Amazon puts Disney DVD and Blu-ray pre-orders on hold in latest contract dispute

Tech News - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 14:32

Amazon appears to be having another dispute with one of its suppliers. The retailer is no longer offering pre-orders of Disney films on Blu-ray or DVD in an apparent move to coerce the company to agree to modified terms. Presumably, Amazon is seeking a larger share of the profits from movie sales, but neither Disney nor Amazon have provided comment on the situation. The move appears to be affecting all yet-to-be released DVDs and Blu-rays of Disney movies, including Captain America: Winter Soldier, Maleficent, Muppets Most Wanted, and Million Dollar Arm.

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The self-proclaimed Banksy of Tehran

Tech News - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 06:31

Banksy has some competition in Tehran, and his name is Black Hand. The graffiti artist is inspired by Banksy's legendary stenciling technique, and he has been adorning the streets of Tehran with playful political messages. In an interview with The Guardian, Black Hand explained the purpose of his work thusly: "I work on the issues that are happening in my country.

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Time-lapse video shows Pyongyang from a different perspective

Tech News - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 02:44

More than anywhere else on earth, North Korea is hidden from the world community. The two men, JT Singh and Rob Whitworth, traveled to the city with support from a state-run tourism agency and captured the footage needed to create this time-lapse video of the mysterious capital. It's an unusual video that's both eerie and enlightening at the same time.

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The Verge Playlist: Another Sunny Day

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 23:00

No band defined my high school experience more than Belle & Sebastian. The ups, the downs, the awkwardness. I knew that no matter how dark things got, I could put on B&S and feel better. I'd be immediately transported to a sunny field in Glasgow, hugged by their modern but pastoral sound. I'm on my back, looking up at the sky. A mosquito bites my ankle. A bead of sweat trickles down the side of my forehead. I turn up the music. Everything's going to be okay..playlist-wrapper{display:block;margin:0 -20px 0 -95px;*zoom:1}.playlist-wrapper:before,.playlist-wrapper:after{content:" ...

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Listen to Zack Snyder defend Aquaman on Detroit Radio

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 21:24

While it's a bit early to assume that Aquaman will indeed be in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder apparently has no qualms about leaping to the superhero's defense. During a Detroit radio broadcast yesterday, a man claiming to be Snyder phoned in to put a stop to the mockery, and SlashFilm claims that it was indeed the Man of Steel director. I don’t want to give anything away about the movie or anything like that but Aquaman has some cool abilities. Or fish?" The cool thing with Aquaman is his Trident.

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US bots flagged Ebola before outbreak announced

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 21:06
BOSTON (AP) — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is focusing a spotlight on an online tool run by experts in Boston that flagged a "mystery hemorrhagic fever" in forested areas of southeastern Guinea nine days before the World Health Organization formally announced the epidemic.
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T-Mobile has a new app that lets you unlock your phone with a tap

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 20:34

T-Mobile looks to be doing its part with a new app that will let you unlock your phone — no lengthy customer support call required.

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Amazon picks on Orwell in latest ebook salvo against Hachette

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 20:30
Amazon is asking readers to help in its running dispute with Hachette Book Group by emailing Hachette's CEO. In a message from the Amazon Books Team on a website on Friday evening, Inc reiterated its arguments for cheaper ebooks, and suggested people email Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch. In its message, also emailed to writers who publish directly on its Kindle e-readers, Amazon compared the advent of ebooks to the arrival of paperback books in the 1930s. "If 'publishers had any sense, they would combine against them (paperbacks) and suppress them.' Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion," Amazon's message said.
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Security experts call for government action against cyber threats

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 19:33
By Joseph Menn LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Alarmed by mounting cyber threats around the world and across industries, a growing number of security experts see aggressive government action as the best hope for averting disaster. Such fears and proposals on new laws and executive action to counter these threats were core topics this week in Las Vegas at Black Hat and Def Con, two of the world's largest gatherings for security professionals and hackers. At Black Hat, the keynote speech by respected researcher Dan Geer went straight for national and global policy issues. "Either software houses deliver quality and back it up with product liability, or they will have to let their users protect themselves," said Geer, who works for In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm serving U.S. intelligence agencies.
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Amazon publishes Hachette CEO's email address in pricing spat

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 19:07

Amazon revealed Saturday the email address of the American head of publishing group Hachette, urging readers to pressure him in writing to end the two groups' simmering dispute over book pricing. The move came after more than 900 authors signed a letter urging the US online giant Amazon to end its battle with Hachette. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture," a letter posted by Amazon on read. Please email Hachette and copy us."

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Arrests as China cracks down on Internet rumours

Tech News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 18:06

Police in China have arrested four people and detained or warned another 81 as authorities crack down on alleged Internet rumour-mongering, state media reported Saturday. Police did not give details on the timing of the actions, Xinhua news agency said, adding that 16 websites were punished for "weak safety management". Citing police, Xinhua said that the alleged rumour-mongers "used social network services to fabricate and spread rumours, or forward rumours published on foreign websites". The latest moves come amid a crackdown on the spread of online rumours, which rights groups have criticised as an excuse to punish people who publish information critical of the ruling Communist Party.

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