Archive for August, 2013

Film Review: ‘Dark Tourist’

August 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Michael Cudlitz's first leading role is the sole selling point of this repellent character study.

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ATD Week in Review: The Brin-Wojcicki Split and Apple’s iPhone Trade-In

August 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: After six years of marriage, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki are living apart , and Brin has become romantically involved with another Googler. While the power couple’s prenuptial agreement means that a divorce would not directly affect Google, their split did have an indirect effect, when … … Hugo Barra, VP of product management for Android, tendered his resignation with Google to become VP of Xiaomi Global. Barra had been seeing the Googler who is now seeing Sergey Brin, and his offer from the Chinese company came before all the drama began. For its part, Xiaomi seems pleased to have snapped up such a key Android exec. “He [Barra] has a keen understanding of the product itself, what features work globally,” co-founder Bin Lin told Ina Fried. And, sure enough, it looks like one of his first jobs may be helping the Chinese phone maker expand to other countries late this year or early next year. As Microsoft prepares to restructure itself, CEO Steve Ballmer’s decision to step down within a year was “neither planned nor as smooth as portrayed ,” according to sources within the company, as reported by Kara Swisher. Motorola Mobility’s new flagship phone, the Moto X, is its first since Google bought the company. And, thanks to a teardown analysis by market research firm IHS, we now know how much it costs to build: $221. John Paczkowski reported earlier this week that Apple would offer iPhone owners up to $280 in credit when they trade in their current iPhones. Apple made it official and kicked off the trade-in program at that price point on Friday. In a proposed privacy policy change sent to users on Thursday, Facebook has changed a lot — including its policy on facial recognition . If the plan is approved, users’ profile pictures will be the key to recognizing their faces on Facebook. Microsoft and Google “remain concerned with the government’s continued unwillingness” to let them publish data about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. So the two companies have banded together to sue the U.S. federal government . What, contributor Chetan Sharma asks in AllThingsD Voices, is the next act for mobile technologies

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Apple iPhone Trade-Ins More About Convenience Than Savings

August 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple’s long-rumored iPhone trade-in program is up and running at its U.S. stores around the country, adding to a healthy mix of competitors offering similar schemes. But is Apple’s program a good deal? Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Director Hits the ‘Best’ Sweet Spot in Venice

August 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

There’s a stage of early teenage life when even one’s most banal self-expressions seem worthy of an exclamation point, but Lukas Moodysson’s “We Are the Best!,” an eccentric, authentic and utterly delightful evocation of that very period — in Stockholm, circa 1982 — more than merits its own. In fact, it could do with three:... Read more

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At the Heart Of Verizon-Vodafone, Differing Outlooks for the U.S. Market

August 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

At the center of what could be a $130 billion deal between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group are sharply different views of the U.S. wireless market. The companies’ joint venture, Verizon Wireless, is the largest carrier in the U.S., a market with only four national players and a lot less pressure on price than in the hyper-competitive European market. But that is shifting, as No. 3 carrier Sprint and No. 4 T-Mobile get better capitalized and more aggressive, raising the question of whether the market might be at its peak. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Hey, Jack Dorsey! The Pope Could Topple Your Selfie Reign.

August 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The Pope. The Vatican. A selfie. Enough said. This photo of Pope Francis and some fans was posted on Twitter by Fabio Ragona , in what is perhaps the exact moment the Internet finally won. You can enjoy the Pope’s tweets , which are mostly religious in nature ( natch ), here. Enjoy: By the way, Twitter creator and co-founder Jack Dorsey still has the moves, but he might want to step it up now:

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Candy Crush Saga Grew So Fast It Broke Usage Algorithm

August 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Candy Crush Saga, the popular mobile device game by King.com, has seen some spectacular success. Now, it turns out the candy-puzzle game has grown faster than an algorithm charting its progress could handle. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Venice Joins Oscar Race With ‘Gravity,’ ‘Philomena’

August 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Four days ago, the 2013 Oscar race was mostly a matter of crossed fingers and speculation, but things have quickly shifted into high gear. The Venice Film Fest has served up two home runs in its first few days: Warner Bros.’ “Gravity” and the Weinstein Co.’s “Philomena.” Add in a few other strong possibilities here... Read more

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Viral Video: You Still Shouldn’t Mess With Thelma

August 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

This Funny or Die video starring Geena Davis — who starred in the iconic movie “Thelma and Louise” — mocking pretty much all her film career, using a bow and arrow, is epic. Don’t miss the part with Davis — who is a women’s Olympics archery team semifinalist — hitting an apple and also an Apple. Enjoy: Geena Davis Archery Tricks from Geena Davis

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Under Fire, Ouya Game Developers on Kickstarter Say They Did Nothing Wrong

August 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The past week has not been kind to Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes. The in-development video games, both seeking funding on Kickstarter, met their crowdfunding goals on Tuesday. And then the trouble started. The background: Both games met those goals relatively quickly, with Gridiron raising $75,000 in 18 days and Elementary raising $50,000 in 13 days. And both games are participants in Ouya’s $1 million Free the Games Fund , which matches funds over $50,000 raised on Kickstarter by games made for the Android-based microconsole. This drew the ire of bloggers and online forum commenters, who began throwing around terms like “ sham ,” “ scam ,” “ fraud ,” “ lying ” and “ swindle .” Accusations that MogoTXT and Victory Square Games — the studios behind Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes — had somehow gamed the system slowed donations to the Kickstarter campaigns to a trickle and their teams found themselves playing defense. Here’s the thing: Nothing either project has done or is accused of doing would violate the terms of Ouya, Kickstarter or Amazon Payments, which processes Kickstarter payments in the U.S. “If we violated anything at all, we might’ve violated some people’s opinions of what Kickstarter should be,” said MogoTXT CEO Andy Won. To the uninformed observer, Kickstarter may seem antithetical to business, a destination for grassroots support of artistic projects. Ouya’s messaging around the Kickstarter contest — “free the games” — lends power to this myth.

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