What happens when obsession goes terribly wrong? Just ask George Lucas who never seems to get past 1977's Star Wars. His latest project, the upcoming Blu-ray release, will apparently have such improvements changes as a CGI Yoda, light saber effect adjustment and other audio and video tweaks. The new edition is available for pre-order for a September 16 release and although some of these "improvements" are rumors at this point, they seem to come from several sources and April 1 has already passed. So we just say "Stay the same you should, Yoda."
By the way, if you are a budding filmmaker, script writer or critic, you can participate in Amazon Studios, where you can screen test future films and vote on them. We are speaking some serious prize money for the winners of cash awards.
It seems that Netflix and Starz have come to a parting of the ways after the video provider wouldn't go along with the media company's demand. Apparently the millions were not enough for Starz as they wanted an additional fee tacked on for screenings. CEO Reed Hastings is keeping positive about the end of the negotiations and will invest in other companies. So those of you who stream those chick flicks and Disney films better get them in before the end of the February 28 contract expiration.
It's not like we would be the only site not to say that we will notice the absence of Steve Jobs, but we guess we just wanted to add our best wishes and hope he gets some well-deserved rest. And although he will still be the Chairman of the Board, his frequent presence will still be missed. At least we can think of him every time we use our iPhone, iPad or iMac.
Networking will soon be one step closer between physicians and their patients with a super-thin patch that is placed directly on the skin. Engineers at Northwestern University have found that these can be used for diagnostics, sensing and communications. Similar to a temporary tattoo, the device contains sensors, wireless power and communication modules. To prove their case further, they positioned one on a user's throat and spoken commands like up down, left and right can control the video game Sokoban.
Google has designs on Motorola Mobility, knowing that with the purchase of the company, they can better integrate cell phone usage with the Android applications. Motorola has been around for 80 years, and it certainly doesn't hurt that it was a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance. And then there is that little thing called competition, while Microsoft and Apple try to weaken Android, Google will try to make it a winner in the public's eye.
While most companies are concentrating on ways to make their smartphones more intelligent, capable and shinier, HTC CEO Peter Chou believes that concentrating on the sound is the way to go. With a 51% ownership of Beats, the two organizations are working to integrate for some new headsets this fall. And with a product as cool as Beats, we think they may just have something.
With all the fuss about Netflix's changing policy, many subscribers are complaining about that 60% rate increase. For those that received the dual mail/streaming rate must now decide if they want to pay the $15.98 to continue service for both, choose one or opt for another service.
The company itself doesn't seem too concerned although thousands have complained on its Facebook page and many have "de-subscribed," but the change will happen and we foresee some users dropping that second or third disc to adjust to the rate hike.
What is it about us humans that have a need to watch a train wreck in action? We watched the Casey Anthony case unfold via live feed and raced back to the site when the verdict was announced. We checked out YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to find the latest war news, complete with imagery of blood and violence.
We witnessed the endless comments of "awesome" when Mark Zuckerberg et al let us know we can instantly Skype on Facebook and even the President held a Town Hall Twitter event last week. In this day and age of immediate news, we are connected with everyone, every thing and that instant access makes it difficult to believe that there was ever any other way of networking.
Recently interviewed at the BOA Merrill Lynch 2011 Technology Conference in NY, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings commented that the recent deal his company made with Starz and Miramax is only the beginning. This is good news for those of us who do our watching online, as opposed to cable or satellite. He is looking for other movie studios and TV content, like HBO and Showtime, to join up when their pay-TV agreements expire, some as early as 2013. What the company will not do is invest in "adjacent markets" such as those with advertising, transactional VOD and video gaming.
Microsoft has acquired PhotoDNA, a technology that can identify child pornographic images even if they have been altered. The company donated its usage to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in 2009 and Facebook will be first in using it to identify and remove thousands of registered illegal images.
There are estimates that at least 50,000 child porn photos are transmitted online every day and this could be one more step to find the ones who are doing it as well as protect the victims.