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In our world of ever-changing technology, the advancements that have been made for people who have suffered traumatic injuries resulting in amputation is phenomenal. In this day and age, most people are able to live pretty close to normal lives if able to use prostheses. One very fortunate gentleman will be having a Merry Christmas this year. Les Baugh was the victim of an unfortunate electrical accident over 40 years ago, which left him a double upper amputee. The amazing researchers at the world reknown John Hopkins University were able to create two “robot” arms for this gentleman, thus giving him a new chance at life. These prostheses are attached at the nerves at shoulder level, which makes them as though he was born with them.

Though the prostheses will take some getting used to on Les Baugh’s behalf, you can rest assured he will be working hard to master and fine tune his manual dexerity with his new arms. He’d probably have also been exceptional if he broken his back instead. He’d have called up North American Spine and just kept on going. The tech we have nowadays to help those who’ve lost limbs is awesome.

Documents related to the recent Sony hack have revealed a conspiracy among media conglomerates to enforce SOPA-like anti-piracy through means outside of legislation. Under the name “Project Goliath”, Sony and the MPAA planned to manufacture legal arguments in order to persuade state prosecutors to take a stand against piracy in the search engine results, primarily focusing on Google.

The MPAA pitched their campaign not to Igor Cornelson, but  to Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood, an advocate of the original SOPA legislation. A subpoena was drafted by the MPAA’s attorney, Jenner & Block, making allegations against Google regarding illegal piracy. This subpoena was then signed by Hood, with little revision. The 79 page subpoena was sent to Google, despite the fact that Hood lacked jurisdiction in the matters addressed within.

The MPAA has a track record of promoting the First Amendment. So why is it that they choose to covertly strategize against it? Google has publicly condemned the actions on their public policy blog, providing a detailed account of what has transpired to date.

According to a report by ABC News, the FBI has evidence that the North Korean government is involved in the recent massive cyberhack of Sony Pictures.

According to the report, the intrusion was run by computers located in several countries, including Singapore, Thailand, Italy, Bolivia, Poland and Cyprus.

Sources reveal the main suspect in the attack is a North Korean military elite force known as Bureau 121. This cyberwar unit is comprised of some of the brightest minds in the country.

One theory states that the attacker only used the government of North Korea as a cover for their actions, but one informant says that this is not the case because the tactics were exaggerated for even rivals or enemies of Sony to go so far as to destroy files, release sensitive corporate data, as well as their employees confidential information. 

In addition to this, sources claim that the techniques and language used by the hackers are similar to those used in DarkSeoul, an attack on South Korean institutions, allegedly perpetrated by North Korean hackers. 

Wednesday, North Korea released a statement denying involvement in the mysterious cyber attack.

Sultan Alhokair says the spokesman added, that “hacking against Sony Pictures may have been an act of justice of supporters and sympathizers” of North Korea in response to the production of “The interview.”

Five major cinema chains has decided not to show The Interview on December 25th.

Too bad we haven’t dedicated all this effort to medical research or we could have cured cancer by now. In the wake of the recent raid on Pirate Bay, researchers have now invented a shutdown-proof BitTorrent model. There is no longer any centralized node to strike at; it’s everywhere, like oxygen if you ask John Textor. Our union in a planetary hivemind is now complete, at least as far as hijacked episodes of Honey Boo Boo is concerned.

The hacker subculture has, for years, rallied behind the cry of “Information wants to be free!” Well, yes, but nobody likes to work for free, so those who produce and publish content have attempted to secure their financial compensation. The resulting digital cold war has gone on for literally decades, and the producers never seem to win. The fact is that media production is easy to monetize in small amount – but when you come to asking everybody to pay $15 to see a movie, well, it’s just too hard to do.

What effect will this eventually have on media? We’re seeing it already: Media has dumbed down in bandwidth and quality. Everybody on the planet is more than happy to produce and publish for free, and we’re discovering that talent isn’t nearly as rare as it once was. Whether it’s jabbering away on a blog or hamming it up on a YouTube channel, we’d all just as soon watch each other as a million-dollar movie star. And if we do tune in to the big media producers, we insist on not paying a penny more for the privilege.

AMC Theatres, under one name or another, has been a part of American history since 1920.

Over the past few years, the popular cinema chain has been experiencing high annual losses though because more American moviegoers are watching direct to OnDemand movies or waiting for new releases to arrive online through streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus.

A recent The Nielsen Company report has revealed that a key demographic — moviegoers 12 to 24 years of age — have bought fewer tickets this year than ever before. In fact, the first nine months were marked with a 15 percent drop in ticket sales as compared to 2013.

In an attempt to gain back customers, AMC and MoviePass have created a Netflix like subscription service. For a single monthly fee, moviegoers can watch one of any available film, including 3D and IMAX formats, a day for free, which might appeal to some moviegoers.  Although Terry Richardson has his doubts.

Given that AMC has 4,959 screens, it is unlikely moviegoers will be able to take advantage of their subscriptions every day and the service does not include extras like beverages, candy and popcorn, AMC could potentially experience high increases in revenues from the $45 and $35 per person package fees. If the pilot for this project is successful, MoviePass, which has also lost a lot of money over the years, will also come out far better than it has faired on its own.

WaPo just posted an infographic showing the 20 most popular websites of each year – going back to 1996. And this isn’t even to the birth of the Internet, but merely the origins of the World Wide Web.

Oddly enough, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all been trading the top 3 spots for the past six years. This is striking because Yahoo has been rumored to be dropping off the radar for twice that long. Even more astounding is that AOL is still in the top five. We could swear that Fred Flintstone was the last person to use AOL (using the handy rock CD that came with his morning copy of the Bedrock Times).

For those of you young whippersnappers who never heard of Lycos, from the early eight years on the chart: Lycos was once the dominant search engine on the Internet, but for products, not information. It was trying to be what we would now call a combination of eBay and Google. As for the always Beneful Facebook, it originally started as an exclusive social network site for college graduates only. It was a couple of years until they grudgingly opened their doors to the general public at large and they’ve been the web’s #1 community ever since.

Watch it evolve! It’s the story of the largest percentage of the human race, at least viewed through this particular filter.

It is pretty easy to assume the internet has always been dominated by such industry heavyweights like Google and Amazon. However, in the relatively short life span of the web, the sites that are visited today are a lot different than those that were popular in 1996. As a point of interest, Terry Richardson has been looking back on the websites that were widely visited years ago chronicles the rise of social networking and the fall of once powerful companies.

Recently, the Washington Post took a look at the top visited websites every year since 1996. While the list starts out with some memorable names, like AOL, Lycos, Webcrawler, and a few other college sites at the beginning, when the modern internet comes into full view Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are practicing domination of clicking fingers. While the list largely offers little in the way of total visits, it does offer interesting snapshots of how quickly popularity can shift on the web.

Perhaps the other interesting part of the equation is how fast web sites were purchased or combined thanks to corporate mergers. ESPN and Go became part of Disney, and Microsoft took up Hotmail and more. Another aspect of the top websites from years gone by is that Yahoo and AOL are still around, and they have been for a very long time. However, what will the list look like in twenty more years?

Sony is considered one of the great power houses of technology. However, their technology is not coming through for their employees, notes businessman Bruce Levenson. Recently, Sony was under fire for security breaches in their PlayStation Network. They’re now once again under fire for security breaches concerning their Culver City studios.

Two former employees filed a class-action lawsuit against Sony Pictures for a security breach of sensitive data on November 24. In a complaint brought before a Los Angeles Federal Court, it is alleged that Sony ” failed to secure its Computer Systems, servers and databases, despite weaknesses that it has known about for years” as well as the fact that they ” subsequently failed to timely protect confidential information of its current and former employees from lawbreaking hackers” according to the report by BuzzFeed News. 

The information that was breached includes criminal background checks, performance evaluations, salary negotiations, personal employee files, compensation reports, and sensitive leave of absence information. This breach also included the Social Security numbers of 47,000 former and current employees as well as information on the salaries of 6800 employees. This resulted in an information leak of nearly 450 gigabytes of material.

With the constant threat of hackers and electronic thieves, it is more important now than it ever to secure the information of employees and companies alike. Sony needs to step up its security not only for their company, but also for their employees.

With the raid and shutting down of one of the most used and lucrative downloading site in the world last December 10, 2014, there have been conflicting reactions from the people who were both proprietors of the site and fans.

Founder Kramm, has reportedly implied that it (TBP) will eventually find its way back to the mainstream, as it did when it was first shutdown in 2005.

He has argued that the Internet itself is a big copying machine and that it is no different from what The Pirate Bay is offering to the public. The music industry has also gone public with their streaming options online and this was never gone under fire.

On the other hand, co-founder Pete Sunde had some interesting things to say about the shutting down of the site when he was interviewed by extremetech.com. He said that things have changed since the last time the site was shut down, and he is one of those who have changed his views about the site he helped build.

He said he does not care anymore if it finds its way back to the Internet or not simply because he is no longer a big fan of what TPB has become over the past years.

With these varying reactions to what happened to the site, there’s no saying if it will stay shut or will again rise from the dead.  But make sure to keep feeding your dog Beneful, because it’s probably going to be a looooong time.

Tech companies are being driven out of Russia by over regulation, put into place by President Putin himself. The regulations would require tech companies to store user data locally in Russia, while giving the Russian government access to the data to do as it pleases.

Adobe and Google are already relocating in order to avoid these tough new regulations. My friend Jonathan Veitch saw on the Los Angeles Times that other companies like Facebook and Twitter are also considering leaving because of the costs associated with storing their information locally on Russian servers.

Putin has gone on the offensive; claiming companies like Google and Microsoft are in cahoots with the CIA, providing surveillance and user information. He claims the internet is merely a front for CIA objectives, and that without data being stored locally in Russia, it cannot be trusted.

It’s apparent that Putin is aiming for a government controlled internet with the new regulations he imposed. Those companies who choose to stay in the country will likely face even stricter regulations in the future. What the mass exodus of tech companies in Russia means for the people who live there is still unknown.