Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I hope everyone has had a wonderful year 2014, and that all your wishes and goals came through. THANKS to all who follow my blog and are fans of the NASTRAGULL saga. A special thanks to my family and friends. I hope that everyone’s wishes and dreams realized in 2015.
My third book in the NASTRAGULL saga; Dawn Sets In Hell will be published in 2015.



The Worst Movies of 2014 Give Themselves Terrible Reviews (Video)

Yahoo! Movies pulls out appropriately negative clips from some of the season’s least-liked films from “RoboCop” to “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “The Expendables 3″
Who needs film critics when movies can just review themselves? That was the notion behind Yahoo! movies compilation of the worst films of 2014. They selected actual lines from the films to sum up their opinion of the picture, opening the video with a quick line/review from “Into the Storm”: “It sucked.”
The digs just kept on coming, with the line “This is a joke” pulled from “Ouija,” and “RoboCop” simply declaring, “This has to stop.”
Some of the clips were more actor-specific, with Seth MacFarlane representing “A Million Ways to Die in the West” by saying, “I’m the problem.”
For “The Expendables 3,” Arnold Schwarzenegger tells Sylvester Stallone, “You know, I’m getting out of this business … and so should you.”
“The Giver” kept it simple, saying, “I apologize,” while perhaps the most positive line came from “And So It Goes.” It’s self-evaluation stated, “Less than I hoped for, but more than I expected.”
On the opposite side was “Dracula Untold,” which was much harder on itself, saying, “I have to say we are a little disappointed. Frankly, I expected more.”
It’s certainly a novel way to review a film, and a fresh way to dissect the dialogue of any movie or television show you’re watching. Could this line sum up my thoughts on the film?
THE WRAP By Movies | By Jason Hughes on December 30, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

Clip of the Year 2014


Japan’s JAXA space agency plans to use a magnetic net to clean up some of the 22,000 sizable pieces of space junk, before dragging them back into Earths atmosphere where it will all burn up.
The 1,000 foot long net has a magnetic field to attract nearby debris, and was made by a Japanese fishing net manufacturer.

So what happened to this project?


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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Former Sony Staffer Among Six Suspects in Hack, Says Security Firm (Report)

A former studio employee and five other hackers around the world have been implicated in the security breach, says Norse Corp

A cybersecurity firm conducting its own investigation of the Sony Pictures hack claims it has identified six individuals involved in the criminal attack, including one former studio employee based in America as well as participants from Canada, Thailand and Singapore.

Norse Corp, which offers live attack intelligence to corporate and government clients, says a probe independent of the FBI and Sony’s internal investigation has turned up an ex-staffer with “extensive knowledge of the company’s network and operations,” according to the Daily Caller.

Before the holidays, the FBI issued a public statement saying the agency “has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.” Sony’s own investigation is ongoing. Norse and Sony have not yet returned TheWrap’s request for comment.

Norse vice president Kurt Stammberger said the half-dozen suspects had “direct involvement in the hack,” in efforts that were coordinated using the employee’s firsthand knowledge. In a previous report, Stammberger identified the insider as “Lena,” whom he suggested has ties to self-identified hackers Guardians of Peace.

 “This woman was in precisely the right position and had the deep technical background she would need to locate the specific servers that were compromised,” Stammberger told CBS News.

Norse offered no further motivation for an independent review other than “the premise that the attack would have been best executed from the inside,” wrote the Caller.

THE WRAP Media | By Matt Donnelly on December 29, 2014 @ 6:32 pm  

Also Read: Sony Hack – A Marketing Scam?

DGA, WGA Extend Foreign Levies Agreements with MPAA

The Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America have each extended their Foreign Levies Agreements with the MPAA for three years.
The agreements have resulted in distribution of more than $310 million over the past two decades to directors and writers, according to the unions.
Kate Bedingfield, a spokeswoman for the MPAA, confirmed that the agreements have been extended until the end of 2017. The guilds had no immediate comment.
The agreements, which were set to expire on Dec. 31, cover funds collected outside the U.S. to compensate writers and directors. The DGA has paid out $160 million of those funds to to directors, according to its web site; the WGA West said in July in its annual report to members that it had paid out $151.7 million since 1993.
The foreign levies for U.S. creatives began to flow after the U.S. agreement in 1989 to terms of the Berne Convention, which establishes the right of authorship for individuals who create works of art. Copyright laws in European countries recognize directors and writers as “authors” of motion pictures; in the U.S., employees transfer the copyright to employers as part of employment agreements.
The MPAA agreements provide that the foreign funds, which are through obtained through various collecting societies, are distributed to the guilds and to the producers.
The DGA was sued in 2006 over alleged mishandling distribution of the foreign levies and reached a settlement in 2008.
The WGA was sued in 2005 by William Richert (“Winter Kills”), which alleged that the guild had not properly handled the foreign funds due scribes as compensation for reuse. A consent decree, signed in June 2010, included an agreement by the WGA to use its “best efforts” to pay all foreign funds within three years.
Bedingfield also said Monday that SAG-AFTRA’s foreign levies agreement also expires at the end of 2017.
SAG was sued over the foreign levies program in 2007 by “Leave It to Beaver” actor Ken Osmond. That suit was settled in 2011.
According to the SAG-AFTRA web site, the union has collected $27 million in foreign funds and distributed $16.7 million of those since 1997, as of April, 2013.
In May, 2013, SAG-AFTRA was sued by former SAG-AFTRA president Ed Asner and 15 other plaintiffs over alleged mishandling of $132 million in residuals and foreign royalties. A federal judge dismissed the suit in January, 2014, but  indicated that the plaintiffs might be able to re-visit the issue since the factual situation was still developing.
News of the extension of the DGA and WGA agreements was first reported by
VARIETY By Dave McNary Film Reporter@Variety_DMcNary December 29, 2014 | 06:54PM PT

Piracy Panic! Hollywood’s Major Studios Fear Google Fiber’s Faster Speed

Getty Images
Survey conducted on behalf of WB and SPE purportedly reveals one third of existing pirates would steal more, while one fourth of non-pirates would start stealing

While many consumers are excited about the prospect of Google Fiber’s blazing fast Internet speed promises, Hollywood studios are purportedly nervous enough to have backed a survey into the potential connections between Google Fiber and piracy two years ago.

The 2012 survey conducted on behalf of Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed a dramatic increase in potential piracy thanks to the speed and convenience of Google Fiber, according to a report TorrentFreak claims to have received. Representatives for WB and SPE have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The website posted slides purportedly from the presentation accompanying the findings of the survey, which featured respondents from Kansas City — where Google Fiber launched — and St. Louis, serving as a control group.

Among the more than 2,000 persons questioned, approximately one third of respondents identifying as pirates indicated they would download or stream more, according to the report, while one quarter of respondents who would be considered non-pirates said they would start if and when Google Fiber became available in their community.

As detailed on one slide, the most popular reason for pirating films and television shows is because of fast Internet speed. As of now, Kansas City is one of only three cities with Google Fiber available, along with Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah, with nine more listed as “potential Google Fiber cities” on the company’s website.

The report estimates the potential financial losses of this increased piracy could rise to $2.7 billion, an increase of more than $1 billion annually, should Google Fiber continue its expansion nationwide.

TorrentFreak pointed out that the same survey’s results conclude that 39% of respondents would use paid streaming services more and that 34% of respondents said they would rent or purchase more online video content, but the analysis doesn’t break down how much additional revenue this might generate.

THE WRAP Movies | By Jason Hughes on December 29, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

Drunk History Christmas with Ryan Gosling, Jim Carrey and Eva Mendes

A very special Drunk History Christmas.

Published December 19, 2011 5.4m views Immortal More Info »


The simplest kind of black hole is a Schwarzschild black hole, which is a black hole with mass, but with no electric charge, and no spin. Karl Schwarzschild discovered this black hole geometry at the close of 1915 within weeks of Einstein presenting his final theory of General Relativity.

The animation nicely illustrates gravitational lensing. The black hole here is taken to have a radius equal to that of the Earth, which requires that the mass of the black hole be about 2,000 suns. The Earth orbits at 3 Schwarzschild radii (the minimum stable circular orbit), and we observe at rest from a distance of 5 Schwarzschild radii. For these parameters, we would see the Earth orbit the black hole 80 times per second.

This animation is not realistic! The Earth would be tidally torn apart in about one orbit if it were orbiting this close to a black hole of this mass.
Notice that when the Earth recedes from us, it appears reddish (redshifted) and slowed, and conversely when the Earth approaches us it appears blue (blueshifted) and speeded up.

Sources & references:

Animation credit and specific info via JILA Science
Corina Marinescu



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