Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Engadget’s smartphone buyer’s guide: winter 2014 edition

You don’t need to cast bones or read entrails to know that smartphones arrive in predictable cycles. February, home of Mobile World Congress, is likely to see the launch of new handsets from heavy hitters like HTC, Samsung and LG. Those new flagships…

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Engadget laptop buyer’s guide: winter 2014 edition

CES has been over for a month now, which means it’s high time we update all our buyer’s guides with some of the new stuff that was just announced. In the coming weeks, we’ll have fresh tablet and phone picks, but today, we’re all about the laptops….

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Motorola gets snowed in, delays Moto G shipments due to winter storm

Winter storm Dion has been wreaking icy havoc across the US for a few days, but now it’s hitting technophiles where it hurts: phone shipments. Customers who pre-ordered the Moto G have been receiving emails from Motorola, explaining that bad weather …

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Snow Circles: One Man’s Winter Crop Circles

snow-stomping-patterns-1.jpg These are a bunch of the different geometric patterns developed by artist Simon Beck marching around in the snow of France. Exactly how he understands exactly what the design he’s developing will look like from above when he can only see it at ground-level is beyond me, however I presume he does the exact same thing individuals who make crop-circles do: leaves it to the aliens. There’s no chance one dude trudging around in the snow made these. Just joking, I make certain he did. I just say that since I made a comparable snow design this winter so I understand it’s possible. “You make a giant penis.” Exactly how did you understand? “I drove by your residence this early morning.” Stunning, isn’t really it? Nature’s perfect shape. Keep going for a lot more of Simon’s work.

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Journalists reportedly banned from Instagramming 2014 Winter Olympics

Authorities for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are reportedly drawing a line in the sand between professional photographers and casual Instagrammers. According to Russian news outlets, journalists who use their phones, tablets, or pocket cameras to capture the Winter Games will be summarily stripped of their credentials and lose their professional accreditation.

Vasily Konov, head of Russia’s state-run R-Sport news agency, reportedly delivered the stringent decision on Friday in a training seminar for print journalists preparing for the Games, which are set to begin on February 7th. According to, while normal spectators are permitted to photograph the Olympics on their phones to their hearts’ content, journalists…

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Final Fantasy VI to arrive on iOS and Android this winter

Color us (not) surprised: after releasing FFIV and FFV on iOS and Android, Square Enix will follow up its mobile gaming efforts with Final Fantasy VI this winter. Veteran fans might miss the game’s old school looks, as it’ll come with sharper sprites and enhanced graphics similar to the FFV version …

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Telltale Games bringing ‘The Walking Dead’ to the OUYA this winter

Telltale Games bringing 'The Walking Dead' to the Ouya this winter

It’s safe to say The Walking Dead game has had a pretty successful term on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — still, there’s always a chance to grow beyond the more traditional consoles. With that in mind, Telltale Games announced today its plans to bring the zombie-heavy gaming series to the OUYA later this year. The game studio behind the title doesn’t go beyond saying it’ll be “coming this winter.” However, it did say the release will include The Walking Dead: Season One along with the 400 Days DLC. The second season, meanwhile, is said to be in the works and due to follow at some point in the future. Owners of the tiny, Android-based box will be able to play the first episode at no cost, which should help decide if they want to carry on with the rest of the story or, you know, keep playing You Don’t know Jack.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Telltale Games

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Motorola Droid 2 Global Winter White (Verizon) A956 Smartphone

Motorola Droid 2 International Winter season White (Verizon) A956 Smartphone

Motorola Droid 2 Global Winter White (Verizon) A956 Smartphone



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How Alex Winter (Yup, Bill S. Preston, Esq.) Made A Doc About Napster

Also: A Bill & Ted movie update!

Napster founder Shawn Fanning and Downloaded director Alex Winter at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival on March 10, 2013.

Image by Michael Buckner / Getty Images

AUSTIN — With the Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie currently breaking all kinds of records for crowdsourced fundraising, it may be hard to remember a time when it wasn’t possible to connect instantly with like-minded people worldwide. The new feature documentary Downloaded, which premiered at the ongoing SXSW Film Festival, chronicles how we got to this point thanks to the breakneck rise and ignominious fall of the first online global community: Napster. And it was made by the dude from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. No, the other dude: Alex Winter.

The actor/director first approached Napster creator Shawn Fanning in 2002 through a mutual friend, with the idea of turning his story into a narrative feature film, à la 2011's The Social Network. Winter's pitch won over Fanning and cofounder Sean Parker (i.e., the guy played by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network), but his script first bounced from MTV Original Movies at the network to MTV Films at Paramount Studios before it languished in turnaround and Winter walked away.

In researching the script, however, Winter had developed so many relationships and amassed so much material, that three years ago it hit him: Why not make it a documentary?

“It was one of those funny Hollywood stories,” he said in Austin. “For eight years, I tried in vain to get it made as a narrative, and I think within about 12 hours of coming up with the idea of doing it as a doc, I had sold it, and I had a ticket to start shooting.”

The film's Sunday night premiere played terrifically at the enormous Paramount Theater in Austin, where Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker both joined Winter on stage afterward. “I came out of it that Alex had a better understanding of it than either of us,” said Fanning. “It felt like watching it from the outside.”

Parker agreed: “The guys in front of me were really into it, because I was whispering to my fiancée and they told me to shut up.”

The youthful, buoyant Winter is especially pleased that both Seans seemed to enjoy his take on the defining event of their lives (not to mention the lives of music labels and musicians all over the world). “I personally feel like I dodged a bullet in not making the narrative, because this is way better,” he says.

But how did Winter convince not just Fanning and Parker but the (former) heads of several major music labels to participate in his film? And what is the deal with the new Bill & Ted movie?! Read on to find out.


Adam B. Vary: I can’t imagine you were the only person who was approaching Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker to tell the story of Napster. So what was it, do you think, that it was about you that they were like, “This is the guy we want to work with”?

Alex Winter: I think that there were two things going on. First of all, I was really interested in the internet from the early days. I got my first computer in the early '80s, got online immediately in the early '90s. I was big into BBS [bulletin board systems] and newsgroups and was really fascinated with the idea that the internet was clearly going to build global communities in ways that we'd never had before. And when Napster showed up in '99, suddenly we had a global community where there was none the day before. It's just impossible to describe how abrupt it was. So it wasn't like I was so partisan, like, “Oh, I want to make a movie because I think you guys are right, and, you know, fuck the labels.” It wasn't like that. I wasn't even that interested in the music, to be honest with you. I mean, I like music. But I think everyone got the Napster story completely wrong. To me it was about this somewhat isolated teenager who not only found his way online but was so brilliant that he found a way to create a workable global community. What Fanning and eventually Parker really wanted to do was bring the world together online, and it worked. Everybody was trying to do that, but theirs worked. His vision had nothing to do with music. Music was a delivery system. I think that's why they trusted me with it. They realized that I understood what their vision was.

And frankly, personally, I'd been in the entertainment industry since I was really, really young. I knew what it was like to become very, very famous very quickly, very young, and to be kind of under that kind of press scrutiny. I really had a lot of empathy for Parker and Fanning, and when I met them in '02, they were pretty bloodied. They were broke, they were vilified — it was not pleasant. I was in Bill and Ted — it's not like I ever got vilified, you know what I mean? So it wasn't a complete identification, but I certainly allowed for an enormous amount of empathy.

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