Weekly Digital News Roundup: Dec 11 – Dec 15
Sony Pictures hackers invoke 9/11 while threatening theaters that show ‘The Interview’
- According to theWashington Post, on Tuesday, the group claiming to be responsible for the massive hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment posted a message on text sharing site Pastebin threatening violence against theaters showing the movie ‘The Interview,’ the controversial comedy action film about planning an assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The group invoked the 9/11 terrorist attacks while threatening screenings of the movie, which is scheduled to be widely released on Christmas Day.
- Some investigators believe the hack islinked to North Korea. Cyberattacks against South Korean media and financial institutions last year shared some technical details with the attack against Sony. North Korea has denied any involvement in the attack, but suggested that people who sympathize with the country may have been responsible. North Korean officials have called “The Interview” an “act of terrorism” and called for “merciless” counter-measures if released.
- The message seems more likely to be aimed at getting Sony Pictures or theaters to pull the film than a credible threat to go after every theater planning to show the movie. The premier and release date for ‘The Interview’ has now been canceled.
What You Really Googled in 2014
- According to CNN, Google has released itsannual round-up of the year’s top global searches. In 2014, the entire world was sad about the passing of Robin Williams, excited to watch the World Cup and worried about Ebola. Those three topics top the list of global trending searches, which also includes missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the viral phenomenon Ice Bucket Challenge.
- Celebrity deaths tend to dominate Google’s year-end lists. Following Williams on this year’s list wereJoan Rivers, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Maya Angelou and Jan Hooks. Most popular global searches for living people were Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian. Tracy Morgan‘s tragic car accident and Renee Zellweger’s new look also stoked our curiosity. Domestic abuse made NFL’s Ray Rice a top searched for person and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was a top topic after he struck and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a race.
- This year’s top “What is…” queries included Ebola, ALS, ISIS, Bitcoin and asphyxia. Apple’sAirdrop feature, which lets you share files between Apple devices, was either very popular or very confusing. It made the list of top “What is…” searches and was the top trending “How to…” search for the year.
BlackBerry tries to win over defectors with the BlackBerry Classic
- According to Mashable, BlackBerry has gone retro. The beleaguered mobile company launched a new smartphone on Monday. The BlackBerry Classic, which company CEO John Chen unveiled at an event in New York City, keeps the advancements of the company’s BlackBerry 10 phones, but brings back some aspects of the older models. They include the row of hardware navigation buttons above the trademark physical keyboard.
- The phone is engineered to appeal to the BlackBerry faithful — not just people who have stuck with the company, but also those who have switched to a new platform, and still long for the experience of typing on a physical keyboard.
- Ultimately, though, what the Classic brings to the table is its old-school BlackBerry navigation, including Menu, Back, Send and End buttons as well as the trackpad. That may be enough to sway back some fans to the platform, especially now that the company’s devices have closed some of the “app gap” between it and other platforms by allowing BlackBerry 10 devices to run Android apps by way of Amazon’s Appstore.