The Upshot
  • With the special-effects blockbuster "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" hitting theaters, now's a good time to remind budding auteurs that one doesn't need a hundred million dollar budget to make a good movie. In fact, with some creativity, you can make an award-winning flick for next to nothing.

    Tech company Nokia recently held a competition to see who could make the best short film using only a cell phone camera. The two-minute film "Splitscreen: a Love Story" was declared the winner. It's easy to see why. The flick's use of innovative cinematography, combined with a charming story about two travelers who find each other halfway around the world can put a smile on most anybody's face.

    Read More »from Low budget is no problem for cell phone filmmaker
  • The swastika, unmistakable symbol of Nazi power, has been banned in Germany for some time. However, neo-Nazis are finding ways around that law, initiating alternate graphics and codes to promote their Hitler-inspired beliefs.

    A new brochure titled "Hide and Seek," featured in German news magazine Der Spiegel, explains the troubling trend. Of course, the symbols appear innocuous so most people don't recognize them as anything hate-driven. The neo-Nazi signs can be seen on banners at sporting events, as tattoos, etc. Michael Weiss, author of the brochure, told Der Spiegel that its purpose is to raise public awareness of the current generation of neo-Nazi codes, especially among teachers and social workers and others with access to German youths.

    Consider, for example, a symbol as seemingly far from the swastika as the number 14. This is code for "14 words," a phrase first coined by American white separatist David Lane. His 14-word statement, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children" is a mantra for many neo-Nazis.

    "BH" is another secret hate code. This stands for Blood and Honour, an extreme right-wing group banned in Germany more than a decade ago. The number 88 is gaining popularity, too, a reference to the outlawed phrase "Heil Hitler." With "H" being the eighth letter of the alphabet, to Nazis, "88" means "Heil Hitler."

    Read More »from A disturbing trend: Neo-Nazi codes
  • Business as usual on Yahoo! will come to a stop during a "Digital Moment of Silence" to be observed this coming September 11, the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States.

    Service on our site will be interrupted for one minute. Users will be invited to reflect on the victims of the attack and invited to publish their own 9/11 stories on Yahoo! for others to see.

    The Digital Moment of Silence is part of an overall 10-year anniversary event co-produced by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (9/11 Memorial) and Yahoo! News. It will include a co-branded 9/11 memorial microsite, profiles of Americans whose lives were transformed by the event, and tools for users to tell their own stories. These will be published on Yahoo! for posterity.

    [How did 9/11 change you? Share your story with Yahoo! readers.]

    The 9/11 Memorial organization's mission is to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11. A physical memorial located at the site of the former World Trade Center

    Read More »from Yahoo! to hold Digital Moment of Silence commemorating 10-year anniversary of 9/11


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  • Forget Star Wars VII, this is the Star Wars flick you need to watch
    Forget Star Wars VII, this is the Star Wars flick you need to watch

    It’ll be a while until Star Wars Episode VII hits theaters, so in the meantime Star Wars fans can watch a half-hour movie created by… a college football player. Called Retribution, the film was written and directed by Georgia University student Chris Conley, who started work on the short video last November. While Retribution doesn’t have the same cast and budget of actual Star Wars movies, it’s actually quite good, even though it was filmed in Conley’s University surroundings. With a simple plot, decent sound and visual effects as well as plenty of shooting and fighting (light saber action included), Retribution shows what can be done with the right amount of Star Wars passion and proper gear. Published on YouTube on Saturday, Retribution

  • Brazilian women celebrate WCup bonanza of men
    Brazilian women celebrate WCup bonanza of men

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Renata de Mouro Moitinho sambas so fast her feet blur, but her partner moves with the bumbling tentativeness of a toddler taking his first steps.

  • Weaver, 'Alien' cast reprising roles in new game
    Weaver, 'Alien' cast reprising roles in new game

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Sigourney Weaver and the cast of "Alien" are virtually returning to the starship Nostromo.

  • Special Report: All work and no pay for thousands in the Balkans

    By Zoran Radosavljevic and Aleksandar Vasovic ZITISTE Serbia 2014 (Reuters) - Complaining they had worked without pay for months late last year, employees of the Serbian farming company Agroziv staged a short strike in January. The company, a poultry producer in the north of the country, was short of cash and pleaded for more time to pay wages, workers said. Some workers grew so desperate they were buying bread on credit from local bakers.

  • APNewsBreak: Different attackers in Benghazi?
    APNewsBreak: Different attackers in Benghazi?

    Newly revealed testimony from top military commanders involved in the U.S. response to the Benghazi attacks suggests that the perpetrators of a second, dawn attack on a CIA complex probably were different from those who penetrated the U.S. diplomatic mission the evening before and set it ablaze, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and another American.

  • Lawyer: Snowden asks to extend stay in Russia
    Lawyer: Snowden asks to extend stay in Russia

    MOSCOW (AP) — Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied to extend his stay in Russia, his lawyer said Wednesday.

  • North Korea complains to U.N. about film starring Rogen, Franco
    North Korea complains to U.N. about film starring Rogen, Franco

    North Korea has complained to the United Nations about a film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, accusing the United States of sponsoring terrorism and committing an act of war by allowing production of a movie about a plot to kill its leader, Kim Jong Un. "The Interview" - due to be released later this year - is about an American television-show host and his producer who land an interview with Kim Jong Un, and are then recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to assassinate the North Korean leader, according to Internet Movie Database (IMDb). The letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon from North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Ja Song Nam, dated June 27 but made public this week, does not mention the name of the movie but talks about a plot that "involves insulting and assassinating the supreme leadership." "To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war," Ja said.

  • Nuke missile duty: 'It weighs on your mind'
    Nuke missile duty: 'It weighs on your mind'

    BERTHOLD, N.D. (AP) — As a nuclear missileer with his finger on the trigger of the world's most powerful weapon, Air Force 1st Lt. Andy Parthum faces pressures few others know. He spends his workday awaiting an order he hopes never arrives: to launch nuclear-tipped missiles capable of killing millions and changing the course of history.

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