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Please note: the program includes one year license
Software week in review, July 25
This week we're hoping to recruit William Shatner, who decided to boldly go into software reviews, evaluating Facebook Pages on his new Tumblr. In other news, Apple's next OS is now in public beta, Microsoft wants one Windows to rule them all, and everyone's talking Tor. To get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.
Security and privacy
Black Hat and Def Con are a little over a week away, so it's not surprising that Tor is on the minds of many. This week a Black Hat talk on how to de-anonymize Tor was canceled because the Carnegie Mellon presenters didn't have a go-ahead from their legal team. Another group, Exodus Intelligence, was able to exploit a vulnerability to de-anonymize Tor's Tails OS, pointing to the danger of considering any software totally secure. And Pando Daily points out that while Tor is seen as a toolset for avoiding government surveillance, it was in fact developed for and originally by US military and intelligence agencies before the ... [Read more]
Star Apps: Michael Pitt
Actor Michael Pitt is best known for playing a gangster on "Boardwalk Empire," a murderous psychopath in "Funny Games," and a drugged-out grunge rocker in "Last Days." With "I Origins," he demonstrates range with his credible portrayal of Dr. Ian Gray, a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye, who makes a discovery that challenges all his deep-held scientific theories and spiritual beliefs.(Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)
This role seems like a definite departure from your previous work. What drew you to playing a scientist? Maybe that. One of the things I was really interested in was that people have never seen me play a character like this. That's interesting for me, and I hope that's interesting for my fans.
What interests you about scientists? Their quest for unlocking the mysteries of the universe. That's a very noble thing to be passionate about, and I draw a parallel between scientists and artists.
Do actors function in the same way? I think any good actor is trying to understand and break apart and contemplate the human condition, so I think that can be similar.
In the movie, you play a molecular biologist, who is obsessed with eyes. When you meet someone for the first time, do their eyes stand out to you? Absolutely. But I would ... [Read more]
Star Apps: Michel Gondry
French director Michel Gondry has been repeatedly praised for his visually sophisticated but playful cinematic style, from Bjork's "Human Behavior" video to Oscar-winning "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." But until now, Gondry never directed features in French."For a long time, I was too shy to write or direct a movie in my native language," he says. "The English put some layers on top of it, so I wouldn't feel so shy and so naked." Gondry's French-language debut, "Mood Indigo," stars Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris as a couple whose poignant love story is interrupted by a life-threatening illness. I chatted with Gondry about directing his first French feature, working with Audrey Tatou, his personal connection to the film, and his favorite apps.
"Mood Indigo" is based on Boris Vian's cult 1947 novel. How is the story still relevant? Here comes this very imaginative, crazy world with very pure emotion. You also don't want to be fooled by happy endings. So I think that every generation thinks it's their book.
What is it like to work with Audrey Tautou? She's very honest and a very hard worker, and you don't have to direct her too much. Her performance is great and really mov... [Read more]
Star Apps: Wiz Khalifa
From Ice-T and Chuck D in the '80s to Tupac and Nas in the '90s, every decade has its hip-hop prophets and beloved lyricists who interpret the signs of their time in inspired verses. The '00s belonged to Wiz Khalifa. I chatted with the rapper about his new album, "Blacc Hollywood," and lead single "We Dem Boyz," as well as his Under the Influence of Music tour, thoughts on Kanye West fans, and favorite apps.
You've released multiple mixtapes since 2005's "Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania," including 2014's "28 Grams." Why does an established artist continue to issue mixtapes between album releases? On an album like "Blacc Hollywood," we're focusing on making a complete project that's going to be around for years and years and years and make people happy and let them know where we're at, at a certain point in time when I'm making this project. I want the hits; I want to make big songs that speak to people around the world, songs that turn into videos that later turn into mini movies and lifestyle s---. There is a lot of thought process that goes into making a... [Read more]
6 comics and manga apps for superfans
Comics aren't just for kids, and they're not just for print, either -- comics are on your TV and movie screens, in your games, and in apps as well. This week 130,000 comics fans are heading to San Diego for Comic-Con, which sold out in less than 90 minutes. If you're not one of the lucky badge holders, you can still connect to Marvel and DC's latest and greatest -- and manga, too -- with these top comics apps for your phone or .
ComiXology's app is hands down one of the best reading experiences available on Android. Not only does it come with full-screen, letterboxed, panel-to-panel transition animations, but its high-quality comic files look great on the most high-resolution displays. The ComiXology store offers a mix of titles from popular vendors like Marvel, DC, Viz, and more.(Credit: Comixology)
DC Comics (Android, iOS) and Marvel Comics (Android, ... [Read more]
Star Apps: Richard Linklater
Nothing dates a film like technology. However, the iMacs, Game Boys, PlayStations, social media, and video games in Richard Linklater's groundbreaking new movie, "Boyhood," are a welcome way to contextualize 12 years of action. I chatted with Richard Linklater about "Boyhood," which stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, and its use of tech as a structural device.(Credit: IFC Films)
You typically make movies that span 12 to 24 hours, yet this film spans 12 years. Why mess with your signature style? It blows my average out of the water, if you adjust the baseline. With each film, you have a story to tell, and I spend my time thinking about how to tell it. What's the right form for it?
In a lot of my films, I'm trying to create some reality, and I think I've largely replaced traditional plot devices with time-structural devices that feel a little closer to how we go through life or process time. It's innate in the human brain to create structure, and it's the same with these stories. There's a large structural component and not as much plot. The idea for this is fairly simple, so this idea came to me that broadened a certain cinematic canvas to tell this story.
Knowing you'd be working with these actors for 12 years, which considerations were particularly important during cas... [Read more]
Software week in review, July 18
Microsoft's layoffs are bad news for Nokia, Xbox Entertainment, and Windows phones that run Android. Google is going after zero-day threats and is fixing Chrome's security and power-hogging. And vulnerabilities have been found in everything from Teslas to the stock market to hotels. Read on for more updates, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.
Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published a 3,100-word memo about "bold ambition" (or "turgid drivel," per linguist Geoff Pullum). This week another memo (also decried for failing to get to the point) predictably announced mass layoffs of up to 18,000 of Microsoft's staff worldwide, with about two-thirds of the cuts coming from Nokia. The other third will nick many divisions, from marketing to Windows testers, and ... [Read more]
Star Apps: Zach Braff
Zach Braff is used to having doors shut in his face. An actor since the age of 13, Braff didn't get his big break on "Scrubs" till he was twice that age. There was initially zero interest in his first major movie, the indie breakout "Garden State," or his new film, "Wish I Was Here." Naysayers warned that he'd never get the latter film funded via Kickstarter. But Braff has persevered. His "Wish I Was Here" character, Aidan Bloom, hasn't been quite so lucky, struggling to make it as an actor while his family's emotional, physical, and financial health deteriorates. I chatted with Braff about his controversial Kickstarter campaign, mean-tweeting Internet trolls, and his top mobile apps.(Credit: Focus Features)
You received a lot of flack for launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund "Wish I Was Here." What did you learn from that experience? I learned that you never give up and not to listen to naysayers, because everyone said it wouldn't work and that it would be humiliating and that it never works for a new title. And then when it was funded in 48 hours, the Internet went crazy, opining for or against it. It ... [Read more]
Star Apps: Fitz and the Tantrums
Don't let the name fool you: Few bands brighten a bad mood like Fitz and the Tantrums. The LA-based neo-soul group's sophomore release, "More Than Just a Dream," has already spawned hit singles "The Walker" and "Out of My League." Now the band is spreading the sunshine on its summer and fall tour. I chatted with lead vocalist Michael Fitzpatrick (aka Fitz) about how music uplifts him, musical influences and inspirations, and his favorite apps while on the road.(Credit: BB Gun Press)
Your music is so celebratory. What can fans coming to the current tour expect to see and hear? We always try to bring the dance party. Our shows are high energy from start to finish. We always try to make the audience another member of the show with call-and-response. What we have found over the years is that sometimes people need to be given permission to let loose and go crazy and not worry what they look like or be too cool for school. We're playing songs from our first record and a lot of the new al... [Read more]
7 Android launchers to refresh your home screen
Your home should be comfortable, and so should your home screen. With anlauncher, you can replace your phone or 's boring factory settings with themes, widgets, and other customizable options to make your home screen more homey. Here are our top seven picks to help you renovate your Android experience. (Credit: Google Now Launcher)
Google Now Launcher is one of the most direct ways of getting the original Android home-screen experience. First introduced with the Moto X phone, the Google Now Launcher preserves the visual experience of KitKat for those with custom-themed versions of Android, and it comes with an always-on listening mode that detects Google voice commands.(Credit: Nova Launcher)
Want to customize every incremental aspect of your Android home screen? Then Nova Launcher is for you. Nova lets you edit icons, set the grid size, and enable overlapping widgets, so that you can fit more on one screen than Google envisioned. For even more detailed control, you can define screen animation, system fonts, and bar colors.(Credit: Go Launch... [Read more]