Here’s what critics who saw ‘The Interview’ are saying about it

The Interview Review

The most talked-about new movie of 2014 won't even be released in theaters. In fact, for all of the buzz that Sony Pictures Entertainment's "The Interview" has generated, almost no one has actually seen the movie. Sure, we've all watched the scene where North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un meets his untimely demise, but theatrical release of The Interview has been cancelled as Sony tries to minimize additional damage from the massive hack it suffered over the past few months.

Of course, even though the film hasn't been released, there are still a handful of critics who were able to screen The Interview before its release was cancelled.

Here's what they had to say.

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Sony hackers just pranked the FBI

Sony Hackers vs. FBI

The hackers responsible for the massive cyber attack against Sony, in which some 100 terabytes of company data was stolen, on Saturday mocked the FBI in a message posted on Pastebin, The Daily Beast reports.

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Sony might end up releasing ‘The Interview’ after all – for free

Sony The Interview Movie Release

The Sony Pictures hack saga is far from over, as Sony appears to be interested into fighting back, CNET reports. The company may release The Interview — the controversial comedy whose entire plot is around assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — even though last week it pulled the movie from theaters.

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Sony Xperia E3 Review

20141222_101624_HDRYou’re probably pretty familiar with the Sony Xperia styling by now. This E3 model maintains a lot those same design cues but at a more budget price. This puppy is available for just £99 on Vodafone Pay As You Go and you get 4G for that too.

Not bad?

Well, let’s take a closer look. That screen, which does feel a little “lost” with such a large border above and below it, is a 4.5″ 854×480 pixel IPS screen. Yes, it feels a bit low res, but it could be worse.

Inside there’s 4GB of storage with 1GB of RAM and you have a microSD card slot for adding up to another 32GB. The Cat 4 4G handset also has WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC and runs Android 4.4.2 (KitKat). You also get a 5 megapixel camera at the back (with flash) and a VGA one up front. It’s all powered by a Qualcomm MSM8926-2 Snapdragon 400 CPU, which is quad core and runs at 1.2 GHz. There’s a 2330 mAh battery too.

So yes, perhaps read “low-to-mid-range” here. I’m glad to see a quad core CPU and it operated well during testing.

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Outside

There’s a strong and almost tough feel to this phone. The rear panel has a smooth rubber finish and houses the camera, flash and external speaker.

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This wraps around into a soft curve, with the sides being a matching plastic. That rear panel, by the way, does remove, but the battery is located under a metal protective panel and isn’t removeable. You can still access the microSD and SIM card though, and the rear panel forms the antenna.

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The left side of the phone houses the microUSB port, the top has the 3.5mm audio port and the right side has that now distinctive power key, and I’m kinda glad it’s so prominent. Below that you’ve got the volume controls, which are fairly easy to locate.

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Up front, as I’ve mentioned, there’s a lot of space above and below the screen. It’s an unfortunate design fail on cheaper handsets and I really wish screens would go as close to the edge as possible, even if the handset is less than £100.

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Camera

I’m not usually a big fan of a flash unit. I’d rather have a phone that’ll take a good shot in low-light without a big white blob flashing in your face. Here, though, the flash worked rather well in low light and seemed to be intelligent enough to control the flash brightness. It definitely delivered some decent night shots, even with “just” a 5 megapixel rear shooter.

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There’s a huge mass of options in the camera app. You can add “AR” effects for adding characters and monsters into your photos or videos, creative effects for motion blur / mosaic / nostalgia / mirror and loads of other effects plus a stack of other options. You can add panorama shots, broadcast live onto the internet and do something called a “timeshift burst” that’ll get the best photo from a burst of images.

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Other features include “Face registration”, video stabilisation, geotagging, touch capture and more.

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Software

Inside Sony have added their own particular branded UI. The main home screen has a set of tiles that’ll take you into various Sony apps. The main one, which is called “What’s new”, appears to have developed a love / hate relationship on the web. I did a simple search to find out a bit more about it and hit many pages detailing how to remove it. The app will give more information on media, music and apps installed on the phone. It’ll also pop up when you swipe up from the home key and, although the normal Google Now app is there too, it’s an unexpected encroachment into parts of the OS you wouldn’t normally see customized.

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Other Sony apps include Xperia Lounge, which adds a promotional aspect as you end up getting videos, competitions and giveaways. This is a standalone app and doesn’t get in the way too much. You can also expect to see Sony Walkman for your tunes, Sony Movies for film and camera footage (plus podcasts too, which is rather nice) and Sony Video Unlimited which – via the online store – means that you can get video content on-demand.

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There’s also “Sony Select”, which is one of those “recommended apps and games” which are “guaranteed to work on your Xperia”.

I know, you might not be a big fan of these additions. Face it though, Sony has a lot of power in the industry and you’ve got to expect them to try and work in their various media products into a phone, and it’s good to at least have the option on the phone, rather than yet another vanilla Android experience in a slightly different shell. They make movies, they make TV, phones and audio kit, so you’ll also find “Smart Connect” in here for connecting those things together. This app also has quite a bit of intelligence and you can program it to perform specific actions when you plug in the charger or headphones. As an example you can automatically set the audio volume and then start playing music in whatever app you want very easily indeed.

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Another app I appreciated, especially on a phone at this particular price-point, was the “Xperia Care” app for support.

There’s also an app for pulling in your Facebook and Twitter updates plus other news and events in a magazine-style layout via Sociallife News. You can filter up to 2000 news feeds.

Power and battery life is quite a surprise here too. I had no issues with the uptime and managed to get two days out of the phone, but you can fiddle with some settings in the power management screens. There’s location-based WiFi that’ll only come on when you’re in range of a WiFi network and it can stagger background data so that it’s only updating at preset intervals. The Sony STAMINA setting is also available to add precious time too.

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As with all Android kit, once you’ve logged in with a Google account it’ll sync all your apps, contacts, appointments and everything else with the Google Cloud. You get Google Drive for online backup, Play Books, Play Movies and TV (as if the Sony media content wasn’t enough) plus Play Newsstand, Amazon Kindle, a file manager and Google Maps for navigating around. The main browser is Chrome and, if you’ve used the desktop version, you’ll know just how slick and fast it is. Sites are rendered briskly and accurately plus you just double-tap to bring them into a nicely formatted reading view.

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Overall

This is a pretty tough cookie, built for everyday life and – apart from the chunky amount of border around the screen – it’s a nice looking smartphone with a very good battery life. I got two days out of it without too much difficulty.

The addition of 4G, especially for a handset this cheap (£99 on Pay As You Go with Vodafone), is welcome and the handset performed well during our testing. It wasn’t slow, clunky or overly ugly to look at or use. The camera is good, the screen is bearable, the build quality is strong and rugged but also good-looking and the the battery life is fantastic. For what they’re aiming at here (budget) people are going to WANT a phone that doesn’t need a lot of faffing. They don’t want to have to worry about charging every few hours, they just want a phone that works and is intelligent enough to deliver the audio, video and user experience without going flat or becoming overly complicated.

To be honest I think Sony have delivered it perfectly here. Yes, you will need to invest in a microSD card as there’s not a great deal of internal memory (4GB) and yes you’ll need to be careful at times to get the best out of the camera (hold it steady and get the lighting / setup right), but this is a very decent phone which will cope with daily life and still be there when you need it.

Sony Xperia E3 Review is original content from coolsmartphone.com

13-inch Sony Tablet in works?

Sony Xperia Z2 TabletApple may not be the only vendor working on a 13-inch tablet (iPad Air Plus), with Sony reportedly looking to join this market at some point next year, as well. There’s also Samsung with its Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, which fits the same category. According to Chinese sources and brought to our attention by GSMarena,…

The latest victim of the Sony hack: Next year’s flagship Android phone

Xperia Z4 Design and Images

The hackers responsible for the Sony cyber attack have leaked a treasure trove of data stolen from the company’s computer network, revealing many details regarding Sony’s current and future business plans, as well as many personal details concerning Sony employees. Gizmodo, however, discovered an interesting new tidbit in an alleged email thread from a Sony executive, and it might prove to be the most interesting leak so far, at least from a gadget perspective.

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Obama is holding a news conference to discuss North Korea’s Sony hack – watch live right here

Sony Hack Obama Press Conference

North Korea hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's deep investigation into the cyber attack has determined as much, and the U.S. government confirmed it publicly on Friday morning. You can read the FBI's full statement right here. North Korea's attack on Sony Pictures is believed to be a direct result of the studio's upcoming movie "The Interview," which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as two journalists who conspire to kill North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.

The theatrical release of "The Interview" has now been cancelled as Sony continues to comply with several of the North Korean hackers' demands in an attempt to prevent them from leaking additional documents that were stolen in the hack.

Now, President Barack Obama is holding a news conference to address the Sony hack and the FBI's findings.

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U.S. believes North Korea is responsible for Sony hack after all

Sony Hack: North Korea

Sony Pictures was in late November the target of a massive cyber attack, which not only exposed a significant amount of internal data, but also forced the company to pull the controversial The Interview comedy from theaters, after receiving further threats from the hackers responsible. Even though North Korea, which was initially believed to be behind the hack because of its resent for this particular movie, denied involvement more than once, The Associated Press reports that investigators have apparently found evidence that the communist nation is to blame.

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Sony has sold more than 16 million PS4 consoles

PS4 Sales Black Friday

Microsoft stole the spotlight earlier this month after announcing that the Xbox One had finally topped the PlayStation 4 for the month of November in the U.S and the U.K., but based on the latest data from VGChartz, Sony wasn't far behind.

VGChartz reports that Sony sold 1,193,346 PlayStation 4 consoles during the week of Black Friday alone, bringing total lifetime sales to over 16 million.

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Someone at Sony actually thought this was a good idea

Google Glass Alternatives Sony

No, I'm not talking about green lighting The Interview. I'm talking about the fact that not only has Sony decided to build a Google Glass rival but that it's built a Google Glass rival that looks even more ridiculous than Google's wearable computer headset.

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