Tech News

Sony Pulls The Interview After Terror Threat From Hackers, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 18-12-2014

Also, the BlackBerry Classic brings sexy back, Netflix is never going offline, Yo gets festive, Wikipedia edits 2014, and the best Star Wars Christmas lights ever.


Sony Pulls The Interview Because Of Hackers

Sony Pictures has pulled The Interview after several major movie theater chains decided against showing the movie. The Interview is a comedy film directed by Evan Goldberg, and starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. The latter play journalists sent to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong-un after securing an interview with the supreme leader.

In November, Sony Pictures suffered a major hack Sony Movies Leak Online, Traditional Taxis Are Dying, & More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Sony's e-paper watch, piracy in the UK, droning on about Chernobyl, and George Lucas ruins the new Star Wars VII teaser trailer. Read More of its corporate computer system. The power behind the hacking group responsible hasn’t yet been identified, but there is speculation that North Korea is involved. However, the evidence appears to be sketchy, at best. Or, at worst, non-existent.

The theater chains balked at screening the flick after the same hacking group recently sent out a threat to any theater screening The Interview. The message, as sent to various news organizations, read:

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
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.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

With the theater chains deciding the risks associated with screening The Interview were too great, Sony was forced to pull the film entirely, saying, “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.

It’s entirely possible that a gaggle of giggling 12-year-olds are sitting in their bedrooms shocked at the impact their words and actions have had. It’s also possible that this is one of the best viral advertising campaigns 10 Of The Best Viral Video Ad Campaigns Read More ever conceived, and The Interview will be released at a later date with more interest than it ever had originally.


This is all possible, but not likely. The most logical explanation is that a serious hacking group LulzSec & Anonymous - Online Heroes Or Dangerous, Reckless Hackers? By now, you're probably aware of the mayhem and mischief that both LulzSec and Anonymous have claimed responsibility for. If not, I'm here to educate you. Both seem to have a feared and revered reputation... Read More with an unexplained hatred for Sony has scared movie theaters into not screening a film, leading Sony to cut their losses and run. Which is a shameful state of affairs, whichever way you look at it.

BlackBerry Classic Parties Like It’s 2008

BlackBerry has officially launched the BlackBerry Classic, a smartphone that looks and feels like it belongs in 2008. The BlackBerry Classic is virtually indistinguishable from Blackberry handsets of old Living with a BlackBerry: Lame Duck or Genuine Android Alternative? The new BlackBerry Z10 is certainly impressive – but how does using it compare with using a new Android or Windows Phone handset? I decided to find out. Read More , such as the Bold line. Hence the Classic in the name.

Some of the tech under the hood is rather aged too, but then this is a phone aimed exclusively at business users who are more likely to send hundreds of emails in one day than play mobile games for hours at a time. Hence the QWERTY keyboard A History of Keyboard Layouts, Is QWERTY Lagging Behind? QWERTY is over 100 years old. It's outdated and outclassed by several alternatives, yet it's still the most popular keyboard layout in the world. How did we get here? Read More .

The BlackBerry Classic is priced at $449 unlocked, with contract pricing to follow. In the U.S. AT&T and Verizon will both be carrying the device in 2015, with local carriers around the world also on board. Unfortunately, it’s still a BlackBerry. Hence no one will buy it.


Netflix Is Never Going Offline

Netflix The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Netflix This guide offers everything you need to know about using Netflix. Whether you're a new subscriber or an established fan of the best streaming service out there. Read More is unlikely to ever allow users to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing. This is according to Cliff Edwards, Netflix’s director of corporate communications and technology, who simply told TechRadar [Broken URL Removed], “It’s never going to happen.

The reason for this is that such a move would likely be a “short term fix for a bigger problem.” Because while the current state of WiFi coverage WiFi To The Max: Get the Most Out of Wireless Networking on Windows 8 Windows 8 made connecting to a WiFi network simpler. Consequently, some things don't work the way they used to in Windows 7. If you have run into issues, there likely is an easy fix. Read More means offline viewing would be useful, this is likely to change in the future. At least according to Netflix.

Yo Adds Ho Ho Ho, But No Bottle Of Rum

Yo, quite possibly the dumbest app ever released Amazon Shops New 3D Fire Phone, Say Yo To The Dumbest App Ever, And More... [Tech News Digest] Twitter adds support for animated GIFs, a new glitch is found in Super Mario Bros. 30 years after release, HitchBOT prepares to travel across Canada, and a first-person cat simulator on Kickstarter. Read More , has added a festive twist to its usual trick. A Yo sent on either December 24 or December 25 will automatically become a “Ho Ho Ho” instead. And that’s the thrilling extent of the change… but I’m not sure what more you were expecting.

As CNET points out, this opens the door for Yo to change its message to commemorate other holidays, starting with New Year’s Eve. Suggestions on a postcard, please.


Wikipedia Looks Back On 2014

While the bigger websites such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have all compiled summaries of the year for some time, Wikipedia has been conspicuous by its absence. Until now.

For the first time in what will hopefully become a new tradition, Wikipedia has created a video chronicling the past 12 months via the edits and updates made to the online encyclopedia 7 Ways To Learn Something New Every Day With Wikipedia Wikipedia is packed full of content. At the time of writing there are over 4 million articles contained within the English language version, with more being added all the time. All of these pages are... Read More . And all using photos and videos free to use under the Creative Commons licenses What Is Creative Commons and Non-Commercial Use? What is Creative Commons? What does "non-commercial use" mean? Learn about Creative Commons licenses and how they work. Read More .

The Best Star Wars Christmas Lights

And finally, with Star Wars 10 Twitter Accounts All Star Wars Fans Should Follow In October 2012 Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the production company primarily known for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. For a fraction over $4 billion, Disney therefore landed the Star Wars franchise, and promptly announced... Read More very much back in vogue thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens being a year from release, is there a better theme to choose for a Christmas lights display? No, there is not, as evidenced by this startlingly impressive display by a music teacher called Tom.

I have to admit, I think this beats any of the great animated Christmas lights displays 10 of the Best Animated Christmas Lights Displays for the Holidays It has arrived. There is no doubting it now. We are in the holiday season, with Thanksgiving and Black Friday signaling its starting point. It's less than a month until Christmas, when cards, gifts, and... Read More we previously featured. [H/T Geekologie]


Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Should Sony have pulled The Interview because of the threats or released it regardless? Who do you think is responsible for the hacking that started this whole sorry saga? Will you be buying a BlackBerry Classic?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Related topics: BlackBerry, Christmas, Netflix, Sony, Wikipedia.

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  1. Moonman
    December 19, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Judging by the plot I have to say that, unless this film as something of the élan of "The Matador" (and obviously it already lacks the satire of seeing Pierce Brosnan send himself up in devastating fashion), then we are not going to miss much. Perhaps these guys have done us all a favour?

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Perhaps. From what I've heard it's not especially funny, certainly by these guys' usual standards. Still, I would have liked the opportunity to make my own mind up on it rather than having the chance to see it pulled completely.

  2. sherrie drone
    December 19, 2014 at 4:21 am

    i think they should release it on netflix just to thwart the terrorists.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 11:57 am

      That would work. We can't all be targeted in our own homes, right? I wonder if Netflix would have the balls to buy the rights, as they would then become a target.

  3. Kevin M
    December 19, 2014 at 3:17 am

    I say sell the DVD outright and let those of us that know the little fat puke in charge of NK is a worthless punk and get some laughs. To cower down to such a worthless punk as Kim Jong-un is just reinforcing the idea that this kiddy hacker could possibly do anything about it. We should not be cowards to anyone that enslaves their own people and starves them to death while setting on their throne eating bonbons and getting as fat as that worthless pile of shit! The reality of it is, we can only dream of the day that someone puts a bullet in the head of that worthless trash and anyone else that kisses his fat ass!

    • Paul Wibier
      December 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Couldn't have said it any better. Ahhhh, a true Patriot!!

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Well, that's certainly one way of looking at it. I remain unconvinced North Korea is responsible for this. But I'm sure the truth will come out in the end.

  4. singular john
    December 19, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I would buy classic because it is a BlackBerry.. the best OS experience period..

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      So the combination of a full QWERTY keyboard coupled with BB10 rather appeals to you?

  5. Scutterman
    December 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I don't know about New Year's Eve, but for new year's day I think that Yo should send "Oh..." as people start to remember exactly what they did the night before.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Ha, I like that. Maybe leave a blank space for people to add their own word after the "Oh..."

  6. dragonmouth
    December 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    "With the theater chains deciding the risks associated with screening The Interview were too great, Sony was forced to pull the film entirely"
    Is that how easy it is to stop the release of any movie I might not like? Just mention 9/11? Get ready for a whole alphabet soup of terrorist organizations (ELF, PETA, ISIS, GreenPeace, etc.) to follow in the footsteps of these a*holes.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      I agree. It seems strange how quickly the theater chains capitulated. I have some sympathy for Sony though, as with no cinemas willing to show it their options for releasing it disappeared overnight.