j.k. rowling

Harry Potter spinoff films to get game adaptations

Ever wanted to play with the magical monsters in the Hogwarts textbook "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"? Well, soon you can.

Warner Bros. announced on Thursday a new series of Harry Potter spinoff films based on the textbook written by fictional author Newt Scamander, and said these properties will be developed into games as well.

J.K. Rowling will make her screenwriting debut for the "Fantastic Beasts" films. It will be an original story set in the wizarding world that's neither a sequel nor a prequel to the Harry Potter universe, but rather … Read more

E-book glitch leaves new J.K. Rowling novel unreadable

Update, 3:21 p.m. PT: Updated with comment from Amazon.

E-book readers who were excited about reading Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's first adult book, "The Casual Vacancy," were met with an unpleasant surprise today -- the text delivered to their e-book readers was unreadable.

A glitch on the publishing end caused the book to be viewed into two formats: oversized letters that took up the screen or tiny, illegible font, paidContent reported, which first noticed the problem on Amazon's Kindle models.

It left the eager fans who shelled out $17.99 for the … Read more

Hands on with Sony's Wonderbook: Not a book at all

LOS ANGELES--Call it a toy, call it an experience, but I'm not sure you should call it a book. The J.K. Rowling-created "Book of Spells," the launch title for Sony's Wonderbook platform announced at E3 2012, was originally touted during the kickoff Sony press conference as being a way to bring reading to life.

I had a chance to check out the Wonderbook at Sony's E3 booth, and I'm not sure reading really entered that much into the equation. It is, however, a fun augmented-reality toy with some beautiful animations. … Read more

Pottermore Web site opens for all wizards and Muggles

Pottermore has finally opened its gates, allowing Harry Potter fans to enter the previously forbidden and potentially forboding Web site.

Initially available for just a select number of users, the site is now inviting anyone to register to gain access. The process may be slow, however. A Pottermore insider blog explained that it plans to activate a steady stream of registrations but said that people may not get access right away

Potter fans can currently find both e-books and audiobooks of all seven books in the series.

But full access to the site will offer more, including interactive tours of … Read more

Expecto Patronum! Harry Potter is now an e-book

Wizards and muggles alike can now buy and download digital versions of their favorite Harry Potter books.

Starting today, the Pottermore Web site shop is conjuring up all seven Harry Potter titles in digital format, beginning with "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" and ending with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." The first three titles in the series are $7.99 apiece, while the other four will run $9.99 each. Capturing the entire collection will cost you $57.54. Free samples of each book are also available so you can try before you … Read more

The 404 847: Where Pottermore spells the end of bookstores (podcast)

J.K. Rowling is giving bookstores more reason to worry with her launch of Pottermore.com, which will soon offer the Harry Potter series in e-book format. On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, we're chatting about children's books, Barack Obama's new video diary on YouTube, Japanese "bagelheads," and a user-submitted "Dude...whoa" moment, not to mention another Tang that Tune!

The 404 Digest for Episode 847

Bagelheading is the latest fad in Japan. Obama has a video diary on YouTube. Harry Potter coming to e-books. The guy who voiced Tigger in Winnie the Pooh also invented the artificial heart? Whoa...dude.

Episode 847 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

The 404 383: Where it's so bad it's good

Maybe we should have used "So bad, but so good" as our show motto instead of "High Tech, Low Brow!" Today's show is a good example of that, and we kick it off with Wilson's brief and spoiler-free review of Bruno. We also talk about the rise of the Twitterns, Apple breaking the Pre-iTunes lovefest, and Jeff meeting Tony Hawk!

Check it out! Jeff was invited to an Activision event last night to preview Tony Hawk's new game, but he was pretty surprised when Tony Hawk himself showed up to show him around! As you can see, the game comes with an actual "skateboard" controller to jump, ride, and pop up to do tricks within the game. Jeff tells us that the game is very realistic, but popping up the board feels more like a snowboard than skating. Check it out for yourself when it comes out on October 13 for $120.

In other news, The 404 has decided to hire a young Twittern to update our Twitter. Social media, whether it's in short or long form, is super time-consuming...anyone out there want to be our Twittern? We're only half-joking...

In more important news, Apple has finally broken up the love affair between iTunes and the Palm Pre: the smartphone no longer works with the popular desktop software. Jeff owns a Pre and figures that the only thing to do now is to refrain from upgrading to the latest software, lest some savvy developer use the latest SDK to somehow crack Apple's padlock.

Also, start getting amped for tomorrow's episode where I, Justin Yu, will debut yet another band in a segment we like to call...deep breath..."The 404 Semi-Weekly Audio Draft Sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.FM, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive and CNET News and Reviews." Jeez.

EPISODE 383 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Harry Potter ruling points out the limits of fandom

J.K. Rowling recently won the right to be even richer when a US federal judge ruled against a Harry Potter fan's right to publish The Harry Potter Lexicon. In so doing, Ms. Rowling demonstrated two things:

No matter how "right" it may seem to use someone else's copyrighted works, you can't simply assume that right, and Just because you're copying out of love and devotion doesn't make it right.

I'm sure that the defendant in the Harry Potter decision, Steven Vander Ark, must have felt hard done by to see his paean to Rowling's genius stomped on by her. A wide range of Potter fans seem to share this view. As I'll describe below, this isn't wildly different from open-source "fans" who piggyback on the works of others.

But their misplaced feelings and his intentions are somewhat irrelevant here. He copied liberally from Rowling's work to create "his" lexicon, which is the primary problem, as Groklaw points out:… Read more

Harry Potter author fights e-book fraud on eBay

A court has ruled in favor of children's author J.K. Rowling over fraudulent copies of Harry Potter e-books, according to reports out of the U.K.

Warner Brothers, who produces the Harry Potter films, and Rowling filed a lawsuit against eBay in 2004 over illegal copies of Harry Potter e-books that have been sold from the Indian version of the Web site.

According to the Times Online, an Indian court has ordered that eBay remove the entries for unauthorized copies of Harry Potter e-books from its site until a hearing scheduled for May 23.

But an eBay spokeswoman … Read more