Leaked James Bond product placement pitches reveal unannounced Sony smartphone

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Emails found among the documents recently stolen from Sony by hackers have revealed what looks to be concept art for an unannounced smartphone. The “XPERIA Z Fourth Generation,” seen above, was pitched by Sony executives for product placements in the recently announced 24th James Bond flick “Spectre.”

The executives haggle over pricing for the placement of the phone, questioning whether they should pay the full $5 million for star Daniel Craig to use the phone, or settle for actor Ben Whishaw’s much cheaper “Q” to show it off.

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Google ‘deeply concerned’ by reports of MPAA working with movie studios to ‘revive SOPA’

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Google has published a post on its Public Policy blog responding to recent revelations that the Motion Picture Association of America was working with a group of movie studios in order to find new ways to force the search giant to modify its results to omit sites that contained stolen copyrighted material:

We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means, and helped manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood.

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Movie studios and the MPAA created a secret plan to combat Google, dubbed ‘Project Goliath’

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New emails uncovered by the Verge from Sony’s stolen files have revealed that the company, along with several other studios and executives at the MPAA, worked together to create a plan of attack against Google, which they see as one of the biggest enemies Hollywood has.

The plan, which was codenamed “Project Goliath,” would involve each of the major movie studios contributing money toward a $500,000 fund to support legal attacks against the Mountain View company for its (unwitting) role in helping pirates find stolen media.

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Android Lollipop rolling out for Sony Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition

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Sony announced on Wednesday that Android 5.0 Lollipop is rolling out this week for the Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition, while confirming that other devices in the Xperia Z lineup will receive the latest software version in early 2015. Sony pledged in October that it would bring Android Lollipop to its entire lineup of premium Z-series devices. Read more

Sony to reduce its smartphone efforts in hopes of cutting costs

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Sony’s diverse product portfolio is about to lose a little weight. Despite the company’s popularity and historical success the Japanese corporation is going to be cutting down its TV and mobile lineups to cut costs. Over the past few years Sony has steadily lost its wireless momentum to rival companies like Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi. The outfit’s new focus will be for its struggling TV and mobile divisions to simply turn a profit.

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Sony’s Backup & Restore Android application reportedly compromised (update)

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Sony’s Backup & Restore Android application that comes pre-installed on its Xperia Z3 smartphone appears to have been compromised. A Google Play entry has been added for the app listing “Nirav Patel Kanudo” as its publisher, along with the software’s description claiming that it’s managed by the “HeArT HaCkEr Group.”

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Sony’s new imaging sensor for smartphones could be a game changer for shutterbugs

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Sony announced a new imaging sensor today that the company says will improve smartphones cameras. The Exmor RS IMX230 is a stacked CMOS sensor that packs 21-megapixels into a small 1/2.4-inch design. One of the key talking points of Sony’s new chip is its 192 point phase detection autofocus, which makes it easier to shoot photos or video of a fast moving subject with your smartphone.

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Sony rolling out Xperia Z2/Z2 Tablet update w/ PS4 Remote Play, hi-res audio, Smart Social camera apps, more

After releasing the the new PS4 Remote Play app for Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 tablet, Sony today announced it’s bringing the feature for remotely playing games from a connected PlayStation 4 to its Xperia Z2 lineup. That means following an update for the Xperia z2 and Xperia Z2 tablet, users will now have access to the PS4 Remote Play app and full support for the PS4 DUALSHOCK4 wireless controller.

The update for Xperia Z2 and Z2 tablet also brings hi-res audio, the latest Battery STAMINA Mode feature, Sony’s Smart Social camera apps including Sound Photo, AR fun, Multi camera and Face in, and much more. Read more

Sony’s Xperia Z3 is now available on T-Mobile with up to six free movies

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After a rebranded run with Verizon, the Xperia Z3 is now officially on sale at T-Mobile. Last week, some of the carrier’s customers received their pre-orders early, but if you weren’t among the lucky few, you can now purchase Sony’s waterproof flagship smartphone directly from the magenta-hued wireless carrier for no money down at a price of $26.25 per month for two years.

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Sony’s SmartBand Talk app goes live on the Google Play Store

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The SmartBand Talk—which we leaked and was announced alongside the SmartWatch 3 earlier this year—is about to launch worldwide in the coming weeks, but today, its app has officially launched on the Play Store. Alongside the launch of this main companion app, the company has also launched four extension apps, which bring even more features to the SmartBand Talk.

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Sony Xperia Z3v coming to Verizon October 23 for $199, SmartWatch 3 ‘later this month’

Verizon and Sony announced today that it will soon begin offering the Sony Xperia Z3v smartphone on its network, as well as the Sony SmartWatch 3. The Xperia Z3v, which is the U.S. version of the Xperia Z3, features all of the specs you would expect a 2014 flagship device to have and will be available on October 23rd for $199.99.

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Google apparently aiming for tight control of Android Wear as crowdfunding campaign closed down

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Google appears to be aiming for tight control over its Android Wear smartwatch platform as it asked crowdfunding site IndieGoGo to take down a campaign for a budget smartwatch, Com1, reports Android Police.

Com1 used stock images of Android Wear and the Android Wear trademark in its campaign page, which was taken down by IGG under the premise of an intellectual property infringement complaint by Google shortly after the campaign launched.

Since Google is known to have a relaxed attitude to use of its imagery, the motivation here appears to be control which companies are able to launch Android Wear devices …  Read more