Sony's already acquiescing to demands made by the North Korean hackers associated with the Guardians of Peace, and the US' commander-in-chief is none too pleased by it. In a press conference that led off with a recap of his past year in office, President Barack Obama said in no uncertain terms that Sony's decision to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview was "a mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," Obama said. "If somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing if they see a documentary they don't like or news reports they don't like. Or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. That's not who we are. That's not what America's about."

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

MSI GT72 Dominator review: a worthy successor to a great gaming notebook

The last time I saw MSI's Dominator laptop, I was sick of it. There wasn't anything wrong with it, but at the time, the product name belonged to the GT70: a powerhouse gaming machine that hasn't evolved much since its introduction in 2012. Back then, I loved the machine's heavy chassis, superb keyboard and excellent sound -- but over time, the machine's aesthetic trappings began to bore me. Someone at MSI must have felt the same way: Earlier this year, the company released the GT72, a new Dominator with a whole new design. Soon after, it relaunched the machine with NVIDIA's latest graphics architecture. OK, MSI, let's see if you can make me fall in love again.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Instagram on iOS

Many baulked when Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg agreed to drop $1 billion on Instagram in April 2012. "That's $33 per user," said some; "there's no business model!" screamed others. Less than three years later and Citigroup now says Instagram is worth $35 billion. That's almost 49 times higher than the $715 million Facebook ended up paying after its stock price fell, and considerably higher than rivals Twitter and LinkedIn. How did things go so right?

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Liberian health care worker helping to fight Ebola

You know how your smartphone and computer just do nothing when you're not using them? You can now put those slackers to work in a noble cause: helping cure the Ebola virus. IBM's World Community Grid has teamed up with scientists from the Scripps Research Institute with the "Outsmart Ebola Together" project to tackle the deadly plague. The laboratory has been studying the virus for the last decade, and has mapped potential weak points in Ebola proteins. But the process of narrowing down promising drugs is computationally intensive, which is where you and your device come in.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

4th Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards - Cocktails

RuPaul Charles is nothing if not brutally frank. And with a decades-spanning career that's taken him from former New York City club kid to one-time "Supermodel (of the World)," to current host of Logo TV's cult reality show competition RuPaul's Drag Race and all-around impresario of his brand, he's certainly earned the right to tell it like it is. That candor's what his drag persona would refer to as "No T, No Shade," and it's incredibly refreshing.

Sure, Ru's name may not be the first that springs to mind when you think tech, but with his recently released freemium mobile game Dragopolis 2.0 hitting iTunes and Google Play, he carved some time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about being a "gaymer," the importance of Apple CEO Tim Cook's coming out and why Netflix is the key to his current media empire.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

After a whole host of unconfirmed media reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation just officially stated it believes that North Korea was indeed involved with a gigantic Sony hack that saw personal information, unreleased movies and thousands of emails leaked online. According to a release issued by the Bureau, an investigation revealed "significant overlap" between the means of attack against Sony and previous hacks conducted by the North Korean government. Earlier reports also suggested that the FBI would identify China as a potential participant (either directly or through use of its network infrastructure) in the attack, but no mention of the country was made in this first announcement.

"North Korea's actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves," the Bureau's statement reads.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

US-IT-COMPUTER-CES

Long before Transformers director Michael Bay choked onstage at Samsung's lavish CES 2014 press conference, the Korean company was just another electronics outfit begging for attention. But after decades at CES, Samsung is now the undisputed king of the show. Its blowout media events are the largest and most difficult to get into. Samsung Electronics CEO BK Yoon is kicking off the show next month by hosting the prestigious opening keynote. And it's one of the few tech giants left standing at CES, as Microsoft and others abandon it. Samsung's glorious rise mirrors its ascent in the mobile industry, and it's also yet another example of the company's oft-repeated formula for success: Time, money and perseverance lead to victory.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

There's a new way to amuse, educate or just distract your offspring while Mommy has a little sippy-poo for the holidays -- Amazon has just dumped a bunch of new content into FreeTime Unlimited. The kid-centric service runs $2.99 a month for Prime subscribers, and includes around 4,000 educational books, 400 "age-appropriate" apps and several thousand TV shows and movies. Amazon's added "thousands of new titles," including games Frozen Free Fall from Disney and Dora's Great Big World, along with e-books from Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street. If you're on FreeTime Unlimited and have an Amazon Kindle reader, Fire TV or Fire tablet (like the Kids Edition shown above) you can access the content now, or sign up for a free trial.

0 Comments

Amazon SVP of Devices David Limp promised back in October that the company will continue releasing updates for the Fire phone despite its rather poor performance -- like this big software upgrade, for instance. The latest version of Fire phone's OS comes with a long list of new features, including the ability to translate text and identify artwork (well, anything included in its 2,000-piece catalog, anyway) in photos using Firefly. Plus, there's a new camera mode called Best Shot that saves three versions of each captured photo, so you can choose the best one.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Nobody laughs much at Elon Musk anymore, but plenty of people snickered at his Hyperloop idea (okay, also the killer robot thing). To remind you, the Hyperloop is a series of underground trains powered by compressed air that transport folks between cities in tubes at around Mach I. While that may sound certifiably insane, a company called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) doesn't think so, and with the help of some UCLA students, has made considerable progress developing the idea. According to Wired, the startup (assisted by JumpStartFund investors) has enlisted top engineers from companies like Boeing, Airbus and SpaceX willing to work on Hyperloop in their spare time in exchange for stock options.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Must Reads