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The Interview

There was a ton of hoopla about Sony releasing The Interview through internet services before it even hit theaters, but how much did this not-entirely-intentional experiment in online distribution pan out? Quite well, if you ask Sony. It just revealed that the movie racked up $15 million in digital rentals and sales (spread across 2 million customers) between its Wednesday release and Saturday, making the North Korea-themed comedy the studio's "#1 online film of all time" within a matter of days. The company isn't breaking down numbers by service, but Recode's sources claim that the "vast majority" of business came from Google Play and YouTube. Sorry, Xbox Video.

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An internet cafe in Tehran

Iran's current approach to internet censorship typically isn't subtle -- either you get unfettered access, or (more often) you don't see a site at all. However, the country's government is about to take a more measured approach to blocking online content it doesn't like. It's deploying "intelligent filtering" that tries to restrict only the material deemed "criminal or unethical," rather than cutting off an entire service. The smarter filter is only active on one social network (most likely Instagram) as part of a test phase, but it's expanding to more sites within the next six months. Ultimately, the nation wants to use this technology on "all networks."

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PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 controller

Three days after Lizard Squad's latest denial of service attack knocked the PlayStation Network offline (and Xbox Live, we'd add), the internet gaming service is gradually getting back on its feet. Sony now says that PSN should be up and running for all of its consoles. While the company warns that there might be some "intermittency" as it gets back into the swing of things, you theoretically won't face major interruptions during that big Destiny raid. It's not clear if Sony's infrastructure will be any better at weathering future digital assaults on this scale; given that the attack was supposedly three times larger than the previous record-setter, this probably isn't a permanent fix. However, it's good to know that you can squeak in at least some online gaming on that shiny new PS4 before the holidays are over.

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The Interview poster

iTunes was conspicuously absent from the list of internet services defying hacker threats by offering The Interview, but Apple is remedying that situation today. As of 1PM Eastern, Americans and Canadians can buy or rent the movie from iTunes; you won't have to bend over backwards (or at least, download an app) to watch the hyped-up comedy on your Apple TV or iPad. Netflix still isn't an option, but it won't be surprising if Sony wants to wring out as much profit as it can from purchases and rentals before going the subscription route.

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Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

2015 is coming up quick -- and Inhabitat is counting down the days to the new year by showcasing its top posts of 2014! It's been a big year for green tech and environmental news -- take a look at the most inspiring stories, the funniest and the most disturbing -- plus the biggest breakthroughs in wearable technology.

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Komodo dragon

If you're a console gamer, you're probably all too aware of Lizard Squad, the hacker outlet that allegedly knocked both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live offline for a good chunk of the Christmas break. But just why and how is this group causing so much grief? Thanks to the Daily Dot, we now have a better (if imperfect) idea of what's going on. It might not shock you to hear that the team is doing this both for laughs, à la LulzSec, and to expose the "incompetence" of the security teams at Microsoft and Sony. However, they also claim to have access to undersea internet cables and other "core routing equipment" that lets them flood networks with massive amounts of data. They supposedly bombarded PSN and XBL at a rate of 1.2 terabits per second, or three times the rate of the previous largest attack on record.

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Participants at the Chaos Computer Club

State-sponsored hacking attempts frequently rely on specially written software, but that's a risky move. Unless it's well-made, custom code can be a giveaway as to who's responsible. Attackers are switching things up, however. Security researchers at CrowdStrike and Cymmetria have discovered that a likely cyberwarfare campaign against military-related targets in Europe and Israel used commercial security software to both cover its tracks and improve its features. Typically, the attacks would try to fool people into installing rogue Excel scripts through bogus email. If anyone fell for the ploy, the script installed malware that also grabbed parts of Core Security's defense assessment tool in its attempt to throw investigators off the scent. That's no mean feat -- Core has copy protection and digital watermarks to prevent the software from winding up in the wrong hands, so the perpetrators clearly went out of their way to use it.

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Uber in India

It's no secret that Uber wants to improve its passenger safeguards and rescue its reputation, especially in India -- sexual assault claims led to a Delhi ban amid worries that the ridesharing company wasn't doing enough to screen drivers and protect riders. Now, however, Uber has explained just what it's doing to reassure jittery customers and skeptical governments. On a basic level, the firm is toughening up screening with closer looks at documents and research into more effective background checks. It's also establishing a local team for handling incidents, and an improved ShareMyETA button within the app (debuting first in India) lets you send your hired car's live position and driver details to worried friends.

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'The Interview's' depiction of Kim Jong-un

So you resisted the pressure to watch The Interview the second it became available, and you're not willing to rely on one review to decide whether it's really worth a download or theater trip just to stick it to hackers. No worries -- we've rounded up some of the more prominent reviews to give you a sense of whether or not the North Korean adventures of Franco and Rogen are any good. You may already have a sense of how well this over-the-top comedy fares, but don't be too quick to judge. You might find a few reasons to shell out some cash (or at least wait for that rumored Netflix release) to see The Interview, even if it's far from a cinematic masterpiece.

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DNA sample

Institutions have already been amassing huge DNA collections to catalog the world's creatures, but Moscow State University might just top them all. It's planning to build "Noah's Ark," a repository for the genes of every creature, living or extinct -- as long as the genes are readable, they'll either be cryogenically frozen or stored as pure data. Not surprisingly, it's going to be a massive undertaking in more ways than one. The Russian government is spending the equivalent of $194 million on the facility, which should occupy an enormous 166 square miles when it's finished in 2018.

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