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DT Daily: ‘The Interview’ sets a record, print ID photo hack, stunning space video

Today on DT Daily: The Interview has become Sony’s biggest online movie release ever, hacker steals fingerprint form a photo, and more astounding footage shot from the International Space Station.

The Interview, Sony’s controversial movie about a plot to assassinate the leader of North Korea, has become a huge hit after plans to cancel the film’s release were, you know, cancelled.

Made available for download on December 24, despite a prior announcement the film would never be released, The Interview has since been downloaded more than 2 million times, and has made $15 million, making it Sony’s biggest ever online movie release. The film has also been popular on torrent sites, with reports saying the film has also been illegally downloaded around 1.5 million times.

Sony said the limited theatrical release has also been successful, pulling in around $3 million. Although it initially turned down the opportunity to sell the movie, Apple has also changed its mind regarding The Interview, and now offers the film through iTunes. It’ll cost $6 to rent the movie and find out what all the fuss is about.

Fingerprint scanners are becoming a common way to secure our smartphones, particularly when we use them to make payments using systems like Apple Pay. But does this mean it’s super-secure, and impossible to hack, you know, outside of cutting off someone’s fingers? Sadly, the answer is no, and now, a German hacker has shown how potentially easy it is to crack.

At the Chaos Communication Congress this weekend, a hacker known as Starbug showed how he copied the fingerprints of the German Defense Minister using a several high quality pictures taken with a regular camera, plus a piece of commercial software designed to read fingerprints. Starbug thinks his findings are so damaging, public figures will take to wearing gloves when out and about.

Is he right? Well, while his method demonstrates impenetrable security systems are hard to find, it does rely on a specific set of circumstances – such as taking enough good pictures of someone’s fingers and stealing their phone – to actually work. So, don’t worry too much, but to be on the safe side, don’t do too much waving around suspicious people pointing cameras at you.

Forget about The Interview, and the amazing artistic merit it may… or may not have, because astronaut Alexander Gerst has helped make something far more spectacular. Gerst spent 166 days aboard the International Space Station, and during his many of his experiments, he used some high-end cameras to capture incredible images of our planet and the football-field-sized orbiting space station.

The European Space Agency then stitched over 12,000 of them together into a spellbinding, six-minute, 4K resolution video that must be seen to be believed. Auroras, storms, the Milky Way, blinding sunrises, and even complex spacecraft docking and departure procedures are all captured in full-blown Ultra-High-Def quality. It actually looks more like scenes from a science fiction movie, which makes the fact that it’s real all the more amazing.

The time-lapse footage gives those of us unlikely to make it into space anytime soon an astonishing look at science, technology, and nature at work from the other side of the atmosphere. Best of all, Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Kim Jong-Un are nowhere in sight in this movie.

Your host today is Greg Nibler. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.