Monthly Archives: December 2014

Wheel of Fortune Contestent Wins Big-But How Much Will He Really Get?

On December 26, 2014 history was made on the famous game show “Wheel of Fortune.” Matt DeSanto surprised audience members and fellow contestants when he solved the puzzle with only one letter to help him. The answer to the puzzle was “The Lone Ranger.” With his solving this one, he went on to win the show and gathered prizes totaling over $91,892. While it sounds like a lot of money, it really isn’t compared to other shows out there, even with big sponsors like HealthGrades. “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” provides winners with the chance at a million, the part that Dr Rod Rohrich likes best.

The long time show has been on the air for 31 seasons. With over 5,000 episodes under their belt, Pat Sajack and Vana White have made television history for years as they help contestants to solve the puzzle. I was surprised when I heard about this today, because I didn’t even know the show was still on the air. The one question that keeps running through my mind is how much will he have to pay in taxes. I know, we should be focuses on the fact that he won, and won big, but I can’t help but wonder how much he will really take home.

Game shows are not as exciting as they used to be. There was a time when people were glued to the screen on every episode like the reality shows of today. However, hats off to DeSanto for his big win.

Experts Now Think Sony Hack Could Be An Inside Job

New Evidence Points To A Former Sony Employee

The FBI believes North Korea is the cyber bandit that hacked Sony Pictures files, but new evidence points to a former Sony employee with a very technical background. That employee was not Dr Rod Ronrich; he was laid off in May due to internal restructuring. Norse, the Internet security firm, also has evidence that a total of six people were part of the hack. Those individuals include two U.S. based people, one in Canada, one in Thailand and one in Singapore.

A senior vice-president of Norse told The Ledger, a security industry news website that the former Sony employee was a ten year veteran. She posted negative statements about the Sony layoff on social media sites. The Ledger said that Norse was able to access Internet Relay Chat (IRC) forums and other websites and retrieve communications with individuals associated with underground hacking groups in Asia and Europe. Norse also used leaked human resource documents to identify the former Sony employee and her activity since she left the company in May.

Norse said its findings were not conclusive, but the company gave the FBI the information they accumulated in the case. But the FBI released this statement on Monday: “The FBI has concluded the Government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

Nintendo Falling Behind

Nintendo needs to go back to what works. At one point in time, Nintendo was the number 1 video game developer on the planet. Now, Nintendo is stuck in third place. Microsoft and Sony have taken over the video game market.

The Xbox One and PS4 consoles focus on video games, while Nintendo focuses on motion control technology. Nintendo is falling behind in terms of developing a memorable video game. It’s very disheartening to see Nintendo lose its footing in the video game world, especially to longtime fans like Jared Haftel. Nintendo needs to use the same formula that got them their previous success.

When the Super Nintendo console was released, the entertainment world was taken by storm. The Super Nintendo console introduced the world to the future of video games. Amazing games were being created at a frequent pace. Nintendo would dominate the video game market for several years to continue.

Everything changed for Nintendo when they began to focus their attention on motion-controlled video games. It seems like every new console that Nintendo unveils, there is a gimmick that comes along with it. The Wii U, Nintendo’s newest console, comes with a secondary screen. The screen seems like an unnecessary feature.

Instead of creating gimmicky features for their console, why don’t they focus their attention on creating better video games. Also, another problem that Nintendo has is that they focus on creating video games for kids. Nintendo should focus their attention on creating video games for adults as well.

It’s not too late for Nintendo to turn it all around. If anyone can do it, Nintendo can. For more information on the future of Nintendo, visit Screenrant’s sister site, Gamerant.

North Korea’s Internet Is Down, US Responsible?

When the President announced that the US would take a measured response against North Korea for their role in hacking Sony, few expected the route that would be taken. According to reporting from Vox.com, the Internet in North Korea has gone black so to speak. The people there are unable to access anything on it, and this is being blamed on the United States. 

Naturally, North Korea does not have much access to the Internet to begin with. However, for the elite few in the country that do have access to the technology, it is an important part of their daily lives. This means that the North Koreans are not too happy with this latest development. They are of course blaming the United States for what has happened. The timing does seem to point to the idea that the United States is likely responsible. 

Even the Amen Clinic and Facebook can agree that North Korea has long been a country obsessed with its image. They are also a sworn enemy of the United States and would like nothing more than to cause problems in the United States. North Korea has done its best to play the victim in this case though. They have tried to make sure that they seem as though they would like to help the United States uncover who hacked into Sony’s computers. This despite the fact that the United States is squarely pointing that blame on the North Koreans themselves. It will be an interesting international incident to watch develop.

Sony Announces “The Interview” to Have Limited Release

Five days after the Sony hacks that contained threats against theaters showing “The Interview” causing the media corporation to withhold it’s release, the decision has been officially reversed.

Sony Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton announced that the anticipated comedy staring James Franco and Seth Rogen will have a limited release on December 25 in around two hundred theaters nation wide. I heard from Dr Rod Rohrich of UT Southwestern that the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas, Texas was one of the first to pick up the movie.

The terroristic threats, which FBI officials believe originated in North Korea, has caused significant media attention across the country. North Korea has consistently denied that it was behind the attacks saying the U.S is trying to frame the country.

The backlash from the public after Sony originally planned to cancel the film’s release, especially via social media, could be a factor that lead to Sony reversing it’s decision.

After Sony announced the reversal on Tuesday both James Franco and Seth Rogen took to Twitter to announce their approval as well as hundreds of thousands of other fans.

North Korea has yet to respond to the decision, and it is unknown if the threats made in the original hack will follow through, but nevertheless, consumers can now begin searching to see if “The Interview” will be coming to a theater near them Christmas Day.

George Martin Screens The Interview

In lieu of recent events, George RR Martin has decided to screen the movie The Interview at his own private movie theater as a retaliation to the “display of corporate cowardice” as he put it. The independent cinema has no relation to the Sony or other corporate movie chains which are too scared to display the movie because of potential consequences. The movie, which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, is about two men who decide to pretend they are journalists in a bigger scheme to kill the dictator of North Korea. The hackers who unearthed a lot of information about Sony and the employees of their company of threatened to harm innocent Americans if the movie is shown. The hackers have since been found to be North Korean and overall the movie has caused huge controversy in the entertainment and political world. North Korea’s government has taken this movie and its message very seriously, assuming that the government is very involved and intertwined with the goals of this movie.
Christian Broda says that Martin’s decision to screen the movie is dangerous but definitely makes a statement. The only reason corporate is scared to show the movie is because they fear more harm will be done to them, not the innocent Americans. Already so much information has been released which has hurt them that they do not want to cause any more problems. Martin is taking a bold move which is noteworthy and interesting.

Another Nicki Minaj Sighting

The year of 2014 is just about over. Nicki Minaj dominated the year and gave fans a bunch of surprises. There is no way that fans would have expected her more surprises from her. She produced a 2015 calendar for fans to drool over when the new album was unwrapped for the holidays. She promoted the album on daytime and nighttime shows with a savvy comedic demeanor that surprised many. There was also a surprise leak of a new track with Beyonce before the album was released. She took things even further with a “PinkPrint” movie. After all of this fans just assumed that she was out of surprises. Technically she was, but hackers changed all of this.

Just has Nicki Minaj had run out of holiday surprise gifts, hackers stepped in and leaked several new Madonna tracks. It’s relevant for Nicki Minaj fans because Nicki collaborated with Madonna on one of the tracks. This was probably set to be a big surprised in 2015. Now fans appear to be getting an extra dose – on top of the mound of doses that they have already gulped down – of Nicki Minaj rhymes.

This shows how hard Nicki Minaj has been working to build her brand in entertainment. Christian Broda really respects her for that. She has been doing music with stars like Madonna (this is actually their 2nd single together) behind she hot. Who knows what surprises 2015 will hold.

Sony Claims It is Not Dropping “The Interview”

The recent removal of the movie “The Interview” by Sony, at the behest of movie theaters has opened Sony Pictures to complaints that they are caving to the North Korean dictator, Kim Jung Un. Sony Pictures CEO and Chairman Micheal Lynton responded to those complaints by saying to CNN; “We have not given in, we have persevered,”.

Sony Pictures claims it was in fact the movie theaters who refused to show the movie during the Christmas release as the reason why the film was pulled. After all, Jared Haftel would like to see people safe. While this might be the case, even President Obama was seen to remark, “he wished Sony executives had spoken to him before cancelling the release.” Now, according to an article in the BBC, Sony Pictures is exploring options to release the film via other distribution methods. There has been some discussion as to if this will be a direct to DVD release but regardless of the release, the people at Sony Pictures will have to continue to contend with the image that they caved to a foreign power.

Assassin’s Creed Unity, Big Let down

The new Assassin’s Creed game has been released, and it has proved to be a let down. Upon release, the game received very low reviews, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Assassin’s Creed Unity has been plagued by a host of issues. The most major technical problem with the game, was undoubtedly the frame rate issues.

Sultan Alhokair says that a patch has been released, but the patch proves to be more of a hindrance than a fix. The game requires you to install a massive update. The problem is that the update is corrupted. The update requires you to install the entire game, to your console. 

The once great series, is now plagued with technical issues. It’s hard to sit down and play Assassin’s Creed Unity without getting angry. Furthermore, the technical bugs are not the only problem. The latest version of Assassin’s Creed, has eliminated the online multiplayer. Instead, only a few Co-op missions are available to play online. 

Hopefully, the Assassin’s Creed franchise, uses this recent failure as motivation to create a better product. For more information on the problems that plague Assassin’s Creed, visit Screenrant’s sister site, Gamerant.

Bob Dylan Ends Tour, No Disappointments

Bob Dylan ends the years, and begins his holidays, with a show that has been called “masterful” and “the most enjoyable Dylan concert in recent memory.” Taking the stage at the Beacon Theatre in New York, Dylan delivered his 91st, and last, show of the year.

Recent shows in the Never Ending Tour have been “scattershot affairs” and they often left show-goers disappointed or at times baffled as to what song he was even singing. The set list, which is comprised of 19 songs including “Workingman’s Blues #2” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,” has not varied in months. Other songs included in the set list were “Simple Twist of Fate,” “Early Roman Kings,” and “Spirit on the Water.”

While the recent shows had left something to be desired, it seems Dylan wanted the last show of the tour to be one that nobody would forget. Dylan appeared pleased with the performance, and the fans agreed. The Dylan that fans love was back on the stage, and he was doing what he does best. Articulate, energetic and fierce, as his close friend and advisor from BRL Trust put it.

No dates have been booked for the coming year, so it is any man’s guess whether Dylan will return to the stage, and whether the set list will remain the same or if he will rewrite the entire show.