Archive for November, 2013

Film Reviews: Opening This Week (Nov. 25-29, 2013)

November 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Frozen (Disney) Move over, Frosty. A quixotic snowman who longs to experience summer handily steals the show in “Frozen,” Disney’s 53rd in-house animated feature and one of its most classical, with a Hans Christian Andersen pedigree, a full-fledged showtune score and little of the ironic humor that has become the lingua franca of most contemporary... Read more

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AllThingsD Week in Review: Wearable Computing Comes to Clothes, and Yahoos Hate Yahoo Mail

November 30, 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: Change is hard for many, but the latest iteration of Yahoo Mail has collected a chorus of complainers — including quite a few Yahoo employees , only 25 percent of whom have heeded management pleas to switch away from Outlook. Nokia’s first phablet, the Lumia 1520, boasts a six-inch full-HD display and a 20-megapixel camera. In All Things Reviewed, Bonnie Cha found it to be “a solid phablet” with “fast performance and good battery life,” but that, like other phablets, it can be cumbersome to handle. What’s next for wearable devices? They’re already on our wrists, but what about activity trackers in our clothes ? That’s the idea behind a startup called Athos, but there are still plenty of unanswered questions about how to turn that idea into a consumer-friendly reality. Black Friday has once again come and gone, but some of the deals on videogame consoles that rolled out on Thursday and Friday are still available today. This buyer’s guide explains the differences among all the different types of consoles, and which games work with which systems. If you did line up for doorbuster deals on Black Friday yesterday, though, you might have wasted your valuable time , according to one business school professor. Sorry! According to teardowns by research firm IHS, both of the big new gaming consoles are only barely profitable. Last week, we learned that Sony’s $399 PlayStation 4 costs $381 to build . This week, it was Microsoft’s turn; the $499 Xbox One similarly costs $471 , according to the teardown. As AllThingsD reported it would, Yahoo this week announced that Katie Couric would become its “global news anchor.” Details about the hiring were scant, but, like many other media stars, Couric has a long history of dipping her toe into the online space. Apple lost its antitrust e-book trial over the summer.

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Peter Kaplan, NY Observer Editor Who Hired Candace Bushnell, Dies at 59

November 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The former New York Observer editor who hired a then-unknown Candace Bushnell to write a column called “Sex and the City” has died. Peter Kaplan was 59. Kaplan’s wife, Lisa Chase, says he died Friday of cancer in New York City. Kaplan edited the weekly Observer from 1994 to 2009. He was credited with honing... Read more

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A New Worm Proves That the Internet of Things Is Vulnerable to Attack

November 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

One of the basic technologies that enables what we often refer to as the Internet of Things is embedded Linux, a version of Linux that runs on machines that aren’t computers in the traditional sense. A lot of the new “smart” devices joining Wi-Fi networks in the home and office are running some variant of it, as do a lot of those home-Wi-Fi routers themselves. Researchers at security-software company Symantec say they’ve found a worm that proves that, eventually, these devices may be ripe for attack. It’s called Linux.Darlloz , and it appears to have been built to infect versions of Linux found in home routers, TV set-top boxes and security cameras, and also some industrial-control systems. Writing for Symantec’s corporate blog , researcher Kaoru Hayashi says the worm targets versions of Linux running on Intel and other x86 chips, but there are already variants that target Linux on other chips, including ARM, PowerPC and MIPS. If you’ve ever set up a home router, then you’ve encountered these “hidden” operating systems running on these devices. The worm is designed to take advantage of an 18-month-old vulnerability in the OS that presents a Web interface to users for setting it up. These systems will often have basic user names and passwords like “admin” and “12345,” and it tries several known combinations of these, if any are required. If it encounters a vulnerable target, the worm downloads itself from a host server and then executes. Once it does that, it creates the file directories it’s going to use, and then seeks to cut off remote access to the now-infected machine by killing Telnet and other processes that may be running. Then it deletes a lot of other files. And then it starts looking for a way to spread itself again. It does this by generating random IP addresses. If one of those addresses on the network turns out to be reachable, it then starts looking for directories that indicate if that original vulnerability is present, and the whole process starts over. Hayashi says the worm doesn’t seem to do much now beyond propagating itself, and, indeed, attacks against non-PC devices haven’t yet been observed. But it could represent a troubling indicator of things to come, as more smart devices are joining networks every day. There’s only so much that a hacker might learn from infecting, say, your Wi-Fi-enabled scale, but try to imagine what kinds of bad things could result from your home-security camera becoming infected. Or worse, the lock on your front door . It’s the same sort of fear that was raised when the Stuxnet worm , thought to have been created in a joint operation by the CIA and Israeli intelligence, burrowed its way into industrial-control systems at nuclear-research facilities in Iran. In one famous case, nuclear centrifuges were made to spin too fast and ultimately explode, while systems monitoring their status indicated that everything was normal.

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‘Place Beyond the Pines’ Flies Onto Awards Radar

November 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Focus Features’ “The Place Beyond the Pines” is being buoyed by an awards factor that is often overlooked: In-flight movies. At a Friday luncheon, Bradley Cooper told Variety, “Countless people have come up to me to tell me how much they love the movie, and it turns out they’ve seen it recently on airplanes.” Cooper... Read more

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So You Got a New iPad. Here’s Some Free Stuff to Read.

November 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If, like me, you took advantage of the rare deals offered on a new iPad yesterday, then you’re probably playing around with the new device today, and finding interesting things to do with it. Magazine publisher Condé Nast has a suggestion for you, and is offering a rare deal of its own: A free download of the current issue of the iPad edition of its many magazine titles, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair*, Vogue, Bon Appetit and Architectural Digest. Between the iPad and the iPhone editions , you’ve got very little excuse for that “stack of old magazines you don’t have time to get to” problem. And with the holiday season looming, who couldn’t use something to read on the plane, the train, or while taking a badly needed break from an overdose of family? To get them, go to the iPad’s Newsstand app, and download the app for one of Condé’s titles. Once there, click on the promotion, which is hard to miss. The same deal also applies to the Google Play version of the magazine apps available for Android tablets. It’s running through Dec. 2. * It’s worth noting that my AllThingsD colleagues Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka are both contributors to Vanity Fair.

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On Black Friday, the Real Fight Was Online

November 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Brick-and-mortar retailers mounted a furious defense on Black Friday to head off incursions into one of the industry’s biggest shopping days by such online rivals as Amazon.com. The tactics were evident in stores and on websites as millions of holiday shoppers lined up to spend their dollars on highly touted deals. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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‘Adele’ Kicks off Cannes’ European Film Week in Buenos Aires

November 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

BUENOS AIRES – In May, much of the world goes to Cannes. Outside May, Cannes goes to much of the world. Exhibit A: One of the most established of Cannes’ increasingly far-flung initiatives: Ventana Sur’s 5th European Film Week in Buenos Aires, which bows Tuesday at the Argentine’s capital’s central Gaumont Cinema with a likely SRO screening of... Read more

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Film Review: ‘Bullett Raja’

November 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

This fast-paced Bollywood gangster film is, for most of its length, a tight, clever, blithely amoral crime drama about a buddy pair of hit men rising to the top of the mob heap.

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Nigella Lawson’s Ex-Husband Has No Proof She Used Drugs

November 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — Art dealer Charles Saatchi, the former husband of TV chef Nigella Lawson, told a court in London Friday that he has “no proof” she ever took drugs. The evidence from Saatchi, which was delivered during the trial of the couple’s assistants Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, contradicts an email he sent claiming she was “off... Read more

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