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31 stunning photos from Sony’s World Photography Awards

2015 Sony World Photography Award 14

Sony and the World Photography Organization have announced the shortlist for the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards in the Professional, Open, and Youth categories.

The 2015 competition saw more than 173,000 entries this year, making it the most successful year in the awards’ eight-year history.

Those in the professional categories are competing for a $25,000 prize and the title of Photographer of the Year.

The winners of this year’s awards will be revealed in April at the Sony World Photography Awards Gala.

OPEN: A shoal of black-tip reef sharks patrol the coast of the Seychelles, an island off the coast of Africa.

OPEN: A shoal of black-tip reef sharks patrol the coast of the Seychelles, an island off the coast of Africa.

Byron Dilkes, UK, Shortlist, Travel, Open, 

A man performs a “bomb” dive into the ocean. Photographer Antony Crossfield made the image to show how one could create “fiction” in digital photography.

A man performs a "bomb" dive into the ocean. Photographer Antony Crossfield made the image to show how one could create "fiction" in digital photography.

Antony Crossfield, UK, Shortlist, Enhanced Open, 

These pelicans live at Port Vincent in South Australia. They have become accustomed to waiting for fish offal for food.

These pelicans live at Port Vincent in South Australia. They have become accustomed to waiting for fish offal for food.

Melissa Little, Australia, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Open, 

Photographer Harfian Herdi caught these three frogs during morning light.

Photographer Harfian Herdi caught these three frogs during morning light.

Haifan Herdi, Indonesia, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Open, 

A young Nenets boy plays in temperatures of 40 degrees below zero in Siberia. The Nenets are an indigenous group in Northern Russia.

A young Nenets boy plays in temperatures of 40 degrees below zero in Siberia. The Nenets are an indigenous group in Northern Russia.

Simon Morris, UK, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 

This photo was taken during the Artistic Gymnastics Tournament in Poland. The girls in the tournament were aged 8 to 12.

This photo was taken during the Artistic Gymnastics Tournament in Poland. The girls in the tournament were aged 8 to 12.

Adrian Jaszczak, Poland, Shortlist, Arts & Culture, Open, 

These are the cranes at the Harland and Wolff docks in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

These are the cranes at the Harland and Wolff docks in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Norman Quinn, UK, Shortlist, Panoramic, Open, 

In northern Iran, Saeed Barikani captured this old shepherd, who had been surprised by a snowstorm in the countryside.

In northern Iran, Saeed Barikani captured this old shepherd, who had been surprised by a snowstorm in the countryside.

Saeed Barikani, Iran, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 

This stunning architectural photo was taken in Berlin.

This stunning architectural photo was taken in Berlin.

Jürgen Schrepfer, Germany, Shortlist, Architecture, Open, 

This untitled photo was taken by photographer Joseph Makeni in Kenya.

This untitled photo was taken by photographer Joseph Makeni in Kenya.

Jpseph Makeni, Kenya, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 

This photo was taken during the Bujang Ganong dance, a traditional attraction in Indonesia.

This photo was taken during the Bujang Ganong dance, a traditional attraction in Indonesia.

Aprison Aprison, Indonesia, Shortlist, Arts & Culture, Open, 

PROFESSIONAL: This photo of the Useless Loop solar salt operation in Australia was taken from a plane at 4,000 feet.

PROFESSIONAL: This photo of the Useless Loop solar salt operation in Australia was taken from a plane at 4,000 feet.

Simon Butterworth, UK, Shortlist, Landscape, Professional Competition, 

Photographer Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong took these photos to capture the underwater grace of the synchronized swimming team in Singapore during its training session.

Photographer Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong took these photos to capture the underwater grace of the synchronized swimming team in Singapore during its training session.

Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong, Singapore, Shortlist, Sport, Professional Competition 

This project, called “Caesar,” shows children born by cesarean section.

This project, called "Caesar," shows children born by cesarean section.

© Christian Berthelot, France, shortlist, Portraiture, Professional Competition, 

Photographer Kimmo Metsaranta took this photo to try to make a “still life” using a live animal. This cat was not very cooperative.

Photographer Kimmo Metsaranta took this photo to try to make a "still life" using a live animal. This cat was not very cooperative.

Kimmo Metsaranta, Finland, Shortlist, Still Life, Professional Competition, 

This photo taken by Massimo Siragusa is part of a series on clubs in Italy. The country is well known for its exclusive clubs with restricted access. Many for people of specific professions.

This photo taken by Massimo Siragusa is part of a series on clubs in Italy. The country is well known for its exclusive clubs with restricted access. Many for people of specific professions.

©Massimo Siragusa, Italy, Professional, Architecture, 

These two young girls in West Bengal, India were born into poverty with congenital cataract blindness. The surgery to cure the blindness is simple, but many of those in India with the condition cannot afford it.

These two young girls in West Bengal, India were born into poverty with congenital cataract blindness. The surgery to cure the blindness is simple, but many of those in India with the condition cannot afford it.

©Brent Stirton, South Africa, Shortlist, Contemporary Issues, Professional,

Italy’s Ludwig Rieder prepares for the training run during the men’s luge doubles during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Italy's Ludwig Rieder prepares for the training run during the men's luge doubles during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sascha Fromm, Germany, Shortlist, Sport, Professional Competition, 

The Ganges River in India is one of the most polluted rivers in the world because of the toxic waste dumped by factories every day.

The Ganges River in India is one of the most polluted rivers in the world because of the toxic waste dumped by factories every day.

Giulio di Sturco/Reportage by Getty, Italy, Shortlist, Landscape, Professional Competition, 

Hector Garcia Jr. of San Antonio, Texas, is nearly 600 pounds. He struggles to complete daily tasks like bathing. When this photo was taken, Garcia had just begun dieting.

Hector Garcia Jr. of San Antonio, Texas, is nearly 600 pounds. He struggles to complete daily tasks like bathing. When this photo was taken, Garcia had just begun dieting.

©Lisa Krantz, United States, Shortlisted, Contemporary Issues, Professional

In Sweden, parents are incentivized to take off work to spend time with their kids. Photographer Johan Bavman took this photo and others to show Swedish fathers on paternity leave.

In Sweden, parents are incentivized to take off work to spend time with their kids. Photographer Johan Bavman took this photo and others to show Swedish fathers on paternity leave.

Johan Bavman, Sweden, Shortlist, People, Professional Competition,

In the Ryogoku district of Tokyo, there are many training quarters for sumo wrestlers. Most never let outsiders in. Photographer Marcin Klocek was able to get special access to the Miyagino training house.

In the Ryogoku district of Tokyo, there are many training quarters for sumo wrestlers. Most never let outsiders in. Photographer Marcin Klocek was able to get special access to the Miyagino training house.

Marcin Klocek/TRAVELLER, Poland, Shortlist, Sport, Professional Competition,

This photo was part of a project called “Restricted Areas,” which photographer Danila Tkachenko says is about “the utopian strive of humans for technological progress.”

This photo was part of a project called "Restricted Areas," which photographer Danila Tkachenko says is about "the utopian strive of humans for technological progress."

Danila Tkachencko, Russia, Shortlist, Landscape, Professional Competition,

Ultra-orthodox Jewish men celebrate the Purim holiday in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem. The festival commemorates the rescue of Jews from genocide in ancient Persia.

Ultra-orthodox Jewish men celebrate the Purim holiday in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem. The festival commemorates the rescue of Jews from genocide in ancient Persia.

Gili Yaari, Israel, Shortlist, Arts & Culture, Professional, 

A Ukrainian protester plays piano on a barricade in front of the riot police line during the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine.

A Ukrainian protester plays piano on a barricade in front of the riot police line during the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine.

Vladyslav Musiienko/UNIAN, Ukraine, Shortlist, Current Affairs, Professional Competition

This is the open shower in the Caribbean Bay water park at Everland, the largest theme park in South Korea.

This is the open shower in the Caribbean Bay water park at Everland, the largest theme park in South Korea.

Julia Fullerton-Batten, UK, Shortlist, Lifestyle, Professional Competition 

Photographer Dougie Wallace took this photo to illustrate the difference in life expectancies from Glasgow, Scotland to London.

Photographer Dougie Wallace took this photo to illustrate the difference in life expectancies from Glasgow, Scotland to London.

Dougie Wallace/Institute, UK, Shortlist, Portraiture, Professional Competition, 

The Palestinian Circus School was established in 2009 in the village of Birzeit. Here, a Palestinian child practices at the school.

The Palestinian Circus School was established in 2009 in the village of Birzeit. Here, a Palestinian child practices at the school.

Rich Wiles/Invision Images, UK, Shortlist, Arts & Culture, Professional, 

YOUTH: Liverpool’s famous River Mersey Festival is an annual event celebrating the history of the city and the river. Many rare tall ships can be seen gathering in the river, as they do every year.

YOUTH: Liverpool's famous River Mersey Festival is an annual event celebrating the history of the city and the river. Many rare tall ships can be seen gathering in the river, as they do every year.

Alex Foden, UK, Shortlist, Environment, Youth Competition, 

Photographer Stephanie Anjo took this photo of her cousin at her parents’ hometown in Portugal.

Photographer Stephanie Anjo took this photo of her cousin at her parents' hometown in Portugal.

Stephanie Anjo, UK, Shortlist, Portraits, Youth Award, 

This photo was taken towards the end of spring in Sydney, Australia, when the people of the city head out to the beach.

This photo was taken towards the end of spring in Sydney, Australia, when the people of the city head out to the beach.

©David Pereira, Singapore, Shortlist, Culture, Youth, 

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What makes the Sony hack any different from the ‘Fappening’?

When hackers unknown published the stolen nude photographs of female celebrities in September, the backlash was both fierce and nearly instantaneous:

“Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offense,” the actress Jennifer Lawrence told Vanity Fair. “You should cower with shame.”

Continue reading What makes the Sony hack any different from the ‘Fappening’?

Sennheiser RS 220 Wireless HeadphonesAwesome Sound, When You Stay Put

Wireless headphones have come a long way over the last few years, and Sennheiser was one of the first companies to introduce a set of high-quality cans for those of us who like listen and move beyond the tether range of a headphone cable. Sennheiser’s marquee offering, the RS 220s, are equipped with a technology that offers superior sound quality via uncompressed audio streaming. For this price, I want to feel like I’m sitting in Carnegie Hall. And you do — even down to the fact that you can’t move around during the performance.

The RS 220 product page advertises a range of “30 to 100 feet in common listening environments.” But in my tests, I couldn’t walk more than 20 to 25 feet without experiencing blips, hiccups or full-on dropouts. And when bring walls or doorways into the picture, all bets were off — the stream started sounding like a low-rent MP3 file downloaded in the Napster days, all weak and choppy. As a result, I tended to stick close to the docking station to keep the quality sound streaming. I might just as well have been using wired headphones.

The RS 220s are more comfortable than their predecessor, although they are definitely on the hefty side. The velour pads make extended wear no problem, though you will look and feel like you’re sporting heavy-duty earmuffs.

Setting up the RS 220 is simple: Plug your audio sources (TV, stereo, iPod, etc.) into the transmitter/docking station, select the input using a button on the front of the dock or the side of the headphones, and the audio starts streaming. You can patch in sources using coax, optical, or analog connections, and a light on the front of the docking station indicates which source is active. The side of the cans also has buttons for volume, input, power, and balance, and after you get used to which is which, they are easy enough to navigate.

The previous version of Sennheiser’s wireless headphones used Kleer’s wireless technology, which compresses the audio before transmitting it. The RS 220 uses an updated wireless system called direct sequence spread spectrum, or DSSS. The big advantage is that DSSS transmits uncompressed audio, which can make a significant difference in sound quality.

After queuing up everything from metal to classical to hip-hop, it became clear that the RS 220s offer excellent sound quality, with a wider dynamic range and a more natural, rich sound than their predecessors. Even with bass-heavy hip-hop (B.I.G’s “Hypnotize”) the RS 220s responded with a deep, accurate low end, balanced with clear and clean high-end and midrange details. When I compared the RS 220s to headphones made by Grado, Audio-Technica, and Sony, the Sennheisers won out, and I’d happily reach for them to listen to nearly any style of music.

But if you’re going to spend big bucks on a pair of wireless headphones, the wireless performance had better be top-notch. Sadly, the RS 220s can’t make that claim. However, if your home or office is very open, these headphones may fit the bill. For smaller, urban dwellings, however, the RS 220s are bound to cause more headaches than easy listening.

The Sony Hackers Pranked The FBI

Kim Jong Un

The hacker group who broke into the computer network of Sony Pictures and managed to halt the release of ‘The Interview’ have issued a new message, this time mocking the FBI.

The Daily Beast reports that Guardians of Peace published a new message on Pastebin on Saturday. Here’s that message in its entirety:

By GOP

The result of investigation by FBI is so excellent that you might have seen what we were doing with your own eyes.

We congratulate you success.

FBI is the BEST in the world.

You will find the gift for FBI at the following address.

Enjoy!

The link in the message leads to a Japanese prank video which repeats the phrase “You are an idiot” to the tune of throbbing house music. It seems that Guardians of Peace are mocking the FBI’s “excellent” investigation, which led to the US government declaring on Friday that North Korea was behind the cyber-attack.

The “You are an idiot” video could be an attempt to criticize the FBI for blaming the Sony hack on North Korea. Some are still unconvinced by the US government’s claim that the software used in the Sony hack was similar to programs used in the past by attacks linked to North Korea.

US authorities found the evidence to be overwhelming enough to call out North Korea directly, and President Obama has vowed to respond to what is the most destructive hack ever on a company in the US.

GEORGE CLOONEY: ‘We Cannot Be Told We Can’t See Something By Kim Jong Un, Of All Fucking People’

george clooney on phone

Actor George Clooney isn’t happy about Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” before its Dec. 25 release, even after a group of hackers threatened any theaters that showed the comedy film.

Clooney, who initially circulated a petition to stand in solidarity with Sony, now believes Sony should release the film online — immediately.

“We should be in the position right now of going on offense with this,” Clooney told Deadline. “Do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie.”

“That’s the most important part,” Clooney added. “We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong Un, of all fucking people.”

In a news conference Friday, President Obama also said he believed that Sony was making a mistake by pulling “The Interview” entirely, despite the damage they had caused by releasing thousands of internal Sony emails.

“I wish [Sony] had spoken to me first,” President Obama said. “I would have told them do not get into a pattern where you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.”

Sony Has ‘No Further Release Plans’ for ‘The Interview’

The Interview Seth Rogen James Franco

Sony Pictures Entertainment has chosen to stand down for “The Interview,” deciding against releasing the Seth RogenJames Franco comedy in any form — including VOD or DVD, as U.S. officials reportedly link Sony’s massive cyber attack to North Korea.

“Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film,” a spokesman said Wednesday.

The studio issued the statement a few hours after pulling the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview” in the U.S. in response to the hackers who threatened a 9/11-style attack against U.S. theaters and moviegoers if the comedy were released.

By late Wednesday afternoon, the studio had removed any mention of “The Interview” from its official web site. 

The move could open the door for Sony to sell the rights to a rival distributor — though Hollywood is still reeling from Tuesday’s invocation of a possible terrorist attack on exhibitors if they screened “The Interview.”

Prior to the decision to pull the controversial movie, a Sony Pictures insider had told Variety that the studio was weighing releasing the film on premium video-on-demand. Such a move would have allowed the studio to recoup some of the film’s $42 million budget and tens of millions in promotion and advertising expenditures.

Sony’s nightmare began on Nov. 24 when the “Guardians of Peace” hackers disabled the studio’s computer system and began disclosing internal documents, email messages, film budgets, executive salaries and the social security numbers of thousands of employees.

“The world will be full of fear,” the group’s Tuesday message said. “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

In response, most of the country’s largest theater chains —  including AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Carmike and Southern Theatres — announced they would either delay showing the picture or would drop it altogether.

“The Interview” centers on an assassination attempt on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

On Wednesday, several published reports said that federal authorities had determined that hackers working on behalf of the North Korean government were behind the hack attack. CNN’s Evan Perez said that an announcement is expected on Thursday that would “assign attribution” to the country.

“The Interview” has been scheduled for release in foreign markets starting in late January.

Sony Hackers Expose Celebrity Aliases For Natalie Portman, Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, And More

natalie portman

Natalie Portman, Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, and other A-list (and B-list) stars are the latest to feel the effects of Sony’s hackers.

In new documents obtained by Fusion, aliases that actors used to protect themselves while working on Sony projects have been revealed to the public.

The documents were leaked by the “Guardians of Peace” hacker group, which earlier Monday posted a message online demanding that Sony pull “The Interview,” a James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy about two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Ahead of the film’s Dec. 25 release, Sony has experienced a series of scary cyberattacks.

Check out some of the fake names used by actors below revealed in the latest leak (via Fusion):

Tom Hanks: goes by “Harry Lauder” and “Johnny Madrid” (the former of which was the name of a famous Scottish comedian, and the latter of which may be a reference to a character on “Lancer,” a 1960s Western series)

Tobey Maguire: goes by “Neil Deep”

Natalie Portman: goes by “Lauren Brown”

Clive Owen: goes by “Robert Fenton” (his wife’s name is Sarah-Jane Fenton)

Rob Schneider: goes by “Nazzo Good” (not so good – get it?)

Jude Law: goes by “Mr. Perry”

Daniel Craig: goes by “Olwen Williams” (an homage to his grandfather, Olwyn Williams)

Jessica Alba: goes by “Cash Money” (her husband’s name is Cash Warren)

Ice Cube: goes by “Darius Stone” and “O’Shea Jackson” (the former of which was his character’s name in XXXState of the Union, and the latter of which is his actual name)

On Monday, Sony CEO Michael Lynton sent a company-wide memo in which he said the studio was doing everything it could to protect employees after a series of cyberattacks that revealed their personal information, including Social Security numbers and addresses.

Lynton, whose $3 million salary was revealed in one of the leaks by hackers, promised staffers the FBI “have dedicated their senior staff to this global investigation” and that “recognized experts are working on this matter and looking out for our security.”

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