Monday, March 31, 2014

DropBox Keeps Users From Sharing Copyrighted Material:
AKA How DropBox Works

If you closely follow tech news, then you're probably already aware that the famous file-sharing service DropBox was called out giving out a DMCA notice to one of its users, blocking them from sharing a file that was apparently copyrighted.

This tweet spread like wildfire, sparking a debate and discussion among tech users about how DropBox knew that the file in question was copyrighted and whether DropBox was invading the privacy of its users and looking at their files.

Despite what some users may say, the fact of the matter is that no, they are not violating any rights of the user nor are they violating any user agreements. They're not even looking at your files at all.

But how is this possible? How did DropBox then know that the file was copyrighted and warranted issuing a DMCA takedown notice?

The answer is simple: DropBox uses an old trick called hashing against a blacklist.

If you're at all familiar with computer science and/or hashing, then this post ends for you here. But if you're not familiar with what hashing is (or would like a refresher), then the rest of this post is for you.

Expendables 4 News:
New Castmember: Pierce Brosnan!

It's been a while since we've posted any EXPENDABLES news, but let's concentrate on the awesome part right now: word has been released that the man who has portrayed the 5th incarnation of James Bond, Mr. Pierce Brosnan himself, is joining the cast for the 4th Expendables film!

ShortList snagged a few words from the REMINGTON STEELE actor:
"Oh, the offer has come in for the next Expendables," the ex-007 told us. "I just worked over in Bulgaria with Avi Lerner who makes them. He said, “Would you like to be in The Expendables? I’d love to have you,” and I said, “Why not?” So we’ll see."
...and that's about it for now. There's no details out at all right now about the plot of the 4th film or how Brosnan is going to fit into it. All we have right now is that. But still! That's a pretty awesome addition to the cast.

In closing, here's a trailer for the upcoming Expendables 3:

story via ExpendablesPremiere

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Next Step In Smartphone Internet: pCell

Well,'s that time again. Once every few years, the very technology that we thought as the be-all, end-all of consumer convenience has become the norm; and as the norm, it has started to become difficult to maintain both with today's resources and at the demand of the now common consumer. The product in question: mobile data across portable internet-enabled devices (aka smartphone internet).

So it may seem like we've hit a peak, what with everyone having a mobile device (smartphone, tablet, laptops, etc) and every single one of those devices demanding Internet service. We have a problem, and it's that the cell towers that provide mobile data currently do not have the capacity to support all of the devices at the ever increasing demand for speed. That's where pCell comes in.

What is pCell?

Hit the jump for more information...

Whatever Happened to Rick Moranis?

Not too many actors in showbiz can say that they've had a career as fulfilling and as fondly memorable for fans as Rick Moranis. From his beginnings in Canadian television as part of the Second City Television cast, he was destined for Hollywood soon after SCTV was syndicated in the United States. Not too long after his first major film Strange Brew, he started his superstar career with films that legions of fans still love today: Spaceballs, Ghostbusters, and the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids series.

Now, eventually, some actors opt to direct, others become producers, and some even take a break altogether and come back to acting after a while, but not Rick. In fact, after the unfortunate loss of his wife, he made a conscious decision to leave the business entirely to be a father to his children, a rather noble choice. How do you not respect that?

But why did he leave? Rick explains that himself in a recent interview...
"Stuff happens to people everyday, and they make adjustments to their lives for all kinds of reasons. There was nothing unusual about what happened or what I did, I think the reason that people were intrigued by the decisions I was making and sometimes seem to have almost admiration for it had less to do with the fact that I was doing what I was doing and more to do with what they thought I was walking away from, as if what I was walking away from had far greater value than anything else that one might have. The decision in my case to become a stay-at-home-Dad, which people do all the time, I guess wouldn’t have meant as much to people if I had had a very simple kind of make-a-living existence and decided I needed to spend more time at home. Nobody would pay attention to it, but because I came from celebrity and fame and what was the peak of a career, that was intriguing to people. To me, it wasn’t that. I didn’t have anything to do with that. It was work, and it was just time to make an adjustment."
So there you have it; it might have been a huge deal for the fans who loved his work, but it was the most mundane thing in the world to him. He didn't see himself as a significant superstar who retired and disappointed fans the world over. He was just an ordinary guy who had had some fun and decided to do something else. No big deal. ...yeah, right.

It doesn't look like he'll be making a return to Hollywood, at least not as an on-screen actor: the last few jobs he did was for voiceover work in the BROTHER BEAR movies and in the Ghostbusters videogame (that's about as close to another one of those as we're going to get).

Like most people in the arts, Rick Moranis never really hung his cap for good on creating. After acting, he recorded a country album he called Agoraphobic Cowboy. He was nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album that year. Aside from that, he seems to have successfully faded from the spotlight. More power to him, he left us all wanting more, and that, my friends, is how an artist should go out.

story via CinemaBlend
additional info via Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PULP FICTION: It's All About Rock And Roll

One of the great things about the Internet is that some people have some interesting ways to look at movies. Some of them are very well-reasoned and practically air-tight, and some are not so solid and have holes in them. This is a pretty cool interpretation, taking a nice approach to Quentin Tarantino's classic 90s film, PULP FICTION.

If you've never seen it before (first of all, I'm kind of impressed you've missed it for this long), this movie is a series of different stories that pretty much overlap, taking place at almost the same time. Also, in one way or another, there's something (not always the same thing) that ties at least two of them together. There's a briefcase with something that glows orange, a couple of hired guns that make good conversation, and a boxer that finds himself crossing paths with, and then in the same type of trouble as, the man that paid him.

But there's a theory that has been formed, explaining that the characters are not actually characters at all, but representations of different genres of music, with a small bit of symbolism mixed in.

Check out the theory after the jump...

VIDEO: Rifftrax Coming Back To TV With TOTAL RIFF-OFF

Okay, so let's start from the beginning: if you loved the old episodes of the show MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, you might be pleasantly surprised to know that those guys didn't stop with just TV. They took to the internet with their movie-riffing skills and created RIFFTRAX! Selling audio tracks and on-demand videos of their riffing alongside more recognizable and mainstream films, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy continued their trade.

Now they're making a triumphant return to cable television, to the National Geographic Channel, riffing on informative animal programming. Okay, it's not exactly the same thing as MST3K, but you at least get to start off with three whole hours of their new show!

The show will be called TOTAL RIFF-OFF and it will premiere on April 1st on the National Geographic Channel.

According to RIFFTRAX, there's an actual schedule for their premiere:

Of course, if this is all an April Fool's Day prank, then I'll be gotten so bad.

story via Rifftrax