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Sony "took most of the bite out of" football concussion movie to please N.F.L.

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The screenwriter claims that cuts make the film “better and richer and fairer," but emails exposed by hackers show studio lawyers altered the film to avoid tangling with the National Football League.

The New York Times:

When Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to make a movie focusing on the death and dementia professional football players have endured from repeated hits to the head — and the N.F.L.’s efforts toward a cover-up — it signed Will Smith to star as one of the first scientists to disclose the problem. It named the film bluntly, “Concussion.”

In the end even Sony, which unlike most other major studios in Hollywood has no significant business ties to the N.F.L., found itself softening some points it might have made against the multibillion-dollar sports enterprise that controls the nation’s most-watched game.

In dozens of studio emails unearthed by hackers, Sony executives; the director, Peter Landesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the N.F.L. by altering the script and marketing the film more as a whistle-blower story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league … Another email on Aug. 1, 2014, said some “unflattering moments for the N.F.L.” were deleted or changed, while in another note on July 30, 2014, a top Sony lawyer is said to have taken “most of the bite” out of the film “for legal reasons with the N.F.L. and that it was not a balance issue.” Other emails in September 2014 discuss an aborted effort to reach out to the N.F.L.

What's funny about this is that had it not come out, the N.F.L would doubtless have put on a big angry performance anyway attacking the movie. We'd have had no idea they'd already taken a degree of editorial influence over it, and we've have been left to assume that the filmmakers had stuck to their guns.

Anti-piracy dolts gobble up content with "pixels" DMCA takedowns

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Several Vimeo members whose videos had "pixels" in the title are victims of the latest overly broad DMCA takedown request by Entura International, working on behalf of Sony's summer schlockbuster Pixels.

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Sony Pictures Animation plans animated “emoji movie,” starring emoji characters

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My emoji choice for this entertainment news would have to be “poop” or “frown.”

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Photoset of the legendary "Nintendo" Play Station

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Sony's classic console was originally envisaged as part of a collaboration with then-market leader Nintendo. It went its own way, and the rest is history. Here's a look at a rarely-pictured prototype, though, thanks to imgur user DanDiebold. [via]

The only things you really need to know about Sony's E3 press event

Let's have a deep chat about the practical feasibility of getting our childhoods back. Read the rest

Sony's contract with Spotify revealed

sonyspotifycontract The Verge obtained the 2011 agreement between the label and the music streaming service, which launched later that year. "Sony Music came out the winner," reports Micah Singleton

Sony sends pre-emptive threat letter to journalists


A lawyer retained by Sony has sent threat-letters to media outlets hinting at repercussions if they report on material in the huge dump of internal Sony docs from the North Korea hack that Wikileaks put online.

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Sony pirated ebooks on hacking

Pirated copies of two O'Reilly books on hacking, Hacking: The Next Generation and Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld were hosted on Sony's internal servers.

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'The Interview' is now available in more places than anyone actually needs

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After having rejected Sony’s offer to distribute "The Interview" after the hacks blamed on North Korea (but now maybe not), Apple is now streaming The Interview on iTunes.

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Sony pirated K-pop anthem in The Interview

Yoon Mi Rae is set to sue Sony over the inclusion of her song "Touch Love" in The Interview, which, she says, Sony failed to license for the film.

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Mashup artist challenges Sony to stop gaming Youtube's censorship system

Hugh Atkin (of Romney Raps Eminem fame) writes, "This is a new video I've made in response to repeated, identical claims of copyright infringement by Sony Music Entertainment in respect of my 2008 video 'Barackroll.' Every time I've challenged a complaint, they've let it lapse and then subsequently filed identical complaints."

Sony QX attachable lens-style camera

Sony's minsucule QX Lens Camera offers the specs of its high-end RX100 point-and-shoot--a 1" sensor and Zeiss F1.8 glass--but clips right onto a smartphone. It hooks up with an iOS or Android app, via WiFi or NFC, thereby letting you use the phone as the camera's viewscreen. (There's an even smaller version, too, though its sensor and lens aren't as good; you may as well just get a Nokia 1020.)

I rather like the idea of a tiny, high-end camera that can just clip-on to anything--cellphone, webcam, helmet, bike, etc. But the RX100 is already small enough, has more features, and is only a little more expensive. At $500 for the version worth buying, that QX is a pretty penny.

Smurfs 2 already paid for with product placement

The one good review, from Variety's Scott Foundas, could not rescue Smurfs 2 from a weak domestic opening. But it's doing OK abroad, and its $150m production budget was reportedly covered in full by product placement. The advertising is incessant, say reviewers: from Gargamel's everpresent tablet PC to a duck that "urges a strolling couple to buy a Prius."

"This is basically stone-cold Sony product," writes Mike McCahill in The Guardian, a sentiment echoed by Steve Davis in the Austin Chronicle: "We’ve come a long way from Belgian comics artist Peyo’s original vision."

Which was, of course, crypto-Marxist utopianism.

How to get cinematic video from a point-and-shoot camera

The first step, unfortunately, is that you have to have Sony's remarkable but rather expensive RX100, whose larger sensor makes much of the difference. Fortunately, the rest is all menu settings to get a flat image profile and 25fps. Guides from Run, Gun and Shoot and from EOSHD have the technical goods, but you'll need to cough up your own mise en scène.

Sony's Playstation-less Playstation announcement: what were they thinking?

After a presentation that dragged on for hours, Sony failed to show the assembled game press the gadget they were there to see. The verdict was in before the event was over: another Sony shitshow. The New York Times' Brian X Chen sums it up:
During the 140-minute event, which started at 6 p.m. in New York, the press reactions started with impatience in the first hour, gradually rising to frustration in the second hour and finally, in the third hour, a combination of disbelief and disappointment when the show concluded with no price tag, no shipping date, and not even a prototype or a picture of the PlayStation 4 revealed. Left without a box to review, the press turned on Sony instead.
However, we can EXCLUSIVELY REVEAL the design for the new PS4, above. All is forgiven, Sony!

Sony unveils "reinvented" Playstation 4

Playstation 4, from Kotaku's liveblog

'Tis the season for big news in console gaming: both Microsoft and Sony have been expected to announce new hardware. Sony is first with a new edition of the PlayStation 4. Around the web, live-blog coverage of the invite-only announcement event: Verge, Engadget, Kotaku, Ars, Wired.

Early iPhone mockups show Sony influence

The current iPhone design, it turns out, was in the works since 2006—and was so influenced by Sony that they even put its logo on the mockups. Court filings in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung reveal an early concept by Apple designer Shin Nishibori which closely resembles the current-gen iPhones, complete with the silver band. [The Verge]

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