Some days you just have to stand back and shake your head. The internet is a powder keg of misunderstanding and preconception. When a polarizing figure like Michael Bay makes an off hand comment about a beloved franchise that doesn’t meet perfect fan criteria, the whole things explodes in so much whiny status updates and forum threads.
Recently Bay, who’s Platinum Dunes is setting up a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reboot, made a comment about the Turtles being of alien origin. He made the comments during the Nickelodeon up-fronts last week, and the internet has been all pissy about it since then.
Keen to clarify his original statement, Bay remarked on his official message boards about the subject:
Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.
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One of the best new MMOs out there is going to try to lure you in with a weekend of free play. Now all you worry warts and feet daggers have no excuse to not jump into this new world and decide first hand if it is worth the price of admission.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is officially offering a weekend pass to new users, which allows players access to eight different classes and the ability to advance your character has high as level fifteen. This limited free-to-play time period begins today and ends on Monday the 19th of March.
The MMO world really needs to evolve with the times and understand that continuous worlds with monthly subscriptions might not be the best tactic anymore. There has been a steady movement towards the free-to-play model in the past few years, and while this specifically is only a weekend free pass, giving anyone and everyone a free chance to play is a step in the right direction.
At the very least many new people will get to experience the clashing of lightsabers in a pretty great game this weekend, and that is wonderful. Head over to the Star Wars: The Old Republic page now and get in on the action while it is offered for the dirt cheap price of nothing.
Adventure games are great. Like, really great. Remember Myst? The Secret of Monkey Island? They just don’t make games like that anymore. Apparently, studios don’t think they’re in demand anymore. They’d rather produce Call of Duty 12.
Which is why Double Fine’s Tim Schafer, best known for amazing titles like Grim Fandango and Psychonauts, decided to do something about the lack of adventure games on the market lately: he started a Kickstarter project.
Kickstarter, for those of you who’ve never heard of it, is a really cool concept where fans can contribute their own cold hard cash to causes they want to see funded. In this case, Tim Schafer wanted $400,000 to create an adventure game, developed by himself and a small team over a six to eight month period.
The process of producing the game would be documented by Two Player Productions, known best for Season 1 of PATV, Penny Arcade’s inter-office television series. Minimum contributions to the project started at as little as $1, but fans who donate $15 to the project will receive a copy of the game via Steam for PC and Mac, exclusive access to the Beta on Steam, access to the video series, and access the private discussion community.
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Renting DVDs is fast becoming an antiquated concept, soon to join music stores and MySpace as nostalgic reminders of days gone by. With the prevalence of digital downloads and high quality streaming, brick and mortar rental stores are fast becoming an endangered species.
Redbox has been able to carve out a niche for themselves in the failing industry by bringing the maximum amount of affordability and convince with 1 dollar rental units in stores nationwide. Not just content with staying alive for a few more years Redbox has recently partnered with Verizon to bring a new streaming service to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and all the rest. From a recent press release:
Verizon and Coinstar, Inc. today announced the formation of a joint venture that will create a new choice for quality- and value-conscious consumers seeking a simple and affordable way to access the video entertainment they crave. The venture’s services will offer all of the convenience, simplicity and value of Redbox® new release DVD and Blu-ray Disc® rentals combined with a new content-rich video on-demand streaming and download service from Verizon.
The service is expected to roll out in the second half of 2012, and with the infrastructure of Redbox already in place this new service stands a real chance at biting into Netflix’s failing grip on the market place it basically invented.
For more info, visit their website at http://www.redbox.com/
For nearly 50 years Doctor Who has captured the imaginations of countless minds, from the very young, to the very young at heart. The internet age has allowed that active fan base to accomplish some pretty incredible things, including the ambitious Doctor Who Fan Orchestra which takes individual YouTube submissions of each instrument and re-builds themes from the show.
From the video’s description:
The Doctor Who Fan Orchestra invites musical fans of Doctor Who to take part in an online collaborative celebration of Murray Gold’s music. Participants submitted recordings for this work from November 2011 to January 2012.
This final mix includes a total of 177 submissions from 154 individual participants, ranging in age from 11 to 57, and who are located in at least 18 different countries across the world, including: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Spain, France, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.
The end result is incredible, a near flawless performance of two classic early run Murray Gold themes. The video itself is a collage of individual performances that is almost as interesting as the music they are playing. To see the pieces fit together in an intricate, 21st century weave of YouTube videos highlights this magnificent piece.
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The Amazing Spider-Man is one of the biggest upcoming movies of 2012. As anticipation continues to grow, Sony has unveiled the official website for the new web-slining blockbuster. Most noteworthy on the site are a series of new stills and a synopsis that promises more Spider-Man films in this new universe.
“Like most teenagers his age, Peter is trying to figure our who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. In his journey to put the pieces of his past togetherhe uncovers a secret that his father held… a secret that will ultimately shape his destiny as Spider-Man. This is the first in a series of movies that tells a different side of the Peter Parker story. On July 3rd, 2012, the untold story begins.”
The movie is going to be a very important step in the evolution of the comic-book movie. Up to this point comic book movies have generally held to the Hollywood rules of modern franchises, but one of the aspects of the comic book medium that keeps these characters relevant for so long is their ability to adapt and evolve on the fly. Even if that means rebooting a character that is still incredibly popular.
If The Amazing Spider-Man is a hit than we can see studios more willing to allow new filmmakers a chance at established characters with out waiting for the character to grow stale in it’s current style. The movie is set to hit theaters July 3rd, 2012.
While the world of film and TV awards get more and more jaded to the hardcore fans, it’s time to pay more attention to the forms of media that could, very soon, become the new medium to-be. I’m talking about the form of New Media, or “web series”, which is becoming more and more of what kids are talking about these days.
With that comes, of course, a cornocopia of popular awards to give accolades to these hard-working men and women. One of these is for the The International Academy of Web Television, a freshman organization that’s made to bring more attention to the growing medium.
Yesterday, the nomimations for the first year of awards was announced, and as expected, Sean Becker & Felicia Day’s popular web series The Guild, and the excellent drama series RCVR made out like bandits. From Variety.
“RCVR” racked up a dozen nominations. The show focuses on covert government agents that try to suppress the truth about extraterrestrial encounters and hunt humans selected by an alien species to act as channels for advanced technologies. “The Guild,” a long-running Web series that is arguably the field’s most popular, picked up nine nominations.
Voting is currently underway and the show hits on January 12th in Vegas the upcoming CES. Take a look at the full nominees after the jump.
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If you don’t know what Zazzle is let me enlighten you. They are an awesome online store that offers officially licensed apparel and accessories that are often highly customizable. Last year Capcom joined forces with Zazzle to offer officially branded Capcom properties merchandise. Just in time for the holiday season, Capcom has announced that they are expanding their partnership with Zazzle to offer even more fantastic Capcom branded stuff.
The best part of the expanded Capcom store within Zazzle is the plethora of icons for each title that you can put on any number of cool items. Do you want an Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney coffee mug, a Ryu mouse pad, a Mega-Man iPad case? All are possible with a large variety of images to choose from.
“The Capcom shops at Zazzle.com now have more choices than ever before! With the addition of popular brands like Street Fighter®, Mega Man® and Ace Attorney®, fans now have even more options to customize their favorite Capcom® video game icons on a wide variety of products offered by Zazzle.”
More Details after the jump.
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Let’s face it, we are on the cusp of the podcast generation. Nine out of ten average internet users either listen to daily podcasts if not record one themselves. That means that prosumer audio tools need to be simpler and more cost effective than ever.
Nobody who records a podcast, voiceover, or even voicechats online with friends or family wants to lug around an expensive XLR or headset mic place to place so that they can sound good. That’s where Blue Microphones’ Snowball USB microphone comes in handy.
This simple, science fiction-looking USB mic isn’t your normal USB mic. The #1-selling wired condenser mic out there, the Snowball has a high-quality dual capsule design that enables recording in three settings: cardioid, cardioid w/pad, and omni-directional.
For those who aren’t in it for the high-tech lingo and want simplicity, you can expect nothing simpler than the fact that the mic is plug-and-play for both Mac and PC, so even your grandparents could use this guy with ease and no concern of “drivers” or annoying instructions.
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The online content streaming landscape just got a bit more interesting as Amazon announced late Thursday it has made a deal with NBCUniversal to provide 1,000 Universal Pictures movies to its streaming customers. The new content includes films such as Being John Malkovich, The Jetsons, Flipper, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Billy Elliott. Well, that’s quite a cross-section of content.
This new deal is in addition to the one Amazon recently made for it to offer CBS shows such as Star Trek and Cheers to its customers. All these deals for content make perfect sense if you think Amazon is about to release a tablet in the next few months.
It’s widely been speculated that said tablet would be coming out and give users access to the company’s Amazon Unbox, Amazon Mp3, Kindle, Cloud Music and Cloud Drive services. All of that and a well done tablet powered by Android could, potentially, take a bite out of Apple’s iPad dominance. We’ll see.
Check out the full press release after the jump.
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According to Bloomberg, struggling Internet-based film and TV streaming service Hulu is looking for a buyer. One of the companies supposedly in the running for the service and considering a purchase is Apple.
In case you’re not up on the current Hulu situation, in July the company announced that it had hired Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners to assist with a the sale and rumor was that Yahoo! and, possibly Microsoft and Amazon, were interested.
However, it seems Apple may be the frontrunner now. Although, at this time, no company has made an actual bid for Hulu.
A Hulu purchase may seem like a good thing for Apple. They’ve already got iTunes but Hulu would allow them a better way to compete with streaming services like Netflix since, at the moment, you can only purchase or rent videos from within iTunes.
Something to keep in mind, though, is that Apple isn’t really know for acquiring companies. They are just as likely to take an idea and spin it and launch a new service of their own as an addition or enhancement of their existing service. Plus, Hulu only has about 1 million subscribers at the moment and that’s not really all that many.
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On the heels of Netflix announcing they are raising prices by up to sixty percent, Blockbuster is trying to provoke a mass exodus to their service. Blockbuster began rescuing upset Netflix customers by launching a limited time, nationwide promotion for all Netflix customers who switch to Blockbuster Total Access.
“Blockbuster quickly responded to the cries of Netflix customers,” said Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster. “Blockbuster Total Access is Netflix ‘without the wait.’ The combination of DVDs by mail and unlimited in-store exchanges provides more than 100 million people living near Blockbuster stores immediate convenience and unparalleled choice.”
There are many additional benefits that Blockbuster Total Access provides over Netflix, including things like sooner availability of many new releases, unlimited in-store exchanges, game rentals included in their plans, and no additional charge for Blu-ray movies. The only thing this plan is missing will be the same thing missing from the new Netflix plan, unlimited streaming. Blockbuster is looking to keep it’s current on demand/pay-per-view streaming model.
In order to woo Netflix customers, those who “switch” to one of Blockbuster’s two most popular Total Access plans will receive a 30-day free trial. Once the free trial ends, customers can choose between the $9.99 per month, “1 Disc” at a time option, or $14.99 per month for “2 Discs” at a time. In other words, for the same price as Netflix’s by mail service,Blockbuster will offer much more.
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After nearly two and a half months since hackers compromised its network, it looks like Sony is close to restoring full service for users of its PlayStation network later this week. The final piece will be when the company takes the service back online in Japan. Of course, the company has been saying it will get things back online for awhile now.
According to Bloomberg, Sony has been working with the FBI to identify the LulzSec hackers who were responsible for the attack on its San Diego data centers, during which the hackers obtained account information for more than 100 Million PlayStation Network users. Reportedly, LulzSec rented and used servers from Amazon.com’s cloud service to facilitate the attack.
The attack is the second-largest online data breach in U.S. history, and will cost the company an estimated $173 Million in direct costs to repair and shore up its security. The actual cost in terms of the company’s brand and consumer confidence has yet to be measured.
Chairman Howard Stringer told shareholders last week the services will continue to be a main source of growth. Sony CEO Howard Stringer apologized after the attacks and offered a year of identity theft protection to those affected by the breach, as well as a free month of access to PSN.
How the once mighty have fallen. Remember when MySpace was the place to go for everything “social”? Well, those days are long over and now the site has been sold for quite a bargain price.
According to AllThingsD, Specific Media has acquired Myspace from News Corp. for $35 million. Which, as I said, is a real bargain considering NewsCorp paid $580 Million for it in 2005. I would call that a pretty big loss for NewsCorp. Myspace’s CEO, Mike Jones, will remain for “an interim period,” and the social network will lay off about 50% of its staff, which is around 200 people. Sorry to hear that.
MySpace’s decline in recent years is not really all that surprising considering how horrible the site is to navigate and, of course, due to the popularity of Facebook and Twitter. By comparison, Facebook looks like the most clean and easy to use UI ever invented, which we know isn’t really the case as it still has its share of problems as well.
Who knows, maybe MySpace will rebound and climb back out of the pit it finds itself in? Anything is possible and people do love an underdog. However, first order of business: a complete re-design. Then, we can talk.
Welcome to another edition of On the Radar where we delve into all corners of the entertainment, tech and geek Internets for news, views and whatnot that may have escaped our regular coverage during the week. Let is know if we missed something interesting.
Let’s get started!
• Jamie Foxx is no Will Smith, but that didn’t stop Quentin Tarantino from getting him to play his slave (in a non-offensive way) in Django Unchained.
• We’ll be getting the final film in a mere weeks, but that hasn’t stopped J.K. Rowling from keeping the Harry Potter franchise top-of-brain with the newest marketing ploy, Pottermore.
• Pixar is being pretty secretive about their newest film, Brave. The first thing we’re getting, however, is a glimpse at the very stylized characters of the film.
• We know that Entourage is a pretty douchey show, but this new poster makes us feel like they may just know themselves, and feel really bad about it.
• A Russian company called Stoyn has helped make every 80s fanboy’s dream come true by releasing Pop Culture Popsicles. We have a feeling the Darth Vader flavor may taste more like plastic than anything else.
• The very first images of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy have hit the web. Strangely, they look identical to Peter Jackson’s last trilogy about a ring…
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If you’ve been wondering what the heck happened to Sony’s Playstation Network (its been “unavailable” for several days), now we know. On Tuesday, Sony issued a statement explaining the recent PlayStation Network and Qriocity issues. The company said it discovered that between April 17th and April 19th someone broke into its network and stole user information.
In an effort to stop the security breach, Sony temporarily denied access for everyone to its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. The company also hired a security firm to investigate and started increasing its security infrastructure.
Sounds goo so far, right? Sony found a problem and is taking steps to correct it.
Well, it gets worse. Here’s part of Sony’s statement:
We believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained.
Sony said that it doesn’t think credit card data was taken, but it will not rule out the possibility. The company said it’s possible credit card numbers – excluding security codes – may have been obtained by the intruders. The firm advises that its customers “remain vigilant” by closely monitoring credit statements.
Sony says the Playstation network and related services will be reactivated as soon as possible and that customers can dial 1-800-345-7669 with any questions.
Click through for Sony’s official statement. Why do a few assholes have to ruin it for everyone else?
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