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First Look: Official “Skyfall” Trailer

“Some men are coming to kill us,” cinema’s greatest action hero says. “We’re gonna kill them first.”

That’s the take-away line from the just-released trailer for “Skyfall,” the next James Bond action extravaganza, which opens November 9th in the U.S. It’s been four years since “Quantum of Solace.” Bond is finally back from vacation—and he’s ready for anything:

Daniel Craig suits up as 007 for a third time in “Skyfall.” 

Since taking over in 2006’s “Casino Royale,” Craig has brought a tough sense of menace back to the role—something sorely missing since Sean Connery (the original movie Bond) left the series – which now numbers 23 films.

The Plot Thickens
We don’t know much about “Skyfall” yet, and there’s a good reason for that: It’s not based on any of Ian Fleming’s original Bond stories. But what we do know is this: The spy business is built on secrets, and when secrets from M’s past pose a real threat to security, Bond leaps into action.

Once again, Judi Dench will return as M, the head of the MI6 branch of British Intelligence. She will be joined by actor Ralph Fiennes (who played Lord Voldemort in half of the “Harry Potter” movies), who portrays a fact-finding bureaucrat looking for faults within Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service. Rumor has it Fiennes is being groomed to replace Dench, who is (in real life) suffering from macular degeneration and losing much of her eyesight.

Of course, no Bond picture would be complete without a villain. This time out, that role will be played by Javier Bardem, who scared the popcorn out of anyone who saw his Oscar-winning performance as a psychopathic murderer in 2007’s “No Country for Old Men.”

Equally breathtaking are the locations. Bond movies usually involve some serious globe-trotting and that’s certainly the case here. “Skyfall” was shot in London, Istanbul (Turkey), Scotland and—in a new twist for the series—China. And while it’s already known that part of “Skyfall” takes place in Shanghai, there is an exciting rumor circulating that says “Skyfall” also includes a heart-stopping motorcycle chase around (or perhaps even on) the Great Wall of China.

Behind the Scenes of “Skyfall”
Creating a movie takes many talented people, including production designers with a background in filmmaking and graphic design. Like Oscar-winning Production Designer Dennis Gassner, who takes us inside how he created the look of “Skyfall”:

Incredible action sequences are the bread and butter for this film franchise. The “Skyfall” trailer provides glimpses of some of them: Bond on the run, underwater, running in traffic, falling down an elevator shaft and escaping helicopter fire. Other set pieces from the trailer include a subway-train derailment, motorcycles racing across rooftops and (of course) numerous explosions.

Check back here for breaking updates on “Skyfall,” as well as reports about the 50th anniversary of the Bond series, which began way back in 1962 with “Dr. No.”


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posted by DMA Jordan in Digital Filmmaking,News Blog and have No Comments

How Will CISPA Affect Me?

A new law called CSIPA could permanently change the way the Internet and the U.S. Government would interact. CISPA directly affects your online privacy. Should you be concerned? 
If CISPA is passed into law, the government will gain direct and unregulated access to your personal online information.

Since the Internet’s rise, the federal government has generally taken a hands-off position concerning the online activities of American citizens. But that’s all subject to change with CISPA—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act—which already cleared the U.S. House of Representatives on April 26th and is now awaiting discussion in the U.S. Senate.

What CISPA Will Allow Government Agencies to Do: CISPA will enable easier and faster cooperation between government counter-terrorism forces (such as the National Security Agency) and Internet providers – as well as social media networks and other web-related companies.

Under CISPA, outfits like the NSA will be able to review any online data generated by U.S. citizens, without following federal wiretapping guidelines (which they’re currently required to do when gathering data).

Like SOPA, CISPA is hotly debated. The battle lines have been drawn. Which side are you on?

CISPA Supporters: Legislators, Movie Studios, IBM, Facebook
Their Position: They say CISPA is absolutely necessary for waging an effective war against terrorism and protecting America’s intellectual property – to help stop the pirating of movies and other media.

The Motion Picture Association is a huge proponent of the bill. And so is Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and authored the CISPA legislation:

“In just the last few years, criminals have stolen enough intellectual property from defense contractors that would be equivalent to 50 times the print collection of the U.S. Library of Congress,” Rogers explains, “(Criminals are) literally stealing jobs and our future. We also have countries that are engaged in activities and have capabilities that have the ability to break computer networks…You can’t just reboot. It means your system is literally broken. Those kinds of disruptions can be catastrophic when you think about the financial sector, or the energy sector, or our command and control elements for all our national security apparatus.”

Against CISPA: The Obama Administration, Microsoft, Verizon, the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Their Position: CISPA’s opposition claims the bill will be used to create a “Big Brother” environment in which the government will be given absolutely free rein to spy on U.S. citizens, even if the need for that surveillance has not been legally established. Microsoft recently dropped support of CISPA for privacy concerns.

CISPA’s wording is left intentionally broad and vague. According to the White House, CISPA “effectively treats domestic cybersecurity as an intelligence activity and thus, significantly departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres,” which means that the Administration thinks the federal government should stay out of online matters as much as possible.

Online Communication Breakdown 
For their part, many communication providers already cooperate with government agencies. On various occasions, Verizon and AT&T have supplied billions of customer records to the NSA. Verizon has also freely shared its customer data with the FBI – without being ordered by a court to do so.

How Will CISPA Affect You? 
If CISPA passes and cyber surveillance begins, the average Internet user would probably never know they have been monitored unless they’re arrested or prosecuted. It’s unclear how and to what degree CISPA’s passage would affect the business of developing websites, or the creation of any other online content.

Does CISPA Have a Chance of Becoming Law?
At first glance, the answer seems doubtful. CISPA faces a rockier road ahead in the Senate than it did in the House, and even if passed by the Senate, the Obama Administration has stated its intention to veto the legislation.

Opponents of CISPA fear giving the government “Big Brother” powers, as in George Orwell’s classic novel “1984.” 

The nature of online privacy remains an ongoing concern. Recent years have brought a widespread erosion of online privacy, whether that trust has been violated by the criminal efforts of professional hackers or through the sloppy neglect of online providers themselves, who have not always safeguarded their customers’ information. It remains to be seen if America’s counter-terrorism forces will take part in an even wider erosion—one designed to protect American security at the expense of online privacy.


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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog,Web Development and have No Comments

Who Owns the Files I Put on Google Drive?

Google recently announced Google Drive, a cloud service that competes with Amazon, Dropbox and SkyDrive. Google Drive, like those other services, offer users an easy way to store digital content.

All types of files–music, documents and more–can be saved on Google Drive. 

What is a cloud? A cloud service is a remote storage location that lets you place digital content and retrieve it from anywhere using a computer and an Internet connection. As cloud services become more popular, it’s definitely a space that Google wants to be in. But Google is facing questions from users about Google Drive and content ownership. Put simply, the question on many users’ minds is, “Does Google own my stuff if I upload it to Google Drive?”

The Fine Print
Google’s Terms of Use (TOU), which were last modified on March 1st, specifically the section entitled “Your Content in Our Services,” read as follows:

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

According to Google’s TOU, they can basically do whatever they want with your content: keep it (“store”), copy it (“reproduce”), change it (“modify”) or give it away (“distribute”). Google has stated they are using user content to improve their services and offer an even more personalized experience. The TOU also point out that the terms of Google’s ownership are long-term:

The rights that you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps).

So if you decide to no longer use Google Drive, Google will still retain rights to use your content. In other words, to paraphrase the famous Las Vegas marketing line, what gets stored with Google Drive stays with Google.

Privacy Policies & Property Rights 
Google’s Privacy Policy deals more with user privacy than stored digital content. However, under “Modifying and Terminating Our Services,” Google states, “We believe that you own your data, and preserving your access to such data is important.This is confusing to say the least. Google’s Terms of Use also state that “You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.”   So Google, which is it?

Don’t get us wrong: we love and use Google’s search and Chrome is our default browser. But for a cloud service, we’ll stick to Dropbox for now. How do you store your content?


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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments