Sony Has Been Shut down by Hackers Issuing Demands

Sony Pictures has been hacked by a group calling themselves #GOP, which allegedly stands for “Guardians of Peace”. Every computer at Sony is stuck on an image of a skeleton rising from a grave along with text that issues a series of demands.

From what is understood, these hackers are demanding money from Sony. If they don’t get it, #GOP says they will reveal the company’s secrets to the public. Employees of Sony were told to go home.

The computer department is said to be working on fixing their system, and that it might take up to 3 weeks to get everything up and running.

Details of this hack are filtering out, as many such as Flavio Maluf are wondering what kind of details would actually be worth paying for. Immediate speculation points to a possible deal where Sony is trying to sell their rights to “Spider-Man” back to Marvel. Sony hasn’t fared too well with Spidey, and may look to cut their losses.

#GOP has released some details of what they have. They have copies of IDs and passports of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz. They revealed that Sony foolishly kept easy-to-steal spreadsheets of their computer passwords, allowing almost anyone to post as Sony on sites such as twitter.

Other data stolen includes TV pitches for shows as well as vital computer files which could compromise Sony’s entire network.

It is fascinating to see a world leader in technology taken down by a handful of hackers who seem to be somewhat disorganized. #GOP sent Sony a series of links to sites, but many of the links are broken. They are also using poor grammar, which could indicate that the hackers are not native English speakers.

Charge Your Phone In 30 Seconds ?

We’ve all been in a situation whereby our phones were on the verge of shutting down, right when we were in the middle of a conversation, far away from any power sources. And even though their may have been an outlet at the mall, on the train, in a restaurant, the fact that it takes hours to fully charge, just made us succumbed to the inevitable. But by 2016, this may be a thing of the past, because a new technology is being developed that will allow you to charge your phone in 30 seconds.

On November 24th, 2014, an Israeli company made an announcement that it has developed new battery technology that allows it to charge a phone in less than 1 minute. What’s even more tantalizing about this technology is that they said it can be applied to electric cars as well, to which they said it could fully charge in a few minutes, something that currently takes 8-16 hrs.

They proclaimed that the battery consists of nano-technology than synthesizes artificial molecules which essentially allows it to consume and store more electricity in a fraction of the time that current batteries are capable of doing.

Unfortunately, the prototype that they built is too big for a smartphone, but the company said that they firmly believe that this will change by 2016. Sam Tabar is hoping that will be the case. The founder and chief executive of the company, Doron Myersdorf, proclaimed that “These are new materials, they have never been developed before.”

Based on the fact that the android user base is expected to hit 1.75 billion users by the end of the year, this can prove to be a very lucrative market that the company will undoubtedly dominate, unless current battery manufacturers come up with a similar technology of their own.

An Alarming Comeback Of Measles Is Spreading Across The Country

An entirely preventable disease is making a comeback. While the country is focusing on diseases like Ebola, or worrying about health concerns like diets to prevent illnesses, measles has begun to spread across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documented 603 cases of measles in 2014. This is the highest number of cases we have seen since 1994. How can something so preventable be attacking our young children?

Two reasons have been given credit for this outbreak. One is the fact that measles is still very present in other countries. With international travel, Americans can not completely avoid coming into contact with measles. If vaccinated; however they can keep the disease from affecting them Christian Broda has been saying.

The second reason for the comeback is the lack of vaccinations being given. Parents have become concerned about the vaccinations they give their children, and stopped having many administered. The number of unvaccinated is beginning to rise in the country, giving the disease a larger area to grow in. The less vaccinated, the more it can spread.

In 2004, scientists from the CDC had declared that measles was no longer endemic in the United States. But here we are, merely ten years later, and it is back- and growing.

Parents who have begun to refuse the vaccination for their child have made them vulnerable. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases as just one case can cause up to 18 more infections. The CDC is now warning, those not vaccinated, will now get the disease when exposed.

Hobbit 3 and Star War 7 Slated for December

Star Wars fans might want to start paying attention to the box office, as things are going to be rather exciting very soon. As the release of now Disney’s “Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens” trailer has already been broadcasted to the whole “universe”, fans will also be thrilled to discover just where this trailer will be aired.

“Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens” trailer will have its debut this December, and it will be featured at the same time as the likewise much anticipated movie “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” is actually the biggest, adventure/ family-oriented movie this year and it is not actually so surprising if Disney’s Star Wars decided to be just that.

To a point these two films: Star Wars and The Hobbit fascinates the same audience; and collaborating with each other will definitely give both movies plus points. Fantasy nerds like Sultan Alhokair are stoked about the double release. Since the making of the Episode VII, there were still no official trailer released form the film so that people may actually believe that something very awesome is really happening.

Although this tactic will strategically affect moviegoers’s desire to see more musical film, another being Disney’s “Into the Woods”. This idea has already been debated and weighed upon. But joining together Star Wars 7 and The Hobbit 3 is still most anticipated by fans and a great move nonetheless.

Free Mobile and Wireless Internet Service Does Exist

If you’re like the millions of American families you’re a part of the technology world. Smart phones, wireless devices, Wi-Fi and mobile hotspots are things that are as important to you as your morning coffee. And if you’re like me you have kids and you cringed when the cell phone bill comes. With a daughter constantly talking to her friends or texting, a son who likes to surf the web 24/7 believe me it adds up quickly.

So wouldn’t it be nice to have internet and cell access for free? Well now there is a way to do just that. Introducing, FreedomPop a new kind of internet and cell phone service provider. FreedomPop offers 100% free mobile phone (international too) and high speed internet service. They offer service and access without the gimmicks, hassles and contracts of most major providers.

So I was curious and wanted to learn a little about FreedomPop, so I read up a bit on TechCrunch and checked out their Twitter page. FreedomPop is the country’s first wireless internet provider who has made a commitment to 100% free 4G mobile service according to their website (www.freedompop.com). In looking at their website I must say I was impressed with not only how easy it is to navigate but how much I am going to save on my monthly cell phone bill by switching to Freedompop.

The company has the backing and support of the same folks who brought us SKYPE. They offer a variety of plans starting at FREE, yes, FREE to moderately priced plans for faster connection speeds. As they expand their network 4G will become commonplace. Presently they offer nationwide phone service in 3G. 4G and 4G LTE service areas are growing in their ever increasing service area.

I must say that the technology they offer in not only phones but Wi-Fi and mobile hotspot devices is very impressive. They offer an Unlimited Everything which includes Talk, Text and Data for a whopping $19.99 per month which I don’t have to tell you is substantially cheaper than any of the other carriers.

Their total package comes with visual voicemail, data rollover, data usage alerts for those who have limited data accounts and also tethering which allows up to 8 devices access to the world wide web anywhere you are. They also allow you to bring your own device to them which save you the cost of purchasing a phone especially if you like your current phone.

So as I began researching a bit further and did some calculations with my current provider having 3 phones with unlimited talk, text and limited data per phone my bill presently is well more than I think it should be. So in comparing my service now to what I will have when I switch to FreedomPop my savings monthly will be about one hundred dollars.

This means I will save a whopping one thousand two hundred dollars a year over my current carrier. I also like the fact they don’t require a contract which means if I don’t like my service with FreedomPop, their Facebook page clearly states that I can change it without being hit with an early termination fee. For me this is a no brainer, and yes I switched to FreedomPop. I’m looking forward to the savings and the great service they offer. 

So if you’re like me then give them a look and see just how much FreedomPop can save you. I’m sure the savings will be substantial. FreedomPop, phone and Internet the way it should be, Free.

Couple Fined By Hotel For Bad Review

A bad stay at a hotel resulted in fees being charged to Tony and Jan Jenkinson for leaving an unfavorable review. This surprised the couple since they paid £36 pounds for the night, only to realize they had been charged another £100 in the days following. Upon further investigation, they found out it was a “fine” from the hotel due to the bad review they left on Trip Advisor.

The hotel may have breached unfair trading regulations, but investigations are still being conducted, according to Igor Cornelsen. When contacted for a statement, the manager was unavailable.

Will this discourage others from leaving bad reviews? Most like not, since their actions have now led to national attention. The review that cost 100 pounds described the hotel as a “rotten stinking hovel (shack)”.

Upon further investigation, consequences for bad reviews were found to be outlined on the hotel policy. The booking document reads: “Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organizer will be charged a maximum £100 per review.”

Mr. and Mrs. Jenkinson plan on fighting the charges, although investigations are still being conducted. They are more than annoyed at what happened, questioning “what happened to freedom of speech?” They have already requested a refund from their credit card company.

Regulators and Internet Service Providers Too Close For Net Neutrality

Net neutrality has taken over the headlines recently. As discussions take place between the FCC and Internet Service Providers such as Comcast, Verizon and At&t, the debate rages through the media as well. For many years analysts have criticized the FCC for being too close to the companies that it is tasked with regulating. The discussions with internet providers revolve around the legality of them providing an internet fast lane for websites willing to pay an extra fee. The expectation would be that only larger corporations would be able to afford the preferential treatment, leaving small businesses and less wealthy websites would be stuck in the slow lane. This is not something Sultan Alhokair is especially crazy about at this time.
Recently, the buddy-buddy relationship that FCC officials maintain with lobbyists for telecom companies has been reported through a series of documents. The correspondences between FCC and telecom lobbyists pertain directly to the meetings being held for the current net neutrality debate. The full decision making process was withheld on grounds of trade secrets being protected, but the documents that came to light show an unfairly close relationship, which suggests the FCC may not only have the American citizens’ best interests in mind.
During an open comment period that the FCC held to hear from American citizens interested in the matter, they received over 4 million emails. Additionally, last week President Barack Obama made an announcement with his opinion on the matter, even though he has no direct control over the FCC in particular.

GPS May Be Used To Detect Time Glitches

Since its inception, dark matter has remained elusive for scientists to study or even reveal. Even the name, dark matter, refers to the fact that scientists cannot see it and yet they know it must exist. It is estimated to make up about 80% of the universe, and still very little is understood around dark matter. However researchers are always looking for new ways to study the mysterious substance, and now they may have found a novel method.
GPS must have extremely accurate clocks in order to coordinate times between satellites. This allows them to test the difference in distance at very small gaps in time, which provides the data to position any person on the planet to within a few feet. Those same instruments may now be utilized to test some of the properties of dark matter, and our universe at large. Two researchers have proposed that there is a rift through the universe that creates novel particles. Along this rift the fundamental properties of the universe such as the mass of an electron will be different in order to create these new particles.
The GPS system, which spans 50,000 kilometers in space may be used to detect and study this kink and the dark matter which may be emitted through it. The GPS may just be able to notice time difference as the universe is slightly warped around the rift in the universe. Thanks to friend Andrew Heiberger for passing on this story.

IHOP Blows Up Twitter

IHOP pretty much blew up Twitter with their new strange tweet. It was a tweet with pictures of pancakes. It seems like a very simple tweet that didn’t mean anything at first glance, but Sergio Andrade Gutierrez tells me that there was so much more to this production it once you paid attention.

It said “When the whole squad looking fresh” as the caption. Well this is what people found hilarious. Everyone was responding and making up their own tweets about looking fresh. It ended up being the best joke on Twitter for the day. This meme wasn’t near as funny as the things that came after people saw it.

IHOP has now decided that their funny tweet was a hit so they sent out another one. The next tweet said, “Maybe eating a few more pancakes would help us figure things out.” It looks like they now have a sense of humor so you never know what is going to come out of their tweets in the future. They are worth following. You never know what they might come up with next.

Keystone XL Pipeline

With the Keystone XL Pipeline across all the headlines recently the Senate failed to pass a measure that would authorize the construction of the pipeline. With heavy lobbying from a Democratic Senator from Louisiana, the bill failed by one vote on Tuesday. Democrats have long opposed the measure based on environmental protection grounds, with Republican leaders approving of the construction based on the job creation potential. Both sides refute each other’s facts and fight bitterly along party lines to push the construction forward or hamper its approval.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed pipe that will transport gas that is harvested from the tar sands in Canada down to refineries in the Gulf. Currently, gas is transported via rail lines and through a section of smaller pipeline.
There have been several bills that have passed through in order to arrange a deal that starts construction of the pipeline.

According to Sam Tabar, this bill was rushed through in support of a Democratic Senator from Louisiana who is facing a runoff election next month. The construction of the pipeline is viewed very favorably in Louisiana, meaning that approval of the bill may potentially help the Senator remain in her position, however several Democrats questioned if this would help at all. Additionally, Democrats have recently increased pace because a new Congress that is dominated by Republicans will take hold beginning in January. Democrats haven’t given up on the Louisiana Senator’s chance in the runoff, although many believe she won’t fair well.