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Original author: 
Dan Goodin

Wikipedia

Coordinated attacks used to knock websites offline grew meaner and more powerful in the past three months, with an eight-fold increase in the average amount of junk traffic used to take sites down, according to a company that helps customers weather the so-called distributed denial-of-service campaigns.

The average amount of bandwidth used in DDoS attacks mushroomed to an astounding 48.25 gigabits per second in the first quarter, with peaks as high as 130 Gbps, according to Hollywood, Florida-based Prolexic. During the same period last year, bandwidth in the average attack was 6.1 Gbps and in the fourth quarter of last year it was 5.9 Gbps. The average duration of attacks also grew to 34.5 hours, compared with 28.5 hours last year and 32.2 hours during the fourth quarter of 2012. Earlier this month, Prolexic engineers saw an attack that exceeded 160 Gbps, and officials said they wouldn't be surprised if peaks break the 200 Gbps threshold by the end of June.

The spikes are brought on by new attack techniques that Ars first chronicled in October. Rather than using compromised PCs in homes and small offices to flood websites with torrents of traffic, attackers are relying on Web servers, which often have orders of magnitude more bandwidth at their disposal. As Ars reported last week, an ongoing attack on servers running the WordPress blogging application is actively seeking new recruits that can also be harnessed to form never-before-seen botnets to bring still more firepower.

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Over the past 13 months, three Englishmen have traveled more than 32,000 miles in a London Black Cab named Hannah.


An traditional London cab, sporting paint that was part black, part orange, was an unusual sight on the streets of New York City’s Times Square Tuesday. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)

In the front seat
In the front seat: Britons Paul Archer, 25 years old, and Leigh Purnell, 24. The pair, with college buddy Johno Ellison, 28, have traveled more than 32,000 miles around the globe in a 1992 LTI 2.7 liter diesel FX4TK, better known as a London Black Cab—which they’ve named Hannah. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)


The Brits were undaunted by the tangle of cars and cabs and pushcarts in Times Square. ‘We’ve seen worse,’ Mr. Archer, of Gloucester, shown here. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)


As many cabbies do, these drivers have taken the scenic route. They’re aiming to set a new world’s record for the longest taxi ride, while raising cash for the British Red Cross, mostly through corporate sponsorships. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)


Earlier this month, they were in Hollywood, Calif. (Johno Ellison)


They paused for a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in February. (Johno Ellison)


In July 2011, children in Agra, India, joined the team for a photo in front of the Taj Mahal. (Johno Ellison)


A few months later, in October 2011, they were at Angkor Wat, in Cambodia. (Johno Ellison)


February 2011 found Hannah and her drivers at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Johno Ellison)


From France, they traveled to Italy, pausing for a shot of the cab in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in March 2011. (Johno Ellison)


Later the same month, Hannah was at the Kremlin in Moscow, a little worse for wear. (Johno Ellison)


During a drive through the mountains of Kosovo in April 2011, the team encountered a sudden snowstorm. (Johno Ellison)


And later the same month, in Georgia’s Military Highway, it was sheep that caused them slow down. (Johno Ellison)


The team stopped for a photo at the Iraqi border in the northern region of Kurdistan in May 2011. (Johno Ellison)


Hannah went into the shop at an auto bazaar in Erbil, Iraq, in May 2011. (Johno Ellison)


At the border of Pakistan, the team pauses for a photo. (Johno Ellison)


June 2011 found the team in the deserts of Iran. By the end of their trip, Mr. Archer and his team will have traveled nearly 50,000 miles through 39 countries, four continents and 10 different time zones, crossing more than 40 international borders. (Johno Ellison)

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Easy Way Out by Gotye

Director Darcy Prendergast of Melbourne, Australia-based Oh Yeah Wow had one golden rule for this music video: “Nothing should be created in a computer. All of the elements were created in camera, then masterfully assembled by visual effects wizard Andrew Goldsmith. We animated the plasticine blood, the cat, the flames, the smoke—all in stop motion with a motion control set up. Andrew then composited all these elements together.”

Rock It For Me by Caravan Palace

French artist Ugo Gattoni came up with the concept for this boldly art directed video that was directed by Gattoni, Guillaume Cassuto, and Jeremy Pires.

Love Is Making Its Way Back Home by Josh Ritter

This stop-mo video was created with over 12,000 pieces of construction paper, shown as it was shot, with no effects added in post. A collaboration between director Erez Horovitz and animator Sam Cohen.

Romantic Crap by Some Toir

The animation for the Russian video blends pixel, stop motion, and live action. The director is Yegor Lymarev, and the animation is by Alexei Medvedev.

New Sum (Nous Sommes) by Hey Rosetta!

Using a roto-scoping technique similar to Waking Life or Scanner Darkly, Jesse Davidge directed this video at Blatant Studios, in Vancouver, BC.

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Here’s the perfect film for me to post in the middle of the night. Andres Tapeton’s graduation film from the Classical Animation program at the Vancouver Film School. It’s quite a trip. Tapeton wrote us to explain:

“This one is really personal, since it’s a representation of the most recurrent dream I have since childhood. I’ve been writing my dreams sporadically through the years, and I always joked when I was in school that some day I would make films out of them. And well, luckily my life brought me to the point that I actually know how to do that now, hah. And that’s why this one is just a prologue of what hopefully will become a personal animated project.”

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Walt's People

Over the last seven years, with quiet persistence and unwavering dedication, French animation historian Didier Ghez has been publishing one of the most important animation history documents of our time. His book series, Walt’s People: Talking Disney With The Artists Who Knew Him, is an incredible accomplishment that casts new light onto the operation of the Walt-era Disney Studios. Each edition of this ever-growing interview anthology series reprints rarely seen and unpublished interviews with Disney artists, both famous and unknown.

Didier’s newest volume, the eleventh in the series, is also the largest to date, weighing in at over 600 pages. The historians who have contributed interviews are a who’s who of Disney research royalty. The volume is expansive and extends to a handful of contemporary figures who didn’t personally know Walt (Ed Catmull, Brad Bird, Glen Keane), but who have absorbed the Disney tradition into their work.

In fact, the sheer scale and scope of this volume guarantees something for everybody. The interview subjects are Ray Aragon, Frank Armitage, Brad Bird, Carl Bongirno, Roger Broggie, George Bruns, Ed Catmull, Don R. Christensen, Andreas Deja, Jules Engel, Joe Hale, John Hench, Mark Henn, John Hubley, Glen Keane, Ted Kierscey, Ward Kimball, I. Klein, Mike Lah, Eric Larson, Ed Love, Daniel MacManus, Tom Nabbe, Carl Nater, Dale Oliver, Walt Pfeiffer, Jacques Rupp, David Snyder, Iwao Takamoto, Shirley Temple, Frank Thomas, Ruthie Tompson, and Richard Williams.

Walt’s People #11 is available for $25 on Amazon and you’d be wise to add the rest of the series to your library as well. Didier has provided us some excerpts from the new book, offering a glimpse of the hundreds of stories that can be found in the book. Read them after the jump.

Ruthie Tompson by Didier Ghez (Dec. 21, 2007)
DG: There is a famous anecdote about Snow White that the girls who were painting Snow White would apply real makeup on her cheeks.

RT: Oh! That’s right, they did. We had one girl, her name was Helen Ogger… They all tried it, and she was the only one that was really successful at it, so she got to put the blush. Before she came to work at Disney, I understand that she was a cartoonist, like cartoon strips and things like that, in the newspaper. We had quite a few talented girls, but they were relegated to the Inking Department. Girls didn’t animate at the time. It was all a man’s game.

John Hubley by John Culhane (c. 1973)
JC: Do you remember when Frank Lloyd Wright came to the Studio? Did you see that film he had with him?

JH: Czar Durandei. It had a big influence on us guys who later became UPA. It was Ivan Ivanov-Vano’s first film, one of his early films. He was a young rebel in those days. He made this very avant-garde kind of thing, highly designed. It was in the, I suppose you can call it expressionist style, the kind of style from the Twenties and Thirties. It was so modern and fresh and violated so many of the totems. Shostakovich score, too, that was modern, exciting. It was a two-reeler. There was a marvelous eating scene, a big banquet, a long pan and all kinds of different types of faces, all eating in different ways. That was so funny. There was a minimum amount of animation.

You remember John Rose? He was a P.R. man and he was also working in and out of story meetings, but essentially his job was cultural relations. He’s the guy who, if somebody visited, he would show them through. So he had heard about this film that Frank Lloyd Wright got. He’d read or heard somewhere that the Russian government had given him a print of this thing when he was a guest over there. Wright went over there in the early Thirties. And so [Rose] wrote him and said, “We at the Disney Studio have heard about this and are very much interested if you would see your way clear to lending us the print.”

So next thing he knows he gets a telephone call, “This is Frank Lloyd Wright, Mr. Rose. I’ve just arrived in Los Angeles. I have the print with me. I would like to come out and show it to Mr. Disney. I’ll be out this afternoon.”

Now the rumors were around that Disney was going to build a new studio. Wright got wind of that. It made a lot of sense to him that he should design it. Rose was frantic. He went to see Walt’s secretary. She said, “He is in a big meeting and nobody goes in there.” But she let him go in there and Walt is in the middle of a story conference, which is sacrosanct. [Rose] kneels down next to Walt’s chair and says, “We’re gonna get a visitor coming this afternoon. Frank Lloyd Wright is coming up.” And Disney says, “Jesus Christ, who’s Frank Lloyd Wright?” So he had to explain who Frank Lloyd Wright was and Disney says, “Oh, yeah!”

So [Rose] set it up. [Wright] came out, the big man himself, white hair, and Disney said hello to him. And they had this projection with all the story guys and the top brass. They ran Snow White footage for him, pencil-test stuff. They had a reel of Fantasia, too, and they had Sorcerer’s Apprentice in pencil test. And he went, “Well, that’s magnificent. That is exactly the way you should do it”. And Disney said, “You have a film to show us?” “Oh yes, yes.” “Put the film on.” The lights came up and nobody said a word. Frank said, “Walt Disney, you too can be a prophet!” And Disney said, “What, Jesus Christ, you want me to make films like that?!” [Laughs]

Ray Aragon by Didier Ghez (Feb. 23 and March 5, 2009)
DG: Did you interact a lot with Walt Peregoy?

RA: We were close friends. I can tell you [a story] right now. I can tell you for sure. I was there and I saw it. We did the drawing on paper and that drawing was transferred to the cel, as you know, by Xerox. We had to layout in line drawing on the cel. The idea was to paint on a board the color. Then put the layout drawing, which was on cel, over the painted background, which was on an illustration board. We couldn’t find the answer. The answer that we got at first looked like a comic book. It looked like a cheap comic book. Then the Background Department tried this and they tried that. It didn’t work. This went on for some time. Then finally Walt Peregoy took the painting style of Raoul Dufy. Walt Peregoy took the style where you paint beyond the line. Where you just ignore the lines and paint over and beyond. It looks like nothing. But when you put the line on the thing, there it is.

So what Walt did was he took an illustration board and he made color swatches this way and that way and every which way. But of course using the line drawing as the guide, but never going right up to the line of the drawing. Sometimes overlapping the line. If you look at Walt Peregoy’s color on the illustration board, you saw this crazy stuff that almost makes sense. But it didn’t really make sense. But when you put the cel with the line drawing, it was beautiful. Walt Peregoy was the man who discovered and styled the background technique for One Hundred and One Dalmatians. That I know because I saw it. I saw it happen right before my eyes. He solved it.

Ed Catmull by Didier Ghez (April 20, 2011)
DG: If I move up quite a few years, in 1972 you are studying with Professor Sutherland. And I think that is when you really have your first contact with Disney. Right?

EC: Yes, Ivan [Sutherland] wanted to send a student to go to Disney and then have an animator from Disney come to Utah. I was sent as the student because of my interest in animation. I went out to Burbank and met with Bob Gibeaut, who was Head of the Studio. I remember they had to clear the Studio that day because there was a bomb threat.

I also met Frank Thomas in his office. I remember seeing his old typewriter which I thought was there as an antique, but it was actually the typewriter that he still used. This, of course, was in the Animation building.

It turns out the Studio was not terribly interested in making the exchange, because they didn’t see any relevance of computer animation to them. What they were really interested in was hiring me at WED (now Walt Disney Imagineering).

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Oh Willy… is a short film about a porky guy who goes to care for his sick mother who lives in a nudist colony. It’s directed by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels, and debuts later this month at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. I enjoyed the cozy-looking knitted animation of Emma’s earlier film, Soft Plants, and I’m really looking forward to checking this one out, too.

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Two animated features opened quietly in Los Angeles this weekend. Both are well worth seeing in a theater and deserve our support. Both are hand drawn films – one from France, one from Japan – both offering a diversity of style, storytelling and substance not seen in the standard American studio product.

A Cat In Paris opened its Oscar-qualifying run in Los Angeles this weekend at the AMC Burbank Town Center 8 (201 E Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA), with shows daily at 4pm and 7:30pm. The film made its international premiere at 2011 Berlinale and has been nominated for a European Film Award in the Best Animated Feature category. It has garnered raves on the US and international festival circuit including appearances at San Francisco Int’l Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, London International Film Festival, and Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Redline opened in limited release in Los Angeles this weekend at the Downtown Independent (The film opens in NYC on January 6th before hitting blu-ray & dvd on January 17). The screenings will alternate between dubbed English and original Japanese (with sub-titles). It’s one of the best anime features I’ve seen in a while – wildly imaginative and occasionally surreal – Speed Racer on acid would sum it up quite nicely. Advance tickets can be purchased here.

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Serbian animation outfit GlossyRey came up with Be a Vegetarian, which if not particularly effective at making its case for vegetarianism is at least cute. Pre-production artwork from this brief After Effects piece is posted on their website.

CREDITS
Production Company: GlossyRey Animation and Design
Story: Nemanja Zivkovic
Art Direction: Stanko Stupar
Art Direction: Nemanja Zivkovic
Animation: Stanko Stupar
Rigging: Nemanja Zivkovic
Music and Sound Design: Rajko Stupar
Special Thanks to: Marko Bugarski and Nemanja Saric

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This new animated feature from South Korea, The King Of Pigs, tackles adult themes and examines on the social impact of high school bullying. The film opened earlier this month in Korea; director Yeun Sang-ho discusses his inspirations with The Korea Herald.

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