Spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry Alexander Lukashevich condemned the United States on Thursday for permitting the release of Sony Pictures raunchy comedy “The Interview.”
After Sony was hacked by an unknown entity, but most likely North Korea, the threat of further cyberattacks convinced the giant entertainment company to shelve the film to protect their interests. As a result of that decision Sony was inundated with criticism, including from President Obama, that caving into threats was not the way the United States, the world’s symbol of freedom and free speech, should respond. Sony relented and the film, an essentially low-brow, expletive not deleted, sexually suggestive trashy comedy became an ironic symbol of free-speech which opened in theaters across the country on Christmas Day.
North Korea already voiced its displeasure, insulting President Obama in the crudest language, a bit reminiscent of the movie they condemned. Now Russia is adding its angry voice to the chorus.
“The very idea of the film is so aggressive and scandalous that the reaction of the North Korean side… is completely understandable,” explained Lukashevich, referring to the film’s story which involves the assassination of the North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un.
“We believe that the threats of revenge and calls on other countries to condemn North Korea voiced in the United States are absolutely counterproductive and dangerous,” he added, adding that the escalation of tensions should be avoided.
Sony is bringing its new smartphone to market within just one month of revealing the Xperia Z3 waterproof phone at the Berlin trade show in September. The consumer electronics giant learned their lesson from their Xperia Z1, which took months to appear in the US market, making the phone feel old even before it started selling. The Z2, which came out this past spring, never partnered with a wireless carrier in the US.
Consumers can expect to see the Z3 available beginning on October 23. The timing is good, as it is within one month of the release of Apple’s iPhone 6, and only one week from the date the new Galaxy Note 4 is expected to be launched by Samsung.
Sony is struggling to recoup a bit of the smartphone market share and getting to market in a timely fashion is part of their strategy.
T-Mobile will be carrying the standard model, which charges in the traditional manner. The Verizon version, to be called the Z3v will offer an optional accessory with which users will be able to charge their phone wirelessly, in other words, the need for a USB cable will be rendered obsolete.
The two different models are sized a bit differently, but their screen sizes are both 5.2 inches on the diagonal.
Both phones have the ability to play Sony PlayStation 4 games, even while the user is in a different location than the TV. The phones can also survive a dip in the pool, sink or any other body of water. (Salt water too? Not sure.) They also have 20.7 megapixel cameras which can record video in ultra-high, 4K, definition.
The pricing for the T-Mobile has not been announced yet but the Verizon version will cost $200 with a two-year contract or $600 without.
According to Sony Corp’s China head Nobuki Kurita, the giant consumer electronic company’s business in China is “more or less” back to normal levels after recent protests in China against Japan’s actions related to a group of disputed islands.
Last September saw a significant decrease in sales of Sony products in China as calls for a boycott of Sony reverberated in response to the nationalization of two islands in a group of islands under dispute in the East China Sea. In China these islands are called Diaoyu, and in Japan they are referred to as the Senkaku Islands. Japan nationalized these islands after they were purchased from private owners.
Because of the dispute relations between China and Japan were highly strained, adversely affecting sales of Japanese products in China. Kurita however believes that Japanese business in China should completely recover, showing a strong surge in the coming three years.
“My general impression is business conditions have more or less returned to the pre-crisis environment,” he told a media briefing at a Sony store in eastern Beijing.
Sony has joined up with J.K. Rowling, the authoress made famous by the Harry Potter series. The two heavyweights have developed Pottermore, which is Harry Potter’s new online home. According to a recent article in the UK’s Marketing Week, the goal of Pottermore is “to keep the franchise alive beyond the release of the final film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 next month.”
Hurry to Harry’s Home
Pottermore website users will not incur any fees to enjoy a visit to Harry’s home, so those who are big fans, need not wait a moment longer before entering this exciting virtual adventure. Digital agency TH_NK was employed to design the online experience that’s aim was to “complement reading the series of seven Harry Potter books.” As well, for true Potter fans, they will have something else to enjoy since Rowling has now produced additional material about the books’ characters, places and objects that appear in all the stories. According to her, these are set to: “inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books.”
For those looking for other ways to financially support the Potter industry and get as much as they can from Potter world, Pottermore is a great place to visit too as there will be a store on line for fans to “exclusively purchase the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks. The site is due for launching in a few months, in October and will begin with the following languages: English, French, Italian, German and Spanish – with more set to follow later on.