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Sony Cancels Release of "The Interview"

Following threats by hackers to launch attacks on theaters who show "The Interview", a comedy movie by Sony Pictures about a planned assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sony announced yesterday it is canceling the release of the film. The announcement followed decisions by several movie chains not to show the movie. Sony has no plans to release the film in the future.

Some criticize Sony's cancellation saying they are giving in to cyberterrorists, and it's a slippery slope. Others say better safe than sorry.

According to Reuters, the U.S. believes North Korea, not keyboard terrorists sitting in their parents' basement, is behind the Sony hacks and threats.

Why didn't Sony just release it to cable "On Demand", Netflix, iTunes and Amazon?

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Sony's Threatens to Sue Media Who Publish Hacked Materials

On behalf of Sony, lawyer David Boies has written a letter to media organizations (available here)threatening to sue them if they publish the materials hackers obtained from its computer network.

Can Sony win such a lawsuit? Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy analyzes the issue and concludes "Probably not, at least as to most of the information that media outlets would want to publish."

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Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Time Magazine released its list of the 8 finalists for Person of the Year today. Here's the list (not from Time, because it has an auto play video.) Pretty lackluster. There are some odd choices, like Taylor Swift. And redundant ones, like Vladimir Putin, who was chosen in 2007 and 2012.

It's not a popularity contest. Time writes:

TIME's choices for Person of the Year are often controversial. Editors are asked to choose the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill — guidelines that leave them no choice but to select a newsworthy — not necessarily praiseworthy — cover subject.

Time named Adolph Hitler "Person of the Year" in 1938 and Joseph Stalin twice, in 1939 and 1942. In 1979, it was Ayatollah Khomeini.

Since groups of persons are now eligible, how did ISIS not make the list?

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John Lennon: 34 Years Ago Tonight

Tonight is the 34th anniversary of the killing of John Lennon.

Here's one reason his passing has a special meaning for me and my son. I particularly like the post I wrote in 2010. And from my post in 2005

There are millions of people in this world whose lives were enriched by John Lennon, his persona and his music. He told his truth and it was the truth of an entire generation. His death was a tragedy, but his life was an inspiration.

[More...]:

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Rudy Giulani's Shows His True Colors

Rudy Giuliani is justly taking a heap of justly deserved criticism for his comments on Meet the Press about race and crime today. In a discussion about Ferguson and the disproportionate number of white cops in neighborhoods with a large minority population, he complained that too much attention was being paid to the Michael Brown shooting. He rattled off statistics about black on black crime. When another guest on the show objected, he said:

“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other.”

You can watch the segment here.

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New NarcoDrama: En La Boca del Lobo

Monday night, Unimas began airing the Colombian narcodrama "En La Boca del Lobo" (In the Mouth of the Wolf.) It's the story of the guy who took down the Cali Cartel in Colombia and is based on the book with the same name, written by Cali cartel journalist William C. Rempel.

Ricardo is known as Richard in the world of the mafia and became Chief of security of one of the kingpins of the Cali Cartel. After the death of his best friend and his family, Ricardo has nothing more to lose. In search of redemption in a very corrupt world, he is willing to give the Cali Cartel to the CIA. But when the operation fails, Ricardo is seen 'in the mouth of the Wolf' and must fight for their survival, "reads a statement from the chain.

[more...]

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First Case of Ebola in NYC Confirmed

A doctor in New York who recently returned from Africa has been confirmed to have Ebola. It was the main story on CNN (Sirius in the car) all afternoon, segment after segment.

He went bowling (I think they said last night) and he took an Uber taxi to the bowling alley. His girlfriend is in quarantine.

Every politician and doctor interviewed said there's no threat to anyone except those he came in direct contact with, which is very few people. Since he's a doctor, he knew what to look for and acted appropriately. So why is this such important news?

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Affleck vs. Maher on the Islam Religion

Will the real liberal please stand up? An interesting and heated verbal battle between actor Ben Affleck and talk show host Bill Maher over Islam as a religion on Maher's show. Also chiming in: Nicholas Kristof, Michael Steele, and author Sam Harris.

My take: Maher and Harris should stay seated. They come off as total Islamophobes. Steele, the former chair of the Republican party expressed more progressive views than the two of them.

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Fox's Gracepoint No Match for Broadchurch

Broadchurch is a really good English murder series that aired last year and will be back for Season 2. For some unfathomable reason, Fox has made a so-called "American" prime-time version of it called Gracepoint, which began airing tonight. Why bother? We didn't need translation, both were in English. It uses the screenshots from the English version and features the lead actor from Broadchurch(who now speaks with an American accent.) Even Ana Gunn can't save it. The actress playing her role in Broadchurch was much better. [More...]

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"The Good Wife" Returns in Overdrive

The Good Wife returned for a new season Sunday night. I really didn't care for last season but tuned in anyway, expecting to be bored. I'm glad I did. Someone must have slipped some steroids into the writers' morning Wheaties. [More...]

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Stand Up To Cancer on All Major Networks

"Stand Up to Cancer" is airing on all major networks tonight. The cable networks began at 6pm MT, our local stations are airing it at 7 pm MT.

Are any of you watching? Here's a place to comment, either about the show or cancer.

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RIP Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers has died.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a written statement today. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.

According to the Daily News, Melissa made the decision to remove her from life support.

R.I.P. Joan.

As to comments, keep them positive or post them elsewhere. We have a policy that we don't criticize people on the occasion of their death.

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Tech Talk

My iPhone 5s died yesterday. It just wouldn't turn on. I ended up having to plug it into my computer and restore the factory settings, and then an old backup. It took hours, and it worked -- until this morning. Dead as a doornail again.

I took it to the Apple store, and without my even asking, they offered me a brand new phone, same model. They set it up in 5 minutes. (Now I have to sync it and get all my music and apps back on it, but at least I won't have to keep doing it tomorrow and the next day.) Thank you Apple!

Apple is coming out with a 13" iPad. I still have the original iPad, which doesn't work with a lot of more advanced video apps, so maybe it will be time for a new one. I really like the big screen -- but then, I'm one of the few people I know who still prefer a desktop to a laptop. Anyone else tempted to buy it? [More...]

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Emmys: Breaking Bad

The Emmys have been so boring. Maybe it is the low-key production. But they just picked up with Aaron Paul winning Best supporting actor for Breaking Bad.

Here's a thread for all things Emmy related.

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Good Night Vietnam: RIP Robin Williams

Update 8/12: A new detailed statement from the Marin County Sheriff's on Robin Williams death. Really sad.

***

As Howard Cossell would say, "An unspeakable tragedy tonight in Tiberon, CA." Robin Williams, who struggled so hard against depression, lost the battle and took his own life today at age 63. The Marin County Sheriff's office has issued a release:

At this time, the Sheriff's Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.

Depression kills. Our condolences to his family and everyone who knew and loved him.

There aren't many people who could dislodge Iraq and ISIS from all three major cable news networks, for over an hour, and Robin Williams is clearly one of them. R.I.P. Robin, and thank you for sharing your talent and generosity will so many millions of people. You will be missed.

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