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  1. The UK’s historic decision to end its 43-year love-hate relationship with the European Union represents a turning point in British history to rank alongside the two world wars of the 20th century. On the assumption there is no turning back, or collective buyer’s remorse, Britain will live with the political, constitutional, diplomatic and economic consequences for a decade or more. The pin on the atlas marking the UK’s place in the world has shifted, as have the centers of power in the UK polity. All the familiar points of authority in London society – Downing Street, big business, economic expertise, the foreign policy establishment – have been spurned by the equivalent of a popular cluster bomb.
  2. After years of debating U.S. Internet subscribers now have Government regulated Net Neutrality. A huge step forward according to some, but the full order released a few days ago reveals some worrying caveats. While the rules prevent paid prioritization, they do very little to prevent BitTorrent blocking, the very issue that got the net neutrality debate started. In 2007 we uncovered that Comcast was systematically slowing down BitTorrent traffic to ease the load on its network. The Comcast case was the first to ignite a broad discussion about Net Neutrality. It became the setup for the FCC’s Open Internet Order which wasreleased three years later. This Open Internet Order was the foundation of the Net Neutrality rules the FCC adopted two weeks ago. The big change compared to the earlier attempt is that ISPs can now be regulated as carriers under Title II. Interestingly, the exact language of the new rules remained secret until three days ago. The broader concepts, including a ban on paid prioritization and blocking were known, but the fine print was kept secret until everything was signed off on. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the full text has quite a few caveats. When we read the new rules it’s clear that the “copyright loophole†many activists protested against in the past is still there. In short, ISPs can still throttle or block certain types of traffic as long as it’s related to copyright infringement. In its most recent order the FCC has listed the following rule: “Nothing in this part prohibits reasonable efforts by a provider of broadband Internet access service to address copyright infringement or other unlawful activity.†The FCC argues that copyright infringement hurts the economy, so ISPs are free to take appropriate measures against this type of traffic. This includes the voluntary censoring of pirate sites, something the MPAA and RIAA are currently lobbying for. “For example, the no-blocking rule should not be invoked to protect copyright infringement, which has adverse consequences for the economy, nor should it protect child pornography. We reiterate that our rules do not alter the copyright laws and are not intended to prohibit or discourage voluntary practices undertaken to address or mitigate the occurrence of copyright infringement,†the FCC explains. Interestingly, this issue has been pretty much absent from the discussion in recent months. This is curious as many activist groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), protested heavily against the copyright loophole in the past, issuing warnings over massive collateral damage. “Carving a copyright loophole in net neutrality would leave your lawful activities at the mercy of overbroad copyright filtering schemes, and we already have plenty of experience with copyright enforcers targeting legitimate users by mistake, carelessness, or design,†the EFF wrote at the time. So why was there little outrage about the copyright loophole this time around? TF contacted EFF staff attorney Kit Walsh who admits that the issue didn’t get much attention, but that it’s certainly problematic. “The language about ‘lawful’ content and applications creates a serious loophole that seems to leave it up to ISPs to make judgments about what content is lawful or infringes a copyright, subject to challenges after the fact about whether their conduct was ‘reasonable’,†Walsh says. “It’s one thing to say that ISPs can block subject to a valid court order, quite another to let ISPs make decisions about the lawfulness of content for themselves,†he adds. According to Walsh the issue is particularly concerning because many ISPs also have their own media properties. This means that their incentive to block copyright infringement may be greater than the incentive to protect fair use material. For example, although the Net Neutrality rules prescribe no blocking and throttling, ISPs could still block access to The Pirate Bay and other alleged pirate sites as an anti-piracy measure. Throttling BitTorrent traffic in general is also an option, as long as it’s framed as reasonable network management. A related concern is that ISPs can use privacy invasive technologies such as Deep Packet Inspection to monitor users’ traffic for possible copyright violations. The FCC didn’t include any protections against these practices. Instead, it simply noted that people can use SSL, VPNs and TOR to circumvent it. “The FCC’s response to concerns about deep packet inspection is that users can just use SSL, VPNs and TOR,†Walsh says. “Of course SSL, VPNs, and TOR are great tools for Internet users to preserve their privacy, but this approach of leaving users to fend for themselves isn’t a great start for the FCC on protecting the privacy of broadband subscribers,†he adds. The above makes it clear that Net Neutrality has its limits. The problem remains, however, that it’s still unclear how far ISPs can go under the “copyright†and “network management†loopholes. Previously, the EFF seriously doubted if it was a good idea at all to give FCC control over the Internet. However, as things stand now they are happy with the new rules, even though they aren’t perfect. Title II regulation with forbearance was the main goal, and that was achieved. In addition, the EFF is also content with the bright line rules against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of “lawful†traffic. “We won a large portion of what we argued for, thanks to a broad coalition of advocates and the voices of four million Americans, but we did not get everything we wanted. We’re clearly better off overall with the order than without, but we’re not going to hesitate to criticize the areas where the FCC gets it wrong,†Walsh says. Fingers crossed…. Torrentfreak
  3. The Pirate Bay has been back for a few days but all is not well. Aside from the site having serious stability problems and decreased functionality, it's already being flooded with fake uploads of the latest movies. While it's still early days, reputations are fragile in the fickle world of file-sharing. After seven tense weeks of downtime, The Pirate Baysprang back to life on Saturday. There were no press releases, no triumphant tone, and no gloating blog posts mocking the futility of Hollywood’s efforts. Compared to previous comebacks, this one felt different. The early signs were positive, however. The database backup used by the site appeared to be the one made on the last day of the site’s operations before it was raided early December 2014. And, given the use of ThePirateBay.se domain, it seems almost certain that the site isn’t some kind of trap – despite some of the negative discussions currently underway. The big question, however, is how the site will develop moving forward. Revelations that the site would no longer ‘employ’ admins and moderators to maintain what was the world’s most popular torrent site sounded some big alarm bells. How would the site cope with the inevitable flood of fake torrents without staff around to remove them? Those lucky enough to get on The Pirate Bay today (Cloudflare and caching errors permitting) will find that searches (that’s to say when the search feature works) reveal a somewhat sorry picture. Released in theaters on January 23, the Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow movie Mortdecai hasn’t been well received by critics. Nevertheless, some enterprising individuals released a ‘cam’ copy online a few days ago. But check out Pirate Bay and the listings for pristine Blu-ray rips and DVD screeners are plain to see. Some of these fakes have been present for three days, something that would never have happened when the site used mods to remove junk. That being said, maybe this title was a one off and simply got missed? Sadly, that’s not the case. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams is another comedy currently doing the rounds in ‘cam’ format. However, those looking for the title on Pirate Bay can apparently download a special “screening†version not designed for public eyes. The third comedy in our tests – The Wedding Ringer – is currently doing no better. Despite only being available in poor quality ‘cam’ format, The Pirate Bay is listing Blu-ray, DVD and DVD screener copies for download. All are completely fake and have been on the site since Saturday. So if these aren’t the movies they’re claiming to be, then what are they? The answer is, quite simply, nothing good. At the very least they’ll be some prankster’s idea of a joke and at the worse will require the downloader to install some ‘special codec’ or ‘special video player’ to watch the promised movie. Of course, even if they do, no movie will be forthcoming. Instead the user’s computer will have some unexpected additions. Also problematic is the lack of user comments. While it appears that some users can comment on torrents (with advice about the torrent’s authenticity, for example) currently even the most popular torrents have little to no comments. Without this user feedback people will become victims of spam and worse. One saving grace is that a feature that was previously broken appears to have returned this morning. Users are now able to click on a username in order to see what other uploads he or she has made. Suspicious users – such as b3322210 – can then clearly be identified as mass spammers of fake uploads. Of course, people should keep in mind that the site has only been up 72 hours and its operators may have a plan to keep junk off the site in future. However, file-sharers are notoriously fickle and reputations built by sites over many years can be torn down in a fraction of that time. It’s worth noting that P2P software such as LimeWire and other “shared folder†apps are no longer used by the majority of file-sharers due to the complete lack of trust in what’s being offered. Without moderation the underlying networks turned into file cesspits that no sane person wants to spend much time around. Pirate Bay is a long way away from that, but something needs to be done sooner rather than later if the site is to regain the top spot both in terms of traffic and reputation with users. http://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-already-has-a-pollution-problem-150202/
  4. MARRAKECH — While at the Marrakech film fest to participate in the Cinecoles jury, Abderrahmane Sissako sat down with Variety to discuss his latest film, “Timbuktu,†Mauritania’s first ever foreign-language Oscar candidate. A politically engaged drama depicting the barbarian occupation of Islamic fundamentalists in Mali, “Timbuktu†grossed over €109,000 ($135,000) on opening day in France — an impressive score for a world-cinema title. The movie, which world premiered in competition at Cannes, was produced by Sylvie Pialat’s Les Films du Worso and has been sold by Le Pacte in more than 50 countries. “Timbuktu†screened this week at Marrakech and will be released by Cohen Media Group in the U.S. What prompted you to make a film about the occupation of Islamic fundamentalists in Mali? I had it in me for a long time and one event triggered it. When I heard about the stoning of a woman, it deeply revolted me, and I felt the urge to make this film. It’s so absurd that barbarian acts like this one are still happening today. We can’t just turn a blind eye and do nothing about it. How did you prepare the film? Are the characters and situations all inspired by real people and stories? For the most part yes. I traveled there and met a lot people. That’s the only way to make an authentic film; and when you tackle a subject like this one it’s a necessity. I met the Imam whose character has such a pivotal role in the movie. The woman who defies the fundamentalists by refusing to wear gloves also exists; she’s become an urban legend. Your film is very critical toward Islamists, but at the same time you didn’t demonize the characters in portraying them in the movie. Why did you take that approach? My goal was not to show these people in a positive light, but rather show that they are not so far from us. They have taken the wrong path for 1,000 different reasons. But at one point in their lives they were certainly good people, or at least people we can relate to. Some even perhaps fell asleep listening to Bob Marley, and they’re the same ones saying today that listening to music is forbidden. That past is still within them somewhere. We’re all capable of redemption. But the group think is so powerful that they get trapped into doing the wrong things. And yet, when they’re alone, they may feel guilt. In the film when one of our main characters witnesses the stoning of the couple, he’s not proud of himself. And it’s important to show that. If you don’t give them a part of humanity you lose some of it yourself. Aren’t you fearful of reactions to your film from people from the Arab world? “Timbuktu†shows that Islam has nothing to do with barbarism and jihadists. Islam has been held hostage. And that’s why the imam in the film tells the fundamentalists: When is God is all this? When is the compassion? Where is forgiveness? You’re traumatizing people, you’re arrogant. What you’re doing to our people has nothing to do with Islam.†In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, we made the choice to not say loud and clear that Islam had been taken hostage by a group of people, and instead we stigmatized Islam and claimed there was a clash of civilizations. But the world is such that some people go into extremes when faced with a conflict and that happens in any religion. In what ways do you think “Timbuktu†is universal and resonates with contemporary events? We always reach the universal when telling intimate stories. We talk about terrorism, occupation, but we seldom get interested in the personal stories of people who live through it. That woman who was forced to get married or that father who is devastated because he won’t be able to see his daughter’s face ever again. That’s universal. The film is punctuated by poetic and surreal scenes. What purpose do these scenes serve in the narration? Through the film I wanted to engage the spectator into a conversation, give him some perspective, food for thoughts. When showing abject violence, there is no need to exaggerate it because it banalizes it. The stoning scene lasts only a few seconds. While it’s crucial to show it, it’s also important to move on quickly in order to not banalize it. I thought long and hard about the way in which I should portray that scene and in the end I chose to punctuate it with shots of a jihadist dancing. He’s praying and purging his guilt through this dance.
  5. The Pirate Bay has been down for less than a day and already the rumor machine is firing on all cylinders. Contrary to several reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere, The Pirate Bay has not been resurrected and is not operating under a new domain. Not yet at least. pirate-crThere hasn’t been this much panic in the file-sharing world since 2006. Back then the cause was a huge police raid that targeted The Pirate Bay in its Swedish homeland. Now, eight years later, it’s deja vu all over again. As everyone knows by now, yesterday morning Swedish police raided a data center in Nacka, Stockholm. A little time later The Pirate Bay disappeared offline and late last evening anti-piracy group Rights Alliance took responsibility for the complaint that forced the site offline. In the hours that followed dozens of news reports appeared, most of which accurately reported the facts so far. However, several outlets, Sydney Morning Herald included, reported overnight that The Pirate Bay was in the process of being resurrected at a brand new domain. The domain mentioned in most of the reports is the Costa Rica based ThePirateBay.cr. As can be seen from the screenshot below, it does indeed look like The Pirate Bay. pirate-cr Only adding to the excitement (or perhaps causing it), plenty of posts appeared on Reddit trumpeting this domain as the site’s new home. Sadly, however, these reports are wide of the mark. ThePirateBay.cr is a Pirate Bay proxy/mirror service (it’s listed by Proxybay) and as such relies entirely on The Pirate Bay for its torrent content. Currently it has none. The site appears to be operating out of the Netherlands and only became widely available in October. While admittedly quite popular in India (it recently became its 1,349th most popular site according to Alexa, already people are proclaiming the .CR domain as the new Pirate Bay. In fact, someone has already begun marketing a range of t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters and greetings cards carrying the site’s name. The confusion appears to stem from the fact that some “proxy†homepages stay up even when The Pirate Bay goes down as they cache some content. As can be seen from the screenshot below, another proxy ‘labaia.me‘ displays just fine, but then does nothing when the user attempts to find torrents. LaBaia While still in the early hours following the shutdown, there’s nothing to suggest that The Pirate Bay’s domains have fallen into the hands of the authorities. This suggests that if the site does reappear, it will do so via one of its existing domains, although that position is certainly open to change. In the meantime users should be cautious of sites claiming to be “the new Pirate Bayâ€. While most probably just want to get some traffic, there could be others with more nefarious ideas in mind. Update: Apparently the commercialism doesn’t stop at novelty items. The .CR domain listed above was briefly diverting users to another domain (thepiratebay.ee) which demands anything from $4 to £4 for users to access torrents – AVOID. Update: The .ee domain removed the paywall, but it’s still nothing more than a mirror without new content. torrentfreak
  6. In fine fettle Wilko Johnson announced that he had beaten cancer while accepting an award at yesterday's Q Awards. Music-News.com was on hand at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London to hear the emotional, heartfelt speech which ended in a standing ovation. In the terrible realm of cancer diagnosis, hearing that you have the disease in your pancreas is one of the very worst prognosis. Especially with exocrine pancreatic cancer, the five year survival rate ranges from 1 to 14%. That's why the news was so sad when former Dr. Feelgood bassist Wilko Johnson announced he was suffering for the disease in 2012. Given ten months to live, he prepared for the end, playing a farewell tour and recording a final album, Going Home, with Roger Daltrey of the Who. Late last year, doctors got in touch with Johnson, surprised that he was still active. Further investigation found that he had a rare form of tumor, one that might actually be able to be removed. In April, Johnson underwent an eleven-hour operation and, has now revealed he is cancer free. Wilko also said he was still recovering from the surgery and was learning how to live without a number of organs that were removed in the operation including his pancreas, spleen, part of his stomach and small and large intestines. Still, the future looks bright if Johnson can just get his mind around the fact that he is not about to die. "It's so weird and so strange that it's kind of hard to come to terms with it in my mind. Now, I'm spending my time gradually coming to terms with the idea that my death is not imminent, that I am going to live on." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  7. "I will bring myself sexual pleasure later, while thinking about this with great respect." With Dragon Age: Inquisition's release now less than a month away, the game's ESRB rating has been posted, and it's a doozy. Via Kotaku, the role-playing game has received an M rating for blood, violence, strong language, nudity, and sexual content. ESRB ratings are often funny/strange/bizarre to read without the context of playing the game, and this is no different for Inquisition. Regarding Inquisition's sexual scenes, the ESRB reveals some of the most bizarre pillow talk we've ever seen in gaming. Here's how the ESRB sums it up (emphasis added): "The game includes some sexual material: a female character briefly depicted in front of a man's torso (fellatio is implied); characters depicted topless or with exposed buttocks while lying in bed or after sex; some dialogue referencing sex/sexuality (e.g., 'I will bring myself sexual pleasure later, while thinking about this with great respect' and 'The way your t*ts bounce when I pin your arms and take you on the side of the bed…'). The words 'f**k,' 'sh*t,' and 'a*shole' appear in dialogue." The ESRB rating also reveals that Inquisition will make the most of its M rating in terms of violence. According to the rating, we'll see cutscenes where characters get impaled or have their throats slit. Other violent sequences will highlight cries of pain, gurgling/gushing sounds, and "large blood-splatter effects." Inquisition launches November 18 for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. BioWare recently confirmed that the game will run at 1080p on PS4 and 900p on Xbox One. Inquisition was originally targeted to launch a full year ago, but has since been delayed twice. November 18 is shaping up to be a busy day for high-profile new releases, as the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Grand Theft Auto V and WWE 2K15 are due to launch on that day, alongside Far Cry 4, Escape Dead Island, LittleBigPlanet 3, and Watch Dogs for Wii U. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. Last month Seattle-based photographer Christopher Boffoli sued Imgur claiming the popular image hosting site had failed to remove a few dozen of his photos. Before the case gets well underway the photographer is facing a much bigger problem, as 20,754 of his photos are now being shared on The Pirate Bay. When it comes to online piracy most attention usually goes out to music, TV-shows and movies. However, photos are arguably the most-infringed works online. Virtually every person on the Internet has shared a photo without obtaining permission from its maker, whether through social networks, blogs or other services. While most photographers spend little time on combating piracy, Seattle-based artist Christopher Boffoli has taken some of the largest web services to court for aiding these infringements Boffoli has filed lawsuits against Twitter, Google and others, which were settled out for court under undisclosed terms. Last month he started a new case against popular image sharing site Imgur after it allegedly ignored his takedown requests. The photographer asked the court to order an injunction preventing Imgur from making 73 of his photos available online. In addition, he requested millions of dollars in statutory damages for willful copyright infringement. Imgur has yet to file an official reply to the complaint. In the meantime, however, Boffoli’s actions appear to have triggered another less welcome response. A few days ago a user of The Pirate Bay decided to upload a rather large archive of the photographer’s work to the site. The archive in question is said to hold 20,754 images, including the most famous “Big Appetites†series. A torrent with 20,754 images The image archive, which is more than eight gigabytes in size, had to be partly wrapped in an .iso file because otherwise the .torrent file itself would have been too large. The description of the archive mentions Boffoli’s recent actions against Imgur, which could have triggered the upload. One of the commenters points out that the Imgur lawsuit may have done more harm than good, and a new Internet meme was born. “Sued for 73 images, got 20,754 uploaded to TPB, LOL. About the Big Appetites series, if I ever get my hands on a copy, I’ll scan it at 600 dpi and upload it here, have fun trying to censor the internet, Boffoli,†the commenter notes. TorrentFreak asked Boffoli for a comment on the leak and whether he will take steps to prevent the distribution, but we have yet to hear back. While not everyone may agree with the lawsuit against Imgur piracy can impact photographers quite a bit. It’s usually not the average Pirate Bay user that’s causing the damage though, but rather companies that use professional photos commercially without a license. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  9. "Trust us, it's going to be cool," co-director Bruce Straley says about the upcoming PlayStation 4 game. Sony-owned Developer Naughty Dog has some "really, really cool ideas" for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, according to co-director Bruce Straley. As part of a wide-ranging interview with GameCrate about Naughty Dog's 30th anniversary, Straley said he's "really, really excited" about the direction the studio is taking for the upcoming PlayStation 4 action-adventure game. "We're still trying to figure it out and yet I have faith in the team, I have faith in where we're going with it," Straley said. "I can say we have some really, really, cool ideas that I'm really excited to… sometime show you. That's all I can say but it's going to be awesome. I'm excited so you should be excited. Naughty Dog has a track record and just trust us, it's going to be cool." Unfortunately--but not unexpectedly--Straley did not share any specific details regarding what the "really cool ideas" for Uncharted 4 are. The game launches in 2015, but fans might get a glimpse at it during thePlayStation Experience event in December, where the company is expected to discuss its 2015 slate. Earlier this month, Naughty Dog teased that it would have Uncharted 4 news to share "really soon," but we haven't heard anything yet. Uncharted 4 was announced back in December 2013. Naughty Dog has released a pair of teaser trailers for the title (as well as some concept art and a close-up of Nathan Drake), but we have not seen any gameplay footage yet. The game is expected to launch next year running at 1080p/60fps, and it could beaccompanied by Uncharted remasters for PS4. What would you like to see in terms of new features/functionality for Uncharted 4? Let us know in the comments below! Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  10. "Pioneering something new is never easy. When we see the raw numbers, it’s easy for us to say that the destination was worth the journey." It has been a full month since Bungie and Activision launched Destiny, and while it has received its fair share of criticism during that time, the data proves that people are still playing it. A lot. In a post to Bungie's official website, Community Manager David "DeeJ" Dague revealed that Destiny averages 3.2 million players every day. As Bungie revealed last month, these players' play sessions are still three hours long on average, even on weekdays. The average Destiny player also logs into the the game 1.8 times a day, and has played Destiny 20.9 times in total. To put things into perspective, Bungie says over the past three weeks it has had more players online in Destiny that it did during the same span for Halo 3 and Halo: Reach combined. However, keep in mind that Halo 3 and Halo: Reach had single player campaigns that could be played offline. In Destiny, you have to be online, even if you're playing through the story alone. "Your reactions and your opinions have helped us to make Destiny better over this past month," Dague said. "Pioneering something new is never easy. When we see the raw numbers, it’s easy for us to say that the destination was worth the journey." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  11. Just-released RPG doesn't have much in the way of configuration options. Not all PC games have a multitude of graphics options like Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome. The PC version of Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII was released today on Steam and early reports show the game does not offer much in the way of configuration options. GameSpot installed the game today and found that configurable options are limited to basic elements like difficulty, subtitles, and camera. The options you see in the image below, the Final Fantasy XIII Settings screen, represent the extent of what you can change. The extent of Final Fantasy XIII's PC optionsWhat's more, we found that if you ever hit the Escape button during gameplay, the game closes and exits to Steam. More bizarrely, hitting Alt+F4 brings up a screen that asks if you want to exit the game. On top of that, Final Fantasy XIII for PC appears to be locked at a maximum resolution of 720p. Amazingly, however, noted modder "Durante"--who basically fixed the PC version of Dark Souls--has already released a plugin that brings the game's resolution up to 1080p. We weren't the only ones to notice Final Fantasy XIII's shortcomings on PC, as community hubs Reddit andNeoGAF are flooded commentary about the PC version. We've reached out to Square Enix for comment regarding the PC version of Final Fantasy XIII and will update this post with anything we hear back. Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns are also coming to PC through Steam, and are expected to launch by spring 2015. Information from GameSpot hardware editor Peter Brown is included in this report. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  12. Liam Neeson will be back on the big screen as Bryan Mills in Taken 3 next January, Arnold Schwarzenegger has Terminator: Genisys coming out in Summer 2015, and Sylvester Stallone is training in anticipation of Rambo 5 being his next movie. That is to say, being part of the 60 and Over Club is far from a problem for established action stars nowadays. Heck, Denzel Washington joins that club this December and yet his upcoming vehicle The Equalizer could give the Oscar-winner his first action franchise. So really, it doesn’t come as a shock that Pierce Brosnan – who hung up his 007 hat twelve years ago with Die Another Day – is jumping back into the spy action/thriller pool, with his role as ex-CIA op Peter Devereaux in TheNovember Man (which opens in theaters next week). November Man is based on the novel “There Are No Spiesâ€, which is the seventh installment in the book series written by the late Bill Granger. More than a dozen November Man novels were penned by Granger in total; which is to say, there’s plenty of source material to be drawn from, should the upcoming Brosnan vehicle perform well enough at the box office to justify it getting the franchise treatment. Relativity Studios, as it were, is wasting no time on getting a sequel rolling down the line, based on the expectation that the mid-range budgeted Brosnan film will ultimately prove to be a profitable venture. Relativity Studios has announced that a November Man movie sequel will be entering pre-production in the near future (assuming the first installment doesn’t bomb), while Relativity President of Production Robbie Brenner issued an official statement where he says that the studio is excited “to continue to explore Peter Devereaux’s dangerous world with Pierce over the years to come.†In other words, the studio would be more than happy to churn out multiple sequels to this property, should the first movie prove to be a sufficient hit. Pierce Brosnan and Olga Kurylenko in ‘The November Man’ November Man, which Brenner has described as a combination of “the best elements of James Bond and Jason Bourne [and] the cool, sleek action movies of the 70s,â€follows Brosnan’s retired spy character, Peter Devereaux, as he returns to the fold, in order to undertake a “very personal mission†– one that requires him to protect a young woman (Olga Kurylenko), but also pits Devereaux against his former pupil (Luke Bracey). Judging by the trailer, November Man could be a perfectly serviceable B-movie thriller (if not much else), thanks to its leading man and director Ronald Donaldson, who previously collaborated with Brosnan on disaster thriller Dante’s Peak in the 1990s. November Man was also shot in the countries of Serbia and Montenegro, so it ought to have a distinguishable international flavor – something that may help at the global box office. Indeed, so long as the movie does business on par with, say,The Transporter franchise in the U.S., it may be enough to justify making a sequel. Who knows, maybe November Man will allow Brosnan to successfully re-invent himself as an older and gruffer, yet still posh and cultured action hero type. The actor has already made it known that he’s game to join the Expendablesfranchise, should his second-wave action movie career takeoff. The November Man opens in U.S. theaters on August 27th, 2014. http://screenrant.com/november-man-sequel-pierce-brosnan/
  13. Despite some issues with storytelling, Antoine Fuqua’s one-man-army film, Olympus Has Fallen, is a solidly entertaining action movie. The movie follows an ex-secret service operative fighting terrorists in the White House (not to be confused with Roland Emmerich’s White House Down about a wannabe secret service agent fighting terrorists in the White House). While both blockbusters performed well at the box office, Fuqua’s R-rated action film grossed more domestically and cost significantly less to create; thus, Olympus Has Fallen is the one that earned a sequel, titled London Has Fallen. However, Fuqua will not be returning to direct the followup, which was originally intended to begin production May 2014. Millennium Films has instead tapped a newcomer to helm London Has Fallen. THR reported Fredrik Bond (Charlie Countryman) is in negotiations with Millennium to direct London Has Fallen. The film is now aiming to begin production in October 2014 in order to meet the film’s October 2015 release date. Stars of Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman, will reprise their roles for the sequel. Christian Gudegast (A Man Apart) wrote the most recent draft of the script. The sequel story follows secret service agent Mike Banning (Butler), U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart), and speaker of the House of Representatives Allan Trumbull (Freeman) who attend the funeral of the British prime minister in London, where a plot to kill the world’s leaders is revealed. Banning and Asher must work with an MI-6 agent in order to save the world’s most powerful leaders. London Has Fallen seems to be a standard followup to a conventional lone gunman film — a movie trope seen again and again in the action genre that has, arguably, been executed much better than what Fuqua accomplished in Olympus Has Fallen. With so many films following the same basic premise, it’s hard to create a new movie that stands out among the rest (although a drastic differentiation isn’t necessarily needed to do well at the box office). Perhaps Bond will be able to bring a unique eye to London Has Fallen and create enough interesting visual sequences so as to separate the film from others within the genre. Although reviews of Charlie Countrymen were mixed — and skewed more toward unfavorable — Bond’s feature-length directorial debut was at least visually interesting. Whether Bond will be able to translate the skills he demonstrated in his independent film (or improve upon them) in the blockbuster action sequel, London Has Fallen, remains to be seen and it not be worth speculating; although negotiations have begun between Millennium and Bond, the director has not yet signed on for the movie. London Has Fallen is scheduled to premiere October 2nd, 2015. http://screenrant.com/london-has-fallen-director/
  14. The latest “State of the Internet†study crowned Virginia with the speediest Internet access, while Alaska was ranked the slowest in the United States. The report was conducted and published by Akamai Technologies. Surprisingly, California was not stamped as one of the state’s offering the fastest Internet services. Various factors considered, while deciding the fastest and the slowest Internet service in U.S, were the health of the computer, the broadband provider, exact location of the house where the service is being used, the programs that are running, the quantity of computer memory, add-on programs, spyware and viruses. Apparently, Akamai Technologies is the leading provider of cloud services. In administering the study, the latter pointed out the average Internet speed of every state in the U.S. Here is the list of the top ten States: Virginia – 13.7 Mbps Delaware and Massachusetts – 13.1 Mbps Rhode Island – 12.9 Mbps District of Columbia – 12.8 Mbps Washington – 12.5 Mbps New Hampshire – 12.3 Mbps Utah – 12.1 Mbps Michigan – 11.8 Mbps Connecticut – 11.7 Mbps Sadly, California, despite being the birthplace of high tech industry, ranked No. 20 in the “State of the Internet†report. Its average Internet speed was 10.9 Mbps. This was due to the many rural areas found in that state that decreased their average state speed. Landing in the bottom 10 with the slowest Internet services are Idaho, Louisiana and Missouri with 7.7 Mbps, New Mexico and Mississippi standing at 7.6 Mbps, West Virginia at 7.5 Mbps, Montana, Kentucky and Arkansas together with 7.3 Mbps and last one Alaska with 7.0 Mbps. South Korea’s whopping average Internet speed of 23.6 Mbps surely shocked the United States. It was not even close with that of Virginia’s.
  15. Coming in with an average of 13.7 megabits per second, the Southern state boasts the speediest broadband service in the country. If you're looking for the fastest Internet service in the US, you should pack your bags for Virginia. With an average of 13.7 megabits per second, Virginia tops the country for the speediest Internet access, according to Broadview Networks. What state has the slowest broadband speed? Alaska, with an average of 7 Mbps. How fast is the home of Silicon Valley -- California? It comes in No. 20 with an average of 10.9 Mbps. Broadview Networks created a map (seen above) that shows which states have the fastest Internet service and which ones lag. The cloud services provider got the data from Akamai's "State of the Internet" report (PDF) released in June. According to Akamai, if a state has an average speed higher than 10 Mbps it counts as having "high broadband." In all, 26 states achieved this status. And, no state fell into the "low broadband" category, which is an average lower than 4 Mbps. Kansas was the state that showed the most improvement over last year, with a 91 percent increase in speed. This is likely due to Google's inauguration of its super-high-speed fiber Internet service in November 2012.Looking at the map, one can see that the West Coast, Midwest, and Northeast (except for Maine) tend to have the fastest Internet, while some Southern states, like Arkansas and Kentucky, seem to have slower service. Akamai's report also looks at Internet speeds around the world. The country with the fastest service is South Korea with an average of 23.6 Mbps. In second place, and far behind South Korea, is Japan with an average of 14.6 Mbps. How does the US rank overall worldwide? It's No. 10 with an average of 10.5 Mbps. http://www.cnet.com/news/what-us-state-has-the-fastest-internet-speed-virginia/
  16. Hashtags are becoming a popular way to search for subjects and expressions, as well as a way to give a shoutout on social media when sending a message. Unfortunately, there’re some hashtags (perhaps #ROFL or #SMH, for example) that users simply don’t understand when they’re used. There’re those who aren’t up-to-date on the latest hashtag lingo and don’t know the meanings to hashtags because they don’t use them on a regular basis. If you’re in that camp, Twitter’s got a “Twitter hashtag for dummies†feature that’s now available via the Twitter for iPhone app. Now, when you want to use a hashtag, type the hashtag symbol (#) followed by the three, four, or five letters that you want to use or inquire about. When you do so, Twitter will now explain what the acronymic expression means when you search for it.
  17. World Cup betting has opened to welcome spring patronage