, there’s the technique. Jiro’s apprentices train for at least ten years, and don’t slice anything until they first learn how to hold the fish. In the film, Jiro explains how he came to prepare the perfect octopus, saying his apprentices used to massage it for 30 minutes before cooking it. Now, it’s massaged for 45 minutes. The seaweed is hand-toasted over charcoals. Jiro or Yoshikazu hand-form each individual dish, applying just the right amount of soy sauce or salt to bring the seafood closer to perfection.

Jiro has spent decades mastering the proper temperature to serve sushi. The rice is maintained at body temperature, while the toppings are kept different ideal temperatures for the specific preparation. The seafood itself could be marinated or aged for days depending on the specific fish to meet Jiro’s standards.

Finally, the experience. While Obama and Abe were in the restaurant for 90 minutes, the average Jiro meal last little more than 20 minutes. Immediately after each bite-sized dish is consumed, the next is placed on the wiped-down plate. The sushi is eaten with your hands, and there’s no additional soy sauce or wasabi to apply. It’s perfection, as determined by Jiro.

There is only one menu at Jiro’s restaurant, his. The 30,000-yen Chef’s Recommended Special Course. And the drink list is spare: beer, or Japanese sake (though tea is also served.) Moreover, getting a seat at the restaurant is notoriously difficult. Reservations are taken one month in advance beginning at the first of the previous month and are usually gone in a matter of hours. At current exchange rates, the quick meal puts a large dent in the wallet, costing nearly $300, though this is down from more than $400 when the dollar was weaker against the Yen.

Joining Obama and Abe were US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and national security adviser Susan Rice. On his way out, Obama told reporters, “That’s some good sushi right there.”

Categories: Magazines

This Video Game Will Let You Be a Cat (Finally!)

Time - 12 hours 55 min ago

A few months ago, we reported that a video game that would let you pretend to be a cat is in the works. In that game, the player’s only objective is to knock things over. That’s it. You win by pretending to be a cat and then knocking a whole bunch of things over.

Now, don’t get me wrong, that game — which you can play in your browser — is a rollicking good time. It’s truly a delight. But now there’s a new game in the works that offers a much more comprehensive feline simulation experience. Because let’s face it: being a cat is about so much more than just knocking your humans’ stuff to the floor.

Simply titled Cat Simulator, this third-person game will allow the player to chase rats and mice, climb trees, eat, sleep, poop, and do all the other important things that cats do each and every day. It’s still in its early stages of development, and its creators have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise additional funds. They hope to create more realistic graphics and more cat customization options, along with other animal friends so the cats don’t get lonely.

Here’s a sneak peek. Right now it’s looking pretty low-budge, so here’s hoping that they raise more money.

(h/t Mashable)

Categories: Magazines

Instagrammers Post 216,000 New Pics a Minute and Other Crazy Internet Data Facts

Time - 13 hours 2 min ago

Every minute, 2.4 billion people on the internet churn out a lot of data. While data generation might not seem like the most interesting of topics, business intelligence company Domo translated them into digestible tidbits of information.

For example: Instagram users post 216,000 new photos every minute, which dwarfs Pinterest users’ 3,472 pins a minute. Meanwhile, Whatsapp users share 347,222 pictures a minute.

Domo
Categories: Magazines

Too Busy? 7 Ways To Increase Leisure Time, According to Science

Time - 13 hours 6 min ago

Feeling overwhelmed? Are you constantly running from thing to thing but never getting it all done?

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When researchers survey people, they say they’re too busy — about everything.

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Too busy to make friends, date, sleep, have sex, to go on vacation… or to even have lunch.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

In surveys, people say they’re too busy to make friends outside the office, too busy to date, too busy to sleep, and too busy to have sex. Eight in ten Britons report being too busy to eat dessert, even though four in ten say dessert is better than sex. We’re in such a rush that the typical sound bite for a presidential candidate has been compressed from forty seconds in 1968 to 7.3 seconds in 2000. Remember those unused vacation days? People say they’re too busy to take a vacation and too busy for a lunch break.

“The average high school kid today experiences the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient of the 1950s.”

And being this busy isn’t healthy — in fact, neuroscientists have found it shrinks your brain.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

…the prefrontal cortex. It is the key to human intelligence. In its size and complexity, it is, in short, what distinguishes humans from animals and makes us who we are. And, Ansell says, what she and other neuroscientists are finding is that when a human feels pressed for time, rushed and caught up in the overwhelm, that yellow blob does something alarming: It shrinks.

How did we get here? How did this happen?

I have an answer but it’s going to surprise you and might even make you angry…

It’s all an illusion. You have more free time than you ever did.

Do I sound insane? Keep reading.

You’re Not Busy. You Just Feel Busy.

John Robinson is the leading sociologist who studies time use. His colleagues call him “Father Time.”

Looking at time diary studies he shows that globally we all have more leisure time than ever.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

He insists that although most Americans feel they’re working harder than ever, they aren’t. The time diaries he studies show that average hours on the job, not only in the United States but also around the globe, have actually been holding steady or going down in the last forty years. Everybody, he says, has more time for leisure.

So why do we feel like we’re overwhelmed even though we’re not? Partly, it’s because our time is so fragmented.

Switching between checking email, making dinner, watching TV and finishing that report is more mentally draining than doing one at a time.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

“It’s role overload,” she explains. “It’s the constant switching from one role to the next that creates that feeling of time pressure.” When all you’re expected to do is work all day, you work all day in one long stretch, she says. But the days of the mothers she studied were full of starts and stops, which makes time feel more collapsed.

Multitasking is killing us. And the best part?

Multitasking doesn’t even work. It makes us less efficient even though we feel we’re getting more done.

In fact, it makes you dumber — effectively stupider than being drunk or stoned.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

No two tasks done simultaneously, studies have shown, can be done with 100 percent of one’s ability. Driving while talking on the cell phone slows reaction times and awareness to the same degree that driving over the legal alcohol limit does. And the distractions from too many things going on at once hamper the brain’s “spam filter” and the ability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. Or, as one British study found, multitasking makes you stupid— dumber than getting stoned.

Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and bestselling author of Driven to Distraction, says we have “culturally generated ADD.”

Via CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast- Paced Life:

Having treated ADD since 1981, I began to see an upsurge in the mid-1990s in the number of people who complained of being chronically inattentive, disorganized, and overbooked. Many came to me wondering if they had ADD. While some did, most did not. Instead, they had what I called a severe case of modern life.

Why do we do this to ourselves? In recent years being busy has become a status symbol.

When you ask anyone what they’ve been up to, what’s always the first word? Busy.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

Psychologists write of treating burned-out clients who can’t shake the notion that the busier you are, the more you are thought of as competent, smart, successful, admired, and even envied.

So what can we do about it? Here are seven things experts recommend:

1) Write It All Down

What’s the first step toward killing that overwhelmed feeling?

Do a brain dump and write everything down that’s on your mind. Writing reduces worry and organizes your thoughts.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

“Right now, you need to free up all this energy that’s being consumed by worry.” She told me to take out a piece of paper, set a timer for five minutes, and write furiously about absolutely everything that was bugging me… “If your to-do list lives on paper, your brain doesn’t have to expend energy to keep remembering it,” Monaghan said.

More on the power of a notebook here.

2) Prioritize or Die

Repeat after me: you cannot get it all done. And some things are more important than others.

So you need to prioritize or you will have a clean garage but get fired from your job.

Decide what is important and do that first. Otherwise you may never get to what really matters.

Via CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast- Paced Life:

At the heart of making the most of life today is the ability to treasure and protect your connections to what you care most about: people, places, activities, pets, a spiritual connection, a piece of music, even objects that are dear to you. But you must not have too many connections or none will flourish. Pick the ones that matter most to you and nourish them religiously; make that your top priority in life, and you can’t go wrong.

More on the power of work/life balance here.

3) Make Things Automatic

Things that are habitual don’t tax your willpower. The more activities you make into habits, the less overwhelmed they will make you feel.

Build routines and habits so that you’re not deciding, you’re just doing.

The secret to getting more done is to make things automatic. Decisons exhaust you:

The counterintuitive secret to getting things done is to make them more automatic, so they require less energy.

More on how to build great habits here.

4) Work Like an Athlete

We were not designed to go 24/7. We were designed to sprint, rest, sprint — just like an athlete.

You sleep in cycles and your mind naturally works in cycles. Alternate hard work with breaks to be at your best.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

We ignore the signs of fatigue, boredom, and distraction and just power through. But we’re hardly doing our best work. “We’ve lost touch with the value of rest, renewal, recovery, quiet time, and downtime,” Schwartz told me. It’s hardly a wonder, then, with the pressure of long hours, putting in face time, and the constant interruptions of the modern workplace, less than 10 percent of workers say they do their best thinking at work.

More on working like an athlete here.

5) Switch To Singletasking

Forget multitasking. That’s what causes the feelings of burnout and it’s not effective.

Discover what your peak hours are and protect them.

Focus on the most important thing of the day. No interruptions, email or calls.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

Terry Monaghan sought to train me to work in pulses. The idea was to chunk my time to minimize the constant multitasking, “role switching,” and toggling back and forth between work and home stuff like a brainless flea on a hot stove. The goal was to create periods of uninterrupted time to concentrate on work— the kind of time I usually found in the middle of the night— during the day.

More on how to use your best hours here.

6) Live in OHIO

Not the state. It’s an acronym: Only Handle It Once.

That email you’ve opened sixty times today, unsure of what to do with it? Stop it.

Make a decision. Reply, trash it or set a time to properly deal with it.

Revisiting unimportant things over and over is a huge time and energy thief.

Via CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast- Paced Life:

OHIO: only handle it once. When it comes to a document or journal or any concrete item, try your best to 1) respond to it right away, 2) put it in a labeled file, not a pile, or 3) throw it away. In the majority of instances, choice “3” is the best.

More on how to be efficient with the onslaught of email here.

7) Have Leisure Goals

Ironic, right? Most of us think about “leisure” as doing nothing. But that’s a dangerous way to view it.

Research shows we’re happier when we accomplish things (playing tennis with a friend vs. flipping TV channels.)

And given our habits, we’re prone to start checking email and firing up the usual 17 things we multitask on.

So set a goal for leisure. When you have a fun thing to accomplish, you can singletask on relaxing.

Via Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time:

Roger Mannell, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, has directed perhaps the only lab studies of leisure time. His research has found that when people have a sense of choice and control over what they do with their free time, they are more likely to get into flow, that engrossing and timeless state that some call peak human experience. “Part of the problem with leisure is that people aren’t quite sure what they really want. They don’t know what leisure time is for them,” Mannell said. “And they never slow down long enough to figure it out.”

More on how to make your free time more awesome here.

Sum Up

Just because the other people at the office are overscheduled and the other parents are doing 1000 things doesn’t mean you need to.

We all only have 1440 minutes a day. Accept you can’t do it all, focus on what’s important and do that well.

We’re all jealous of the people who are calm and cool under pressure. Be that person.

Next time someone asks how you’re doing, don’t talk about how busy you are. Don’t get sucked into thinking busy means important.

Busy doesn’t make you important. Doing the important things you need to do makes you important.

Join 45K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

Related posts:

How To Achieve Work-Life Balance In 5 Steps

Time Management Skills Are Stupid. Here’s What Works.

What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Categories: Magazines

TIME, VICE Journalists Detained by Separatists in Eastern Ukraine

Time - 13 hours 9 min ago

Pro-Russian separatist militia members in eastern Ukraine detained TIME’s Berlin Correspondent and four other journalists on Monday evening in an incident that highlighted the increasing number of threats to journalists working in the region. Four of the journalists, including the TIME correspondent, Simon Shuster, were released after about an hour but an American reporter for New York-based VICE News, Simon Ostrovsky, remains in custody.

The journalists were traveling in a car in the separatist-held town of Slavyansk when they were stopped at a checkpoint by armed separatists, said Shuster, who is now in the city of Donetsk. Shuster, a Ukrainian photographer and a British photojournalist for VICE left Slavyansk the morning after their detention. A Russian photographer who was part of the group chose to stay in Slavyansk.

In a statement released on Tuesday, VICE News said it was “in contact with the U.S. State Department and other appropriate government authorities to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague, Simon Ostrovsky.”

A State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said in a statement today: “We are deeply concerned about the reports of a kidnapping of a U.S. citizen journalist in Slovyansk [sic], Ukraine, reportedly at the hands of pro-Russian separatists. We condemn any such actions, and all recent hostage takings in eastern Ukraine, which directly violate commitments made in the Geneva joint statement. We call on Russia to use its influence with these groups to secure the immediate and safe release of all hostages in eastern Ukraine. We have also raised our concerns with Ukrainian officials as they work with local authorities to try to de-escalate the security situation in and around Slovyansk.”

Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the separatists in Slavyansk, told the Associated Press that Ostrovsky is “with us. He’s fine.” She said that the journalist was “suspected of bad activities” and is under investigation.

In recent days at least three other foreign journalists – two Italians and one Belarusian – have been detained by armed separatists, whose political goal appears to be either to secure independence in eastern Ukraine or to persuade Russia to annex that part of Ukraine. Insurgents in Slavyansk are also holding a Ukrainian journalist and activist named Irma Krat.

“We’re doing absolutely everything we can to win Simon’s release,” said Shuster. “The people who are holding him assure us that he has not been harmed, but refuse to say when they would release him.”

 

Categories: Magazines

Flash Gordon Movie In The Works

Time - 13 hours 10 min ago
Twentieth Century Fox have attained the rights to the screen version of the comic book. John Davis will produce while Star Trek 3 writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are also on board.
Read more at http://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/flash-gordon-remake-set-for-production/337316#yLgqyKod1EV0RKdc.99 Twentieth Century Fox have attained the rights to the screen version of the comic book. John Davis will produce while Star Trek 3 writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are also on board. There are currently no actors attached to the project.
Read more at http://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/flash-gordon-remake-set-for-production/337316#yLgqyKod1EV0RKdc.99

It looks like we can add Flash Gordon to the glut of action heroes getting the big screen treatment. Twentieth Century Fox has picked up the film rights for the comic strip hero, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Star Trek 3 writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay signed on to write the script.

In the original story, Flash was a polo player who was kidnapped by a mad scientist and taken to the planet Mongo, which was ruled by Ming the Merciless. Though he was first created as a comic strip in 1934 by Alex Raymond, Flash has had many lives over the past century, appearing in many spin-off comics and television series. Most notably was the campy 1980 movie adaptation starring Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Chaim Topol and Sam Jones and a soundtrack by Queen.

According to THR, Fox isn’t the only studio who has been eyeing Flash Gordon for an adaptation — not to mention a potential franchise — which isn’t at all surprising. At this point, it’s safe to assume that all vintage action heros will soon be getting the Hollywood treatment.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

Categories: Magazines

'MST3K' Creator Hints at Online Reboot

RollingStone - 13 hours 10 min ago
Thanks to Mystery Science Theater 3000 laughing at terrible movies has become a pop-culture institution Now 15 years after its last cancellation the series might be revived for a new generation of snarky critics with an "online incarnation" In Wired's recent MST3K oral history creator and original host Joel Hodgson hints at a possible...

Categories: Magazines

8 Things We Learned From the Tribeca Film Festival's Bob Weir Doc

RollingStone - 13 hours 15 min ago
Anyone making a movie about a member of the Grateful Dead would naturally gravitate toward Jerry Garcia But director Mike Fleiss best known for co-directing the 2011 doc God Bless Ozzy Osbourne had other ideas “I wanted to give Bob [Weir] his moment to shine” Fleiss says “I wanted to...

Categories: Magazines

Oklahoma Restricts Abortion Drugs

Time - 13 hours 19 min ago

Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill Tuesday restricting the use of abortion-inducing drugs in the state.

The new measure requires doctors to administer certain abortion-inducing drugs in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration protocol, which dictate that the drugs must be given in higher doses than are typically used, and only in the first seven weeks of pregnancy.

Opponents of the bill argue that banning off-label use of the drugs will force more women to get surgical abortions after 49 days of pregnancy, according to the New York Times.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently struck down a similar bill that Gov. Fallin signed in 2011, saying it effectively outlawed the use of abortion-inducing drugs. This new bill was written in response to that ruling.

[NYT]

 

Categories: Magazines

It’s Not TV: Why an Amazon Deal Could Keep HBO Relevant for the Post-Cable Era

Time - 13 hours 19 min ago

This morning, Amazon and HBO announced what amounts to an alliance in the Great Streaming Wars of 2014: For the first time, an Amazon Prime subscription will give you access to HBO’s archive of series, up to approximately three years ago. That means The Sopranos, Deadwood, and many other TV monuments that were only available through HBO are now included with your free shipping and future access to Jeff Bezos’ drone armada. (Current series like Girls will become available over time.)

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I’ll leave it to others to analyze the business implications of this move, which, from where I’m sitting, boil down at least partly to Prime’s quickly ramping-up ambitions, partly to “The enemy of Netflix is my friend.” (Both Amazon and HBO are in direct competition with the streaming giant.) But at least one of the big motivations for HBO could be cultural: making sure that its legacy, and its brand, are not lost in the emerging canon of binge-watched TV.

(Disclaimer: HBO is currently a sister company of TIME in Time Warner, though that will change when publisher Time Inc. spins off later in the year.)

One of HBO’s defining features–and a source of zillions of dollars–is that it’s a closed system. You want to watch its shows, you had to subscribe to it, and thus, had to subscribe to cable. (With a few exceptions: you could watch bowdlerized edits of Sex and the City on basic cable, or watch series on DVD–like a caveman.) This was true not just for new episodes but the on-demand back catalog available through HBO GO.

This paywall approach meant a more limited audience, but one that was paying, and paying top dollar. (Or at least its parents/friends were, in the case of folks borrowing HBO Go logins to watch True Detective.) If only a fraction of the total TV audience had access to HBO, fine–the network was making millions off that fraction.

But as streaming became mainstream, through the likes of Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, this meant a sizable chunk of the TV audience for whom HBO just didn’t exist. There was now a vast library of TV available on demand–and really good TV, from decades ago, from the recent past, from the present. If you didn’t want to get a $200+ cable subscription, you missed HBO, which was too bad, but there was always, say, FX and AMC shows–the final season of Breaking Bad exploded in the ratings, and that was attributed largely to a vast audience who had caught up on Netflix.

For a certain generation of TV connoisseurs, HBO was the standard of quality. But for another–especially younger ones, with Internet but no cable–it didn’t exist at all. Last year, TV critic and media-studies academic Anne Helen Petersen wrote about how her students, though highly savvy TV-lovers, were almost totally unaware of The Sopranos. Why? It wasn’t on Netflix. And if you’re a college student with little money but easy access to broadband, Netflix is a lot more attractive.

That might not matter for HBO right now; it’s still printing money by all accounts. But long term, that could make a big difference to its brand perception–that halo effect in which pop-culture addicts have the sense that they can’t be truly current unless they’re up to speed on its shows. And to the extent that HBO cares about its larger, non-economic cultural place (and it does), it could make a huge difference to the canon of Great TV in future decades. If you don’t give streamers more means of access, there will be a great big HBO memory hole that will just be filled in by Mad Men, The Shield, and Orange Is the New Black.

The new Amazon deal doesn’t mean there’s no point in subscribing to HBO, since it’s your only (legal) option for new episodes of Game of Thrones et al. But it shows that the network is recognizing a change in how people consume and discover TV–archivally, online, and all at once, as selected from a vast menu of TV’s past. If HBO wants to keep its cachet, it also needs to be part of the buffet.

Categories: Magazines

HBO Is Coming to Amazon Prime

Time - 13 hours 40 min ago

Amazon and HBO are joining hands for an exclusive licensing deal that will bring HBO’s content to Amazon’s $99-per-year Prime subscription service, with the first shows hitting Prime on May 21.

Assuming you’re a fan of the sort of content HBO offers, including some of the highest-acclaimed series in television history, that’s as big a deal as any in recent memory — the first time in history HBO’s paired off with an online-only subscription-based streamer.

It means access to HBO will no longer be limited to cable or satellite provider packages, opening the door wide for the first time to cord-cutters who’ve doubtless been waiting for a deal like this to go down. It means you’ll be able to tap HBO with anything that currently supports Amazon’s Prime channel — set-tops, tablets, phones, game consoles, etc. — and gain access to whole swathes of HBO content (as well as free two-day shipping and Kindle library lending) for Amazon’s standard $99-per-year fee.

Bear in mind, if you’re not a member, that Prime content is free to Prime members; this isn’t HBO signing up to let Amazon charge you to watch these shows. Amazon says Prime members will have “unlimited streaming access” to shows that include:

  • All seasons of The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome and Six Feet Under, as well as Eastbound & Down, Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords
  • Miniseries, including Angels in America, Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific and Parade’s End
  • Select seasons of current series such as Boardwalk Empire, Treme and True Blood
  • Original movies like Game Change, Too Big To Fail and You Don’t Know Jack
  • Documentaries including the Autopsy and Iceman series, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and When the Levees Broke
  • Original comedy specials from Lewis Black, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis CK and Bill Maher

Amazon says earlier seasons of HBO shows like Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will roll out “over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO.”

Not to worry, cable subscribers and HBO Go users: Amazon assures HBO content will remain “on all HBO platforms.” HBO hasn’t signed any of its series over to Amazon exclusively, in other words; only the right to stream existing shows through Prime. What’s more, Amazon says the HBO Go app is coming to Amazon’s Fire TV set-top box by the end of the year, the upside being access to the full HBO caboodle if you pay monthly for HBO: “1,700 titles online including every episode of new and classic HBO series, as well as HBO original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries, specials and a wide selection of blockbuster movies.”

Categories: Magazines

Latin Music Label Fania Celebrates 50 Years With New Compilations

RollingStone - 14 hours 20 min ago
Iconic Latin music label Fania will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with decade-specific digital compilations of its greatest hits and the first Latin music app for Spotify It has also teamed with SummerStage in New York City for a series of concerts dance performances and film screenings including a...

Categories: Magazines

Lily Allen Makes Bid for 'Sheezus' Title, Praises Pop Divas in New Vid

RollingStone - 14 hours 30 min ago
"The game is changing" a yellow-eyed Lily Allen declares early in the colorful video for her latest single "Sheezus" which will appear on the album of the same name next month Now she's ready to join the pantheon of pop divas who have established themselves since she put out her...

Categories: Magazines

Google Street View Now Includes Time Lapse Feature

Time - 14 hours 30 min ago
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Since it launched in 2007, Google Street View has become the closest thing we have to a teleportation device. With a few keystrokes, you can go somewhere without actually going there, walking sidewalks in Paris one moment and poking into Mumbai shop windows the next.

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But Google’s virtual map of the world has always been limited to the present — or at least the most recent images transmitted by its camera-equipped vehicles. Each time those vehicles captured a site, the new images would become searchable and the old ones were taken down and relegated to Google’s servers.

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Now, Street View is trying to turn its teleportation device into a time machine. Starting today, all the Street View images taken over the last seven years will be viewable as part of a new feature that allows users to see how places have changed since Google began photographing the globe’s nooks and crannies. It happens in a whirl. Buildings that took years to construct magically appear in moments. Neighborhoods humming with life one year are wiped away by natural disasters the next. Billboards featuring flip phones suddenly show smartphones.

“Our original goal with Street View was to build a map that is useful, accurate and comprehensive,” says Vinay Shet, a Google product manager. “So we’ve been capturing all these snapshots, and we thought, let’s use all this data and create something that users will love, that will be exploratory, and hopefully will be useful.”

The time lapse feature will appear in a window within Street View, along with a bar users can manually toggle to change years. (It includes a substitute for Pegman, the little yellow guy users drag to launch Street View. On time lapse, your guide is an avatar that looks an awful lot like Dr. Brown from Back to the Future.)

There will also be double the number of Street View images that were previously accessible. Google Trekkers have driven more than 5 million miles in 50 countries since 2007 and have gone many places more than once, giving most locations at least one time-lapsed layer.

Google’s most engaging images often involve construction and destruction. One World Trade Center in New York City and Rio de Janeiro’s World Cup stadium rise in seconds, while areas affected by the Japanese tsunami become instantly obliterated.

“It’s only been seven years,” Shet says, “but it’s amazing how many interesting changes we’ve found.”

One World Trade Center, New York City
April 2009 – August 2013

Google

The construction of One World Trade Center began in 2006, but for the first few years most of the work was below-ground. Much of the above-ground construction took place right as Google began capturing it from Manhattan’s West Street.

Soumaya Museum, Mexico City
October 2010 – November 2011

Google

This Mexico City art museum was financed by Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man. The modern, showpiece structure was constructued in a little over a year.

The Howard Theatre, Washington, DC
July 2009 – May 2012

Google

The historic Howard Theatre, built in 1910, was in danger of closing a century later but underwent a massive $29 million renovation that began September 2010. It reopened in April 2012.

Marina Bay Sands Resort, Singapore
November 2008 – May 2013

Google

The hotel, considered the most expensive building in the world at $5.7 billion, includes three 55-story towers with more than 2,500 rooms. It opened in June 2010.

Graffiti on Bowery Street, New York City
June 2009 – August 2013

Google

The side of a building on Bowery Street in New York’s Lower East Side neighborhood that’s seen a steady rotation of street artists.

Naucalpan, Mexico
November 2008 – October 2013

Google

An overpass gets built over an existing street in Naucalpan, Mexico, just outside of Mexico City.

Brazil World Cup stadium, Fortaleza, Brazil
February 2012 – September 2013

Google

A soccer stadium slowly rises in Fortaleza, Brazil, one of the host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

 

Categories: Magazines

Six Studies That Show Everything Republicans Believe is Wrong

RollingStone - 14 hours 30 min ago
The great 20th-century economist John Maynard Keynes has been widely quoted as saying "When the facts change I change my mind What do you do sir?" Sadly in their quest to concentrate economic and political power in the hands of the wealthiest members of society today's Republicans have held the...

Categories: Magazines

Watch Live: Astronauts Spacewalk at International Space Station

Time - 14 hours 44 min ago

Two NASA astronauts at the International Space Station are venturing outside for a spacewalk Wednesday as part of a planned mission to replace equipment that failed earlier this month.

Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson are replacing a backup multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM) that failed during routine testing April 11, says NASA. It is one of two MDMs that help control the external cooling system, mobile transporter rail car, and other functions.

The spacewalk, scheduled to begin Wednesday at 9:20 a.m. EDT, is the 179th in support of space station assembly and maintenance, the ninth in Mastracchio’s career and fifth for Swanson.

Mastracchio is wearing the suit with the red stripes, while Swanson is wearing a suit without stripes.

Categories: Magazines

Lupita Nyong’o Named People‘s ‘Most Beautiful’

Time - 14 hours 52 min ago

Lupita Nyong’o has been named People‘s “Most Beautiful”, landing a cover shoot for this week’s issue.

The actress, 31, was People‘s 25th “Most Beautiful” star. The magazine has been naming the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world since 1990, when Michelle Pfeiffer was named most beautiful.

Nyong’o shot to fame as the slave Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave and won an Academy Award for the role. Nyong’o recently landed a contract with the luxury beauty product brand Lancome Paris.

The actress told People that while growing up, she equated beauty with “light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,” and as a teen died her hair every color except blond and even shaved her head.

Growing up in Kenya, Nyong’o’s mother, who is the managing director and head of PR for the Africa Cancer Foundation, “always said I was beautiful,” the actor said. “And I believed her at some point.”

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