The Warcraft movie now has a release date — December 18th, 2015. The feature film based on Blizzard's hugely popular World of Warcraft series of video games will be directed by Duncan Jones, the filmmaker behind the critically acclaimed sci-fi thrillers Moon and Source Code. Charles Leavitt, who penned the Leonardo DiCaprio political drama Blood Diamond, is writing the movie; Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures are handling financing and distribution. Warcraft's December release puts it at the end of a year that will be packed with tentpole flicks including Star Wars: Episode VII, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Ant-Man, Jurassic World, and the Ben Affleck-as-Batman sequel to Man of Steel.
Unlike Jones' previous films, which had smaller budgets in the $35 million range, Warcraft is set to be a big, CGI-filled, blockbuster with a reported budget of more than $100 million. So far, Legendary has largely succeeded at bringing fantasy and spectacle to the big screen with hits such as 300, Inception, Man of Steel, and the Dark Knight Trilogy. Shooting is set to start early next year, but there's no official word on who'll inhabit the world of Azeroth on the big screen just yet.
Netflix's original programming is currently grabbing awards and plaudits, but the streaming service hasn't given up the base of its business: licensed shows. Variety points out Netflix users can now find the final seasons of The Office and 30 Rock in their streaming library, alongside the most recent seasons of Parenthood and Parks and Recreation.
The new additions are the result of a long-term deal with NBC inked back in 2011. Now 192 episodes of the US version of The Office and 135 episodes of 30 Rock are available to Netflix users, allowing them to watch the shows from front to back in one superhuman sitting. The terms of the NBC deal mean that new episodes are currently only available to Netflix users in the US. Those based in other countries — or without proxy access — will have to wait for their version of Netflix to catch up.
The people of Iran are blocked from using Twitter and other social networking websites, although Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is one of the few exceptions to that rule. This situation could change however. On Tuesday, Rouhani hinted in tweets traded with Twitter Chairman, and company co-founder, Jack Dorsey that his country's social media ban could eventually ease up.
@HassanRouhani Good evening, President. Are citizens of Iran able to read your tweets?
— Jack Dorsey (@jack) October 1, 2013
@HassanRouhani thank you. Please let us know how we can help to make it a reality.
— Jack Dorsey (@jack) October 1, 2013
Rouhani, who has been President for about a month now, has been on Twitter since May — his first tweet shared a link to a YouTube video announcing his run for the presidency. He also tweeted to US President Barack Obama after the two spoke on the phone last week. In his tweets with Dorsey, Rouhani mentions a recent interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour in which he said he's working to "ensure that the people of Iran will comfortably be able to access all information globally and to use it." Still, he explained to Amanpour that delivering on this would take at least a few months.
Rouhani admitted that his supporters used social media heavily during his presidential campaign and that hasn't stopped just because he took office. "I always welcome their views on these networks as well as those who criticize me, because the government does need to be open to criticism," he said. "There are large social networks at a global level around today and I believe that all human beings have a right, and all nations have a right, to use them."
Apple has acknowledged there is an issue with iMessage in iOS 7, reports the Wall Street Journal. After updating to the fresh OS, users have reported being unable to send messages. Although issues with sending messages are fairly common, the nature of the bug affecting iOS 7 users is particularly annoying as there's very little feedback. When sending a message, the blue progress bar gets stuck just before completion, and will remain there until you reset iMessage, settings, or turn your phone on and off. There's no feedback to let users know there's a problem unless they're in the relevant conversation within the Messages app.
Apple claims the issue only affects a "fraction of a percent" of iMessages users — anecdotally we've noticed the issue on more than five devices — and promises a fix is coming soon. The company says users experiencing problems should look towards the company's troubleshooting documents or contact AppleCare, and apologizes "for any inconvenience this causes impacted users."
As if you needed any more confirmation of the grip Breaking Bad held on pop culture right up to its finale. Spotify tells Business Insider that global streams of Badfinger's song "Baby Blue," which was featured in the show's climactic episode, rose by 9000 percent after the credits rolled — as illustrated by the following chart.
Apparently it's not just streaming fans that want to hear the song again. Billboard reports that the song could receive close to a 3,000 percent sales boost this week, and it's said to have sold just under 5,000 downloads last night.
"Baby Blue" was first heard on the British rock band's album Straight Up, which came out on the Beatles' Apple Records in 1971. Although it's a conventional love song on the surface, its lyrical references to "the special love I have for you, my baby blue" will have particular resonance with Breaking Bad fans.
Apple is said to be working on an iPad mini with a high-resolution Retina display, but may not be able to produce the model in sufficient quantity this year — if at all. Although an event to announce new iPad models is expected in the near future, Reuters reports that the company will be "unable to widely roll out" the Retina display iPad mini this month, meaning that supply could be slim to none for the holiday season.
The report is backed up by supply chain analysts IHS iSuppli, which told CNET last week that manufacturing volumes would seem to suggest a launch in the first quarter of next year. Suppliers have only recently started preparing for the launch of a mini Retina display, according to Reuters, and one source says that Apple has imposed strict power-saving requirements. It is possible that Apple could announce the device before it is able to ship it in large quantities, although the company prefers to release products close to their reveal.
Sharper iPad mini would square off against Nexus 7 and new Kindle Fire
Competing tablets such as the new Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX feature high-resolution 7-inch 1920 x 1200 displays, whereas the current iPad mini has a 7.9-inch 1024 x 768 screen. If Apple plans to follow its usual strategy of simply quadrupling pixel count in the move to Retina — which would make the transition a non-issue for the company's valued stable of third-party developers — the new iPad mini's screen would come in at 2048 x 1536.
Randy Pitchford doesn't see Valve's Steam Box as a threat to consoles. Pitchford, head of Borderlands developer Gearbox Software, stated to Gamesindustry.biz that although Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will watch Valve's new hardware "curiously," they'll remain "largely unaffected by anything Steam does along this vector of OS, machines and controllers over the next two or three years."
The studio boss said Valve's recent trio of announcements — SteamOS, Steam Machines, and the Steam Controller — would cause Sony and Microsoft executives to "exhale a bit," and "imagine that [they] don't really have anything to worry about too much coming from this direction for a while."
Pitchford doesn't expect another 'Half-Life' game to arrive
Pitchford said he'd only change his mind were Valve to come out with a killer app: something he suggested "would probably have to start with an 'H' and have a '3' at the end and it would sound like 'Half-Life 3'." Valve has previously released must-buys alongside its new services and products — tying the untested Steam platform to Half-Life 2 in 2004 — but despite recent rumblings, Pitchford doesn't expect another Half-Life game to arrive for "quite some time - possibly never."
Head of Playstation UK, Fergal Gara, was more cautious about the threat to consoles during an interview with Eurogamer. Gara said that although he didn't think Valve's entry into the hardware market was "significantly rattling [Sony's] confidence at this point in time," he expected some "broadside disruptive technologies to come along," and that his company "can't afford to ignore it."
Sony "can't afford to ignore" the Steam Box
Other PC-specific developers have been more effusive in their praise for Valve's new developments. Gamesindustry.biz also spoke to Paradox Interactive's Fredrik Wester, who foresees a future where the Steambox is a "serious competitor." Paradox confirmed to PC Gamer that they've been working with the new SteamOS for some time already, the manager of Paradox's in-house Development Studio calling it "a great thing for PC gaming."
Dejobaan Games and Tripwire Interactive offered similarly positive reactions to Valve's new creations, but it's notable that of the developers interviewed, only Pitchford's Gearbox have extensive console development experience. Whether that implies foresight will be seen when Valve's first Steam Machines arrive in 2014.