Archive for February 2012
Hollywood hasn’t given up trying to persuade consumers to buy and collect movies or on digital rights management.
Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox are partnering with Sandisk and Western Digital to develop antipiracy devices in an effort to secure 1080p high-definition movies once they’re in the wild.
The companies announced today that they have formed a new consortium called Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA). The group will create the standards which they hope will be adopted by makers of Blu-ray players, tablets, and smart TVs. As of yet, the SCSA doesn’t have a device to show us but is working to launch a product later this year, according to a Warner spokesman.
A Japanese company is looking to take elevators to new heights. The Daily Yomiuri reports that Tokyo-based construction company Obayashi Corp. hopes to have a space elevator operational by 2050, carrying passengers and cargo in a vehicle that travels along a ribbon made of carbon nanotubes extending a quarter of the way to the moon.
A counterweight at the end of the 96,000 kilometer (59,652 mile) cable would anchor the entire assembly, which is connected to a station on the ground. Passengers would travel from the surface of the Earth to a terminal station housing a research center and residential facilities located about 36,000 kilometers (22,369 miles) up the ribbon in a car traveling at 200 km/h (124 mph). At that speed the journey is anticipated to take about a week.
The British animation industry, which has spawned favourites from Bagpuss to Bob the Builder, is at risk of terminal decline, leading animators have warned.
Animation UK, a lobby group backed by leading studios, has met Chancellor George Osborne to urge him to introduce tax breaks in next month’s budget.
They have told him the industry is at a “critical tipping point” and could disappear from the UK within years.
Tax breaks in other countries make it cheaper to work overseas, they say.
Animation UK said their meeting with Mr Osborne was “positive and productive”.
It follows a warning from Wallace and Gromit animators Aardman, which said it was considering moving production overseas because it was too expensive in the UK.
In France, government funds and tax breaks account for almost 20% of production budgets, while Irish tax relief is worth up to 28%. In Canada, tax credits and other public support accounted for 47% of budgets in 2009/10.
Here, leading figures of the British animation industry explain why they believe it will be a struggle to ensure future children’s favourites are made in the UK.
Google has pledged cash prizes totaling $1 million to people who successfully hack its Chrome browser at next week’s CanSecWest security conference.
Google will reward winning contestants with prizes of $60,000, $40,000, and $20,000 depending on the severity of the exploits they demonstrate on Windows 7 machines running the browser. Members of the company’s security team announced the Pwnium contest on their blog on Monday. There is no splitting of winnings, and prizes will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis until the $1 million threshold is reached.
Now in its sixth year, the Pwn2Own contest at the same CanSecWest conference awards valuable prizes to those who remotely commandeer computers by exploiting vulnerabilities in fully patched browsers and other Internet software. At last year’s competition, Internet Explorer and Safari were both toppled but no one even attempted an exploit against Chrome (despite Google offering an additional $20,000 beyond the $15,000 provided by contest organizer Tipping Point).
You may not be the only one at your Oscar party tonight pretending to have seen all nine Best Picture nominees: 2011 moviegoing attendance was the lowest in 15 years.
Can you guess why? Oh, man, I know this one. Let’s ask Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian.
The economy, that’s one of the things I think that comes into play. When people are really having a hard time putting their money together, you know, filling their wallet, you have to pick and choose what you’re going to spend your money on.
Right, the economy. It was on the tip of my tongue.
Also, there were a lot of shitty movies, something this piece kind of glosses over. And either way, attendance in 2012 is already on the rise, so we’re either making better films or recovering economically. (Or spending our money more frivolously, if you want to be cynical about it. I did pay $18 to see Star Wars: Episode I in 3D.)
But wait a minute — cut! Thanks to some new popular films, plus mild weather and a whatever-it-is that movie marketers can’t bottle (but worship), movie attendance in 2012 is UP.
I don’t think I will ever be able to muster as much enthusiasm for box office numbers as this author did in her transition. But hey, at least we’ll all be able to do a more thorough job complaining about what doesn’t get nominated next year.