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Watch Apple’s ‘Unleashed’ event live right here

TechCrunch


Apple is set to announce new hardware today. The company is holding a (virtual) keynote at 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris). And you’ll be able to watch the event right here as the company is streaming it live.

Rumor has it that the company is set to announce some new Macs. Over the past year, Apple has updated its entry-level computers with new custom-designed M1 chips. And now, the company could bring its own chips to higher-end computers, such as a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, a new Mac Mini and a 27-inch iMac.

Apple could use this opportunity to redesign its laptops from the ground up with new display technologies, a new array of ports and a new form factor in general. But that’s not all. Apple has also been working on an updated version of its entry-level AirPods.

You can watch the livestream directly on this page, as Apple is streaming its conference on YouTube.

If you have an Apple TV, you can open the TV app and look for the ‘Apple Special Event’ section. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old ones.

And if you don’t have an Apple TV and don’t want to use YouTube, the company also lets you livestream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed now works in all major browsers — Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Source: Tech crunch

October 18th 2021, 7:31 am

China Could Be Exploiting Internet Security Process to Steal Data, Cyber Experts Warn

TechCrunch

To access the data of unsuspecting users, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could take advantage of a universal authentication process that is believed to be secure but may not actually be, cybersecurity experts warned, although encryption is still the preferred method of protecting digital data and Protection of computers - in some cases, the same digital certificates used for internet authentication allow the Chinese regime to infiltrate and wreak havoc on various computer networks, they said. 

Digital certificates that verify the identity of a digital entity on the Internet. A digital certificate can be compared to a passport or driver's license, according to Andrew Jenkinson, CEO of cybersecurity company Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and author of the book Stuxnet to Sunburst: 20 Years of Digital Exploitation and Cyber ​​Warfare. 

"Without it, the person or device you are using may not meet industry standards, and the encryption of critical data could be bypassed so that what should be encrypted remains in plain text," Jenkinson told The Epoch Times Used to Encrypt internal and external communications that prevent a hacker, for example, from intercepting and stealing data. But "fake certificates" or invalid certificates can tamper with any data. 

Sense of security, "said Jenkinson. Cybersecurity firm Global Cyber ​​Risk LLC said digital certificates are generally issued by trusted CAs and then the same level of trust is passed on to intermediaries However, there are opportunities for a communist entity, malicious actor, or other untrustworthy entity to issue certificates to other "hideous people" who appear trustworthy but are not, he said.

"If you issue a certificate from a trusted authority, you will trust it," said Duren. "But what the issuer could actually do is pass that trust on to someone who shouldn't be trusted. Duren said he would never trust." a Chinese certification authority for this reason, stating that it is aware of a number of companies that have banned Chinese certificates because they were issued to untrustworthy agencies. 

Jenkinson said that Chinese certification bodies make up a small portion of the overall industry and the certificates they issue are generally limited to Chinese companies and products.

Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who declined to give his real name, uses his computer at their office in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China, on Aug. 4, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images).

 In 2015, certificates from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state agency overseeing domain name registration in China, were challenged. Mozilla revoked CNNIC certificates because it knew of unauthorized digital certificates associated with multiple domains. Both Internet companies opposed CNNIC delegating its authority to issue certificates to an Egyptian company that issued the unauthorized certificates. According to Jenkinson, CNNIC certificates were banned because they had "back doors". 

A back door means that [the Chinese certification body] could literally take administrative access and send data back to the mothership, ”he said. Since 2016, Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft have also blocked the Chinese certification authorities WoSign and their subsidiary StartCom due to unacceptable security practices.Vulnerability Despite these bans on Chinese digital certificates in recent years, the CCP has not been deterred and has long-term gambling, Jenkinson said, referring to an alarming discovery by his cybersecurity firm two years ago that it was a multinational consulting firm. 

Digital certificates are typically valid for a few years depending on the certification authority, and a renewal is required to keep them valid and keep the data they are supposed to protect secure, he said. "But in 2019, CIP Chinese discovered certificates that had been valid for 999 years," Jenkinson said. His company made this discovery by researching the laptops of a leading global consulting firm. 

Jenkinson made the company aware of the vulnerability and offered, "They are either incredibly accommodating or complicit," he said, noting that the company's customers include government agencies.This multi-billion dollar company's failure to fix this problem means hundreds of thousands of people could be exposed to Chinese infiltration through the company's lax safeguards, Jenkinson said. The company engages its customers every time someone uses one of its laptops, he said. 

Companies or customers who use the company's services could be held for ransom, they have their intellectual advantages

October 18th 2021, 7:31 am

How Bulletproof Is Pattinson's Batsuit In The Batman?

TechCrunch

Robert Pattinson’s Batman takes multiple bullets to the chest in the latest trailer for The Batman, indicating how bulletproof his version of the Batsuit is. Although he lacks superpowers, Batman fights crime in Gotham City with superlative fighting skills, a genius-level intellect, and state-of-the-art gadgetry. A common piece of equipment for live-action Batman adaptations is a Batsuit made of bulletproof material. Not all the Dark Knight's costumes have the same level of protection, so how does Pattinson’s suit compare to the others and the comic source material?

In his first comic book appearances, Batman wore no armor, using a simple, lightweight, and flexible costume with an intimidating appearance instead. One of the earliest uses of an armored Batsuit comes from the first standalone Batman book in 1940, in which the Caped Crusader survives a gunshot wound from The Joker thanks to a layer of armor underneath the main suit. Modern comic iterations of Batman wear fully armored Batsuits, offering significant protection against gunshots; partially inspired by the various film adaptations and their many shout-outs.


In the latest trailer for The Batman, Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit is put to the test multiple times. While fighting a gang of criminals in clown makeup, Batman is shot point-blank with a handgun, but he shrugs this off rather quickly and continues fighting. Later in the trailer, Batman walks towards a group of assault rifle-toting assailants, who pepper him with gunfire. Batman walks through the hail of bullets mostly unimpeded before counterattacking. This indicates that Pattinson’s Batman uses an extremely durable material that can withstand more gunfire than most versions of the Dark Knight.

While Adam West’s Batman wore no armor, Michael Keaton’s iteration in the Tim Burton films had a highly durable suit that could take direct gunshots. However, as shown multiple times in Batman and Batman Returns, while the suit kept gunfire from proving immediately lethal, the force often knocked Batman off his feet and left him winded on some occasions. Pattinson’s gear provides more protection, allowing him to remain in fighting condition even when shot numerous times.

Christian Bale’s first Batsuit in Batman Begins also offered protection from gunshots, though Lucious Fox explicitly advised against taking direct hits. While protective, the suit proved to be too restrictive, so Bale’s Bruce wore a modified` suit in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Bale’s second Batman suit offered far more flexibility, though it was even more vulnerable to gunfire, which Bruce learned firsthand when facing off against Two-Face.

The only live-action Batman iteration whose suit provided similar levels of protection to Pattinson’s is the DCEU Batman. As shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck's Batman wears a light and flexible suit that allows him to take gunshots to the head at point-blank range with little impediment. The suit has some vulnerable points, as evidenced by an assailant’s knife puncturing the suit near the shoulder, but this may have been a lightly-armored area for the sake of articulation. Ben Affleck’s Batman armor, like Pattinson’s Batsuit in The Batman, is fully bulletproof, protecting Batman from gun-toting enemies.

October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

The Flash Trailer Confirms Batman Will Have A Bigger Role Than We Thought

TechCrunch

The latest The Flash trailer suggests that Michael Keaton's Batman has a bigger role in the film than many initially assumed. Ezra Miller makes his DCEU return as the Scarlet Speedster after starring in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Directed by Andy Muschietti, The Flash's first trailer was released at DC FanDome 2021, offering a sneak peek at what to expect from the standalone flick.

It's no secret that The Flash was in production limbo for quite some time with a few director changes. But, the movie finally kicked into production in 2021 and is currently filming. Specific plot details are still scant at the moment, although a few pertinent details have been confirmed. That includes the return of Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and the introduction of Sasha Calle as Supergirl/Kara Zor-El. Barry Allen is also joined by two Batman variations: the first one being Ben Affleck's and the other one being Michael Keaton's. Obviously there's a lot of excitement surrounding their involvement, but there's heightened anticipation about Keaton's Batman iteration simply because this is the first time he will reprise the superhero role in two decades.


Considering the fact that it's the Flash's solo outing, it was initially unclear how involved Keaton would be in the film. Set photos revealed him back as the Bruce Wayne persona, and the actor's personal interviews confirmed that he's indeed wearing the cape and the cowl again. Still, with very little known about the movie's plot, there were questions about the extent of his appearance. Some argued that it wouldn't be anything more than an extended cameo, with the primary focus on Barry Allen instead. This makes sense since he is the movie's headlining character. However, The Flash's trailer suggests that Batman's role in the film is going to be more prominent than initially perceived; much of the trailer focuses on him, including both versions of the Flash visiting Tim Burton's Wayne Manor and then, his Batcave. It even ends with the tease of the 1989 Batmobile reveal.

Interestingly, despite all the references to Keaton's Caped Crusader, the hero doesn't properly appear in The Flash trailer. Instead, there's only a shot of his iconic cowl looking outside the Batcave. But, the fact that he provides the narration for the majority of the trailer further indicates the extent of his appearance. At one point, it seems like the two Barry Allens and Supergirl recruit him for a mission, and it's safe to say that he at least considers joining his fellow DC heroes in the movie. It's worth noting that The Flash appears to be an adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline from the comics. Barry's time-traveling likely fractured space-time which has had ripple effects in other universes, including that of Supergirl and Keaton's Batman. The voice-over dialog is Bruce Wayne making sense of everything that's happening.

The question now is, how does Affleck's Batman fit into all of this? Based on what's known about The Flash production, the actor didn't start to film his scenes until the middle of principal photography. Some theories suggest that Affleck's Batman dies in the movie, and that it could serve as motivation for Barry's time travel. Furthermore, many are also curious if Affleck's version of the hero will cross paths with Keaton's Caped Crusader. Fans will likely have to wait for the movie's debut to find out.

October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

What Katey Sagal Has Done Since Sons of Anarchy Ended

TechCrunch

Katey Sagal played one of the most important characters in Sons of Anarchy, but what has she done since the show came to an end? In 2008, Kurt Sutter took the audience to a small town in California to meet a motorcycle club and all the drama in their daily lives in the TV series Sons of Anarchy. The series premiered on FX in 2008 and lived on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy got positive reviews throughout its whole run, with most praise going towards the themes it addressed (such as corruption and racism) and the performances of the main cast.

Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series kicks off when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John “JT” Teller, one of the founding members of the MC. In it, JT shared his plans and vision for the club, which were very different from those of the current President and Jax’s stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). Reading his father’s ideas and seeing how different the club was, among other events, send Jax on a personal journey that leads him to question his path, role in the club, relationships, family, and more. Sons of Anarchy also introduced the audience to Gemma Teller-Morrow (Katey Sagal), Jax’s mother and the matriarch of the club, who even though wasn’t a member of it, had a lot of influence in it and the town in general, but she was also a very dangerous woman.


Katey Sagal’s role as Gemma in Sons of Anarchy was one of the most praised elements of the series, and she was one of the few characters from the first season who made it to the final one, though not to the series finale, as she was killed by Jax in the second last episode. Gemma Teller has become one of Sagal’s most memorable roles, but it definitely isn’t her most famous one, as she has played a variety of characters before and after Sons of Anarchy. Prior to living in Charming, Sagal did a lot of voice work in film, such as in Recess: School’s Out (playing Mrs. Flo Spinelli) and the Futurama movies, voicing Turanga Leela. In TV, she became known for playing Peggy Bundy in the sitcom Married… with Children from 1987 to 1997, and other notable roles include Edna Hyde in That 70’s Show and Cate S. Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

While working on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal continued doing voice work, most notably in Futurama, and once the show came to an end, she explored other genres in TV. Sagal played Annora of the Alders in The Bastard Executioner, Penny’s mother in one episode of The Big Bang Theory, and Lanie Schultz in This Is Us. Sagal reprised her role as Gemma in one episode of Mayans M.C, the spinoff series of Sons of Anarchy, and after that, she went on to play Dr. Ingrid Jones in Shameless, Louise Goldufski in The Conners, Teresa Williams in Grand Hotel, and Eleanor Hale in Dead to Me. Her most recent work is in the legal comedy-drama Rebel, inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich, and in which she plays the lead role of Annie “Rebel” Bello. On the big screen, she played Lee Ann in There’s Always Woodstock, Katherine Junk in Pitch Perfect 2, and Louise Pazienza in Bleed for This.

In addition to an incredible acting career that has covered almost every genre, Katey Sagal has a musical career and released her first solo album in 1994, and she also contributed with at least one song per season in Sons of Anarchy. Katey Sagal is a woman of many talents, and while many will always remember her as Gemma Teller-Morrow, it’s definitely worth checking out her other works in both film and TV.

October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

Pokémon Unite: Best Pikachu Build (Tips, Items, & Moves)

TechCrunch

Using a combination of moves and items, players can maximize Pikachu's build in Pokémon Unite. Players will need to fight both wild Pokémon and those on the opposing team to score points and win. As an Attacker Pokémon, a well-built Pikachu can work great for an offensive, ranged strategy.

With 5-on-5 matches between trainers, and wild Pokémon in each stage, a well-rounded, carefully built team will be vital for success. Players just getting started in Pokémon Unite may need to test different skills in order to find the best build. Having a strong offensive Pokémon will help players knock out their opponents and collect their Aeos energy to score points. As Pikachu gains experience, more moves will become available, and it can become a powerful fighter.


Each Pokémon in the game, such as Pikachu or Gengar, has an ideal build. Pikachu is a Ranged Attacker class in Pokémon Unite, so it can deal high damage but has low endurance. Focusing on moves and items that maximize damage and utilize Pikachu's stun abilities will create the best build for this character. Players can also equip items that compliment or increase Pikachu's strengths and damage output.

There are two ways for players to obtain Pikachu in Pokémon Unite: they can either choose it as their first Pokémon upon completing the tutorial or purchase it from the Unite Battle Committee. Pikachu costs 6000 Aeos coins or 345 Aeos gems. Once obtained and leveled up, players can focus on using the right moves and items to capitalize on Pikachu's offensive potential. Pokémon can have two moves active and three items equipped at a time. The best options for Pikachu appear below.

Pikachu's Best Moveset

Best Held Items for Pikachu

Best Battle Items for Pikachu

Using a strong combination of moves and items will help players gather Aeos energy and score points. While using Pikachu, players should focus on dealing as much damage as possible while being aware of their health loss. Since Pikachu is also a Ranged Pokémon, it's recommended that players keep their distance when possible to avoid being knocked out. Pikachu can stay near a Defender Pokémon for extra protection and stun enemies that come within range.

October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

Star Wars: How The Knights of Ren Are Different From The Sith

TechCrunch

The Sith are the primary antagonists of the Star Wars saga, but they’re largely absent from the sequel trilogy, having been seemingly replaced by a different dark side religion: The Knights of Ren. All conflicts in the Skywalker Saga lead back to the Sith sooner or later, specifically their deadliest and most brilliant Dark Lord, Darth Sidious, aka Palpatine. The Sith seemingly died with Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, but The Emperor survived, and, thus, the Sith Order did, too. With Sith influence remaining behind the scenes yet again, the Knights of Ren became the new face of the galaxy’s dark side menaces, with their leader, Kylo Ren, being second in command of the Galactic Empire’s successor state, the First Order.

Although the Jedi are the galaxy’s most effective and famous Force users and the Sith the most powerful dark side users, the two are hardly the only Force religions in the franchise. The Sith created a splinter group, the Inquisitors, as a means to use corrupted Jedi as Imperial agents. Star Wars: The Clone Wars included a significantly reimagined version of the Legends-era Nightsisters, who use the dark side in the form of spells. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduced the Guardians of the Whills, a Force-using religion separate from the Jedi who guarded the Kyber crystals on Jedha. Considering how many Force-using religions exist in the Star Wars franchise, the sequels' introduction of a dark side group other than the Sith was fitting.


The Sith orchestrated the Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars in the Star Wars prequels, paving the way for Palpatine to replace the Republic with the Galactic Empire with Darth Vader at his side. With the Sith seemingly gone at the end of the original trilogy, the sequels introduced Kylo Ren, the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, as the successor to Vader and the leader of the Knights of Ren. The Knights had only a brief appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a small role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but their origins and philosophies were expanded on in the four-issue comic miniseries Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren.

Thousands of years before the events of Star Wars' Skywalker Saga, a group of fallen Jedi formed the Sith Order on Moraband. Although they began as a Jedi splinter group, the Sith Order has a fundamentally different outlook on the Force and the galaxy than the Jedi. Using the corrupted power of the dark side rather than the Force, the Sith believed in dominating the galaxy from the shadows and imposing their absolute rule over all other beings. The Sith also developed the Rule of Two as a means to keep the order alive and reduce in-fighting. The Rule of Two, created by Darth Bane, kept the Sith two only a master and apprentice, each trying to replace the other.

The exact origins of the Knights of Ren are unknown, but at some point a gang of dark side-using marauders established themselves in the galaxy’s Unknown Regions, terrorizing the people of the galaxy. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren had a far more passive philosophy and use of the dark side. While the Sith sought to control the dark side and use it to control the galaxy, the Knights of Ren followed the dark side, following its pull wherever it took them and stealing, pillaging, and murdering wherever their travels brought them. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren didn’t limit their members, but given their dark side use, only the strongest and most ruthless could join their ranks.

While the Sith and the Knights of Ren have fundamentally different philosophies, the two do share some commonalities. Aside from using the dark side of the Force, both organizations also used similar weapons, in some cases. The signature weapon of the Sith is the red-bladed lightsabers, which they created by corrupting Kyber crystals with the dark side and making them “bleed.” While the Knights of Ren use various scavenged weapons, their leader also uses a red-bladed lightsaber, though theirs tend to be different from Sith weapons. Ren, the earliest known leader, built a self-destruct mechanism into his weapon, and Kylo Ren modified his weapon with a cross-guard to vent the unstable blade’s excess energy.


Two of the Star Wars sequel trilogy’s main villains, Snoke and Kylo Ren, are not Sith. Kylo Ren, despite worshipping his Sith Lord grandfather, never became a Sith himself. After leaving Luke’s revived Jedi Order, Ben Solo joined the Knights of Ren, eventually killing their leader and taking his place as their new master, Kylo Ren. As a Knight of Ren, Kylo wore body armor and a fearsome mask, which served multiple functions. In addition to protecting his head and indicating his knighthood, the mask also allowed Kylo to feel more like his grandfather and idol, Darth Vader.

Snoke wasn’t officially part of any dark side religion, Sith, Knights of Ren, or otherwise. Snoke was an unaffiliated dark side user and the Supreme Leader of the First Order, though he did mentor Kylo Ren, serving as his dark side master, which gave him a degree of authority over the Knights of Ren. Snoke was, ultimately created as a proxy for Darth Sidious, so despite his free will and incredible strength in the dark side, Snoke was yet another tool of the Sith Order, and his betrayal by Kylo Ren followed the Sith Rule of Two perfectly.

Despite never having joined the Sith, Kylo Ren became an ally of the order in The Rise of Skywalker. Working with Palpatine, Kylo combined the First Order with the Sith Eternal, forming the Final Order. The Knights of Ren followed Kylo Ren into this alliance as well, continuing to serve Palpatine after Kylo became Ben Solo once more. This was a fitting move for the Knights of Ren since they follow the dark side, rather than rule over it. With Palpatine, the galaxy’s most powerful dark side user, growing in strength, it makes sense that the Knights would follow his incredible dark side power and serve him. The key difference between the Sith and the Knights of Ren in Star Wars is revealed in their names. The Sith Lords rule over the dark side of the Force in the Star Wars saga while the Knights of Ren serve the dark side.

October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

A Sinister Six Movie Should Copy Spider-Man: No Way Home & Bring In Miles

TechCrunch

Sony’s upcoming Sinister Six movie should take some inspiration from Spider-Man: No Way Home and introduce a new version of Miles Morales. Sony has had plans for a Sinister Six film since The Amazing Spider-Man film franchise was in progress. The second film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, ended with a clear setup for the villain team, with the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) and The Gentleman (Gustav Fiers) equipping allies (and possibly members) of Oscorp with advanced weapons and devices. The plans, unfortunately, never came to fruition, but Sony’s new villain-focused Spider-Man universe, which began with 2018’s Venom, has led to new plans for the iconic team.

Miles Morales - whose comic debut was in 2011’s alternate universe Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man - is his reality’s second web-slinger, taking Peter Parker’s place after his apparent death in a final confrontation with the Green Goblin. Miles and his stories were well-received, quickly growing in popularity among readers, and he made his cinematic debut in 2018’s animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As the star of numerous comics, an animated film, and a recent video game, it won’t be long before Miles has his long-awaited live-action debut.


With Sinister Six reportedly being the endgame of Sony’s Spider-Man films, it’s reasonable to assume that the movie will be a crowd-pleasing epic with more than one payoff. Sony will reportedly work alongside Marvel Studios to tie their film in with the MCU, meaning that Tom Holland’s classic Peter Parker Spider-Man may face off against the six villains. Although Spider-Man was often on his own against the six in the comics, the film can easily justify introducing a second Spider-Man to even the odds and give viewers a live-action Miles Morales simultaneously.

Not only is Sony and Marvel Studious working together on the Sinister Six film, but the multiverse will be unleashed in the upcoming No Way Home. While the Miles Morales who appears in the Sony film could be their iteration, he might alternatively be from the MCU, creating a new kind of character dynamic for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who’s typically mentored by characters like Iron Man or Doctor Strange.

The Sinister Six’s villain roster can be comprised of characters from multiple realities as well. In addition to introducing the first live-action iteration of Miles Morales, the film can bring back actors like Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, and Willem Dafoe for yet another performance. With No Way Home bringing the iconic villains back, Sony could take advantage of their fan-favorite status, adding to the already crowd-pleasing introduction of Miles.

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the first live-action Spider-Man movie to use the multiverse for crossovers. In addition to bringing back characters from bygone film eras, they’ve also allowed for interaction with Sony’s Spider-Man universe. If Sony intends to make the Sinister Six film their franchise’s endgame, they’d make it an even more effective grand finale by bringing in Miles Morales.

October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

How Supergirl Revamped Superman IV's Story And Made It Work

TechCrunch

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Supergirl season 6, episode 15, "Hope For Tomorrow."

The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" enhanced the story of the Superman movie Superman 4: The Quest For Peace in every respect. The final movie to star Christopher Reeve as Kal-El of Krypton, Superman 4 is widely considered to be the worst of the classic Superman films. Given that, it would be all but impossible for Supergirl to revamp The Quest For Peace and not improve it, but the episode "Hope For Tomorrow" successfully addressed nearly every common complaint about the movie.

The central storyline of the second half of Supergirl season 6 found Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) competing with the exiled 5th Dimensional Princess Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) for control of seven magical totems, tied to the seven cosmic forces of Hope, Love, Courage, Humanity, Dreams, Destiny and Truth. Each totem required its wielder to pass a test proving their mastery of each force. The Test of Hope in the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" proved particularly difficult, as it required the victor to "inspire a hope that burns longer and brighter than the sun." While this might ordinarily have been an easy task for Supergirl, this test came at a time when nuclear war seemed imminent between the nations of Kaznia and Corto Maltese and hope was in short supply.


The story of Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, was likewise based around the fear of nuclear war and Superman acting to end the threat after receiving a letter from a concerned boy. Sadly, the movie did so poorly it sunk any chance of a Superman 5. While the story of Superman 4 made a noble effort to tackle a serious issue, the film suffered from budget cuts and editing issues that eliminated most of the film's more thoughtful moments in favor of recycled flight scenes and nonsensical padding. The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" takes most of the story elements from Superman IV and builds upon the base concepts to create something far better.

Roughly halfway through the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow," Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) asked the same question as the worried boy in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace; why can't Supergirl just take away all the nuclear weapons and throw them into the sun? Kara gave the same basic answer as Superman in the movie, saying that she was "forbidden from interfering in human history." However, Kara further explained to her friend Lena Luthor that human nations needed to be free to determine their own destinies without some all-powerful alien imposing their beliefs on them. Kara also pointed out that even if she could get rid of all the nuclear weapons in the world, it wouldn't solve the conflicts that lead to war. (Ironically, Kara did wind up having to throw several nuclear missiles into the sun before the episode's end.)

This point was driven home by another scene, in which the United States diplomat overseeing the peace talks between Kaznia and Corto Maltese asked J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) to use his telepathic powers to make the leaders of the two delegations sign a peace treaty. The Martian Manhunter refused, saying that while he was glad to use his powers to pacify the two leaders after Nxyly used the Totem of Courage to make them afraid of looking weak during the negotiations, he refused to directly control their actions. Both of the Supergirl scenes did a far better job of showing why heroes have a responsibility not to use their powers than every speech Superman made regarding that point in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace.

The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" featured a subplot that centered around Esme, a foster child adopted by Alex Danvers/Sentinel (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly Olsen/Guardian (Azie Tesfai), and the Super Friends' efforts to help the young girl get acclimated to her new home. A victim of an abusive situation in her previous foster home, Esme was shy and fearful of being sent back to the group home she had been in. Restoring Esme's hope in the future went beyond being a test of Supergirl's ability to inspire hope and became a test for the whole team, as well as a central part of the theme of "Hope For Tomorrow." By contrast, despite being the inspiration of Superman's effort to bring an end to nuclear war in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, the boy who wrote to Superman disappeared from the movie after Superman took him to the United Nations to hear him speak.


Originally set up as a romantic interest for Kara Danvers in Supergirl season 5, reporter William Dey (Staz Nair) has been one of the more divisive characters created for the Arrowverse, with many fans finding the character annoying and wondering what purpose he served after he and Kara agreed to be just friends in Supergirl season 6. Comparisons could be drawn between William Dey and Lacy Warfield (Mariel Hemingway) whose only purpose in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace was acting as a hostage and pushing an unconvincing love triangle between herself, Lois Lane and Clark Kent. However, the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" redeemed William, who was far from a passive figure after being taken captive by Nyxly. Indeed, it was William's quick thinking that enabled the Super Friends to take the Totem of Courage away from Nyxly.

While Superman 4: The Quest For Peace saw legendary actor Gene Hackman return as Lex Luthor, his role in the film was far from extensive. Apart from creating the monstrous Nuclear Man, Luthor had surprisingly little to do with the action of the film and most of his scenes were comedic non-sequiturs. By contrast,  the Arrowerse Lex Luthor does not appear on camera in the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow," but nevertheless had a major impact on the episode's final scene.

As "Hope For Tomorrow" came to a close, Supergirl elected to throw the Totem of Hope into the sun, knowing that Nxyly needed all seven totems as part of her scheme to defeat Supergirl and the Super Friends. Shortly after Nxyly learned what Supergirl had done, a box fell through a portal in front of her. The box contained a watch and a note from a secret admirer telling her not to "lose hope." When Nyxly put on the watch, it formed one of Lex Luthor's trademark armored Lexo-Skeletons around her, revealing the identity of her mysterious new ally in a clever fashion. It was certainly more subtle than most of Gene Hackman's scenes trolling Superman in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace. This, coupled with the other connections throughout the episode, highlight how Supergirl was able to successfully revitalize the failed film's story arc.

October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

The Supergirl "Stunt" That Made Mon-El Actor Dislocate His Jaw

TechCrunch

Mon-El actor Chris Wood recalls the silly "stunt" that resulted in him breaking his jaw while filming Supergirl. The Arrowverse series has enjoyed a long run, but it will be coming to an end very soon. Supergirl, which stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers, started out on CBS before moving to The CW for season 2. During the show's 6-season run, Supergirl has faced countless enemies and teamed up with fellow Arrowverse heroes like The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Batwoman (Ruby Rose). The sixth and final season is currently airing and will conclude in November.

Supergirl has featured a wide and eclectic group of characters over the years, but some are more memorable than others. One of the most controversial is perhaps Mon-El, a Daxamite prince who joined the series in its second season. Mon-El initially hid his royal heritage from Kara, but after they formed a romantic relationship, he came clean. Wood remained a series regular on Supergirl for 2 seasons before departing, though he's come back several times as a guest star. He'll even be among those returning for the series finale, along with Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott) and Mehcad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen).


During this weekend's DC FanDome event, Supergirl received a special farewell panel featuring the entire cast. When looking back on some of the wildest stunts from the show, Wood mentioned a scene from season 2 when he had to bite into 10 pancakes at once. His castmates were quick to laugh, but Wood pointed out that it wasn't all that funny because "my jaw sort of dislocated a little bit." The Supergirl cast also teased him for deeming it a stunt, but he defended the qualification. "It was a big stack of pancakes and I was like, 'Oh, this is gonna be so funny,' and then my jaw went like," Wood said before demonstrating the painful moment.

Injuries on the set of a superhero production aren't uncommon, and the Arrowverse itself is no stranger to these kinds of incidents. Before departing Batwoman, Rose had to get emergency surgery after sustaining a neck injury on set. When considering that example, Wood's Supergirl experience isn't as drastic. However, a dislocated jaw is far from fun, and to have it happen during an innocuous kitchen scene probably came as quite a shock.

While Supergirl's end is bittersweet for the fans and those who worked on the show, there are some reasons as to why this is the perfect time to conclude it. Kara has been on quite the journey over these past 6 seasons, and hopefully she'll go out on a high note. For her part, Benoist admitted during the DC FanDome panel that she will miss playing a superhero, though she'd said before that she will not be sorry to leave Supergirl's flying scenes behind. This cast has endured plenty of bumps and bruises, but now they can rest and content themselves with a job well done.


Source: DC




October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

Dark Souls 3 & Bloodborne DLCs' Final Bosses Fight Each Other In New Mod

TechCrunch

A new mod for Dark Souls 3 pits the final boss of the game's last DLC against the final DLC boss from fellow FromSoftware title Bloodborne. FromSoftware has developed a reputation for challenging bosses over the past decade and seems to be continuing that trend with the upcoming Elden Ring, which fans have been awaiting eagerly for some time now following its initial reveal at E3 2019. A more in-depth trailer released at Summer Games Fest earlier this year revealed many of the hallmarks fans have come to expect from the upcoming title.

Another unique aspect FromSoftware titles have cultivated over the years is a dedicated modding community that still puts out content for installments as far back as the original Dark Souls. As with other communities, the mods cover a wide range of changes and additions, including one that brings sports into Dark Souls 3. Thanks to the work of the modding community, one fan was recently able to answer a unique question: who is the ultimate final DLC boss?


YouTuber Garden of Eyes started their channel at the end of 2020 with the focus of pitting Bloodborne bosses against one another. Since then, however, that goal has expanded to encompass more FromSoftware titles, and their latest fight features Dark Souls 3's Slave Knight Gael from "The Ringed City" DLC against Bloodborne's Orphan of Kos from "The Old Hunters." The video consists of three bouts between the two bosses, featuring an updated version of Orphan of Kos from a mod named "Call of the Abyss." Each fight takes place in a different boss arena from Dark Souls 3. Despite a victory in round one, the Orphan of Kos ends up losing to Slave Knight Gael in the following two rounds, culminating in a neck and neck competition in the finals.

Watch Slave Knight Gael and the Orphan of Kos do battle on YouTube here.

Boss vs boss battles are not the only FromSoftware content Garden of Eyes posts. Sometimes the fights feature NPCs or notoriously difficult mini bosses taking on the actual bosses as well as one another. The channel also features some unique FromSoftware mods such as a Bloodborne first-person camera mod. It goes to show how much creativity can be found in the gaming industry, even in the player base of such a brutally difficult franchise as Dark Souls.

There is an undeniable appeal in watching Dark Souls and Bloodborne bosses savagely beating each other instead of a helpless player. It comes from a shared struggle every player of From Software's games has had at some point, particularly when going through these titles for the first time. It also helps that the bosses themselves are imposing figures, and make for thrilling adversaries when turned against each other. Elden Ring will likely add more notable bosses that will not only make seasoned players feel right at home, but bring a new generation of players into the fold that have not yet taken on the FromSoftware experience. Until then, however, players can continue to fight against what came before and, if ever things become too difficult, watch the likes of Gael and the Orphan smack each other around for a change.


Source: Garden of Eyes/YouTube



October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

Sylvester Stallone & Dolph Lundgren Reunite in Expendables 4 Set Photo

TechCrunch

Dolph Lundgren shared a photo of his reunion with Sylvester Stallone from the set of The Expendables 4. The new film in the ensemble action franchise comes almost a decade after The Expendables 3, which was released in 2014. The film is being directed by former stunt coordinator Scott Waugh with an eye toward a 2022 release. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture are all reprising their franchise roles along with Expendables newbies Andy Garcia, 50 Cent, Tony Jaa, and Megan Fox.

In the Expendables franchise, Dolph Lundgren plays Gunner Jensen, a chemical engineer with a wild streak, a reference to the fact that the Swedish actor has a degree in chemical engineering in real life. Jensen is known for his crass jokes, and is an original member of the Expendables team, having appeared in all three previous films. He has worked under Stallone's character Barney Ross for years, though he can't always avoid butting heads with him.


Although Stallone has wrapped shooting on The Expendables 4, Dolph Lundgren shared a throwback photo from the set on his Instagram. It's a black and white shot of him and Stallone relaxing between scenes. In his caption, Dolph expresses his gratitude that the film was being shot in London at the same time as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, in which he will be reprising his role as King Nereus. It looks like he will be keeping Nereus' long hair in the Expendables film as well, unless they put him in a wig before rolling the camera. Check out the post below:

Click Here to View the Post on Instagram

The Expendables is the second action franchise to unite Stallone and Lundgren. Lundgren originally rose to prominence in the Stallone vehicle Rocky IV, in which he played Soviet boxer Ivan Drago. Lundgren's casting in the original Expendables was certainly due to this connection, given that the series' intent was to gather as many classic action stars as possible into one explosive film. Given the fact that Stallone himself directed and co-wrote the film, Lundgren was an obvious choice for the character.

With both The Expendables 4 and Aquaman 2 gearing up for release next year, it's going to be a big 2022 for Dolph Lundgren. To add to his busy promotional schedule, he will also be appearing in the World War II thriller Operation Seawolf and the animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru. His renaissance on the silver screen is well-earned, considering that the actor has devoted himself to entertaining audiences, appearing in nearly 100 titles across his career.


Source: Dolph Lundgren




October 17th 2021, 3:44 pm

Apple activist reportedly fired after deleting files on work device

TechCrunch

Janneke Parrish, an Austin-based employee who worked on Apple Maps, is a leader of #AppleToo.

An Apple program manager who posted anonymous stories of discrimination against employees at the tech giant has reportedly been canned. 

Janneke Parrish, an Austin-based employee who worked at Apple Maps, runs #AppleToo, an online story-sharing group. of alleged "racism, sexism, inequality, discrimination, intimidation, repression, coercion, abuse, unjust punishment, and unlimited privilege" faced by Apple employees.

 According to The Verge, she was fired last week for deleting files - including the Google Drive, Robinhood, and Pokemon Go apps - from her work device during a company investigation. 

In a tweet, Parrish, 30, hinted that she was fired in retaliation for her work with #AppleToo. the right thing, "he said. But we're doing the right thing because it's the right thing. # AppleToo is about asking Apple to do better to end systemic discrimination, abuse, and pay inequality. 

October 17th 2021, 7:32 am

Minecraft's The Wild Update Introduces Frogs & Mangrove Trees

TechCrunch

An upcoming Minecraft update, called The Wild Update, has been announced and will launch in 2022. The hugely successful survival sandbox game places players in massive randomly-generated worlds and tasks them with gathering resources to survive. Continued updates have helped enhance Minecraft's world generation over time, with the upcoming Cave & Cliffs Update Part 2 changing biomes so that they generate more realistically.

The latest update for MinecraftCaves & Cliffs Update Part 1, introduced major changes to the game's deepest caves and tallest cliffs. Back in June the first part of this two-part update brought interesting new mobs, unique new resources, and useful new items into the game. Underwater areas received bizarre axolotl creatures, and goats can now be found roaming the game's mountains. Copper and amethyst can also be found in caves, giving players new reasons to dig deep into Minecraft's caves. Previews of Caves & Cliffs Part 2, which show off further additions like biome blending, were shown at the recent Minecraft Live digital event.


Alongside showing previews of Caves & Cliffs Part 2, Minecraft Live also announced a brand-new update to the game called The Wild. This update, coming at some point in 2022, appears to focus on general improvements for swamp biomes. A new Mangrove Swamp biome will be added, which features shallow water and overgrown mangrove trees. Frogs will be a new mob found in these swamps, and mud blocks can be created by adding water to a dirt block. Boats with built-in chests will make exploring these waterlogged areas more efficient for players.

Watch the highlight video from Minecraft Live 2021 on YouTube here.

Alongside the extensive new Mangrove Swamp biome, The Wild Update will bring a larger and much scarier new location to the game as well. Minecraft's new Deep Dark Cities are terrifying underground areas with their very own enemies, loot and gameplay features. Deep Cities are massive cavernous areas filled with ruins for players to explore, with mysterious central structures containing the most useful loot. A new Sculk resource will also spread throughout these areas, and players can earn experience or enchantment points for harvesting them.

Minecraft is an ever-expanding title, which has allowed the game to maintain a strong fanbase for over a decade. New biomes and environmental generation systems are being introduced in Caves & Cliffs Part 2 and The Wild Update, making the game even more exciting to explore. Minecraft's worlds have always been massive, but earlier iterations of the game could create environments that are awkwardly shaped or confusingly placed. The Wild Update will greatly increase the immersive nature of swamps while also adding creepy underground Deep Cities.


Source: Minecraft Live/YouTube, Minecraft/YouTube




October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

Why You Season 3 Needed To Kill [SPOILER]

TechCrunch

Warning: This post contains major spoilers for You Season 3.

The explosive ending of You season 3 sees Penn Badgley's Joe once more free of his crimes - despite an increasingly heinous rap sheet - but with his soul mate Love (Victoria Pedretti) killed off after turning on him. It's a shocking turn of events that splits up the couple after some of the best drama of the season saw them negotiating the "safety" of married, suburban life as well as their dark impulses. But removing Joe's wife (and son) in one fell swoop does serve a purpose for the future of the show.

You season 3 is only partly based on Caroline Kepnes' books, after the first two seasons were based on her first two titles, You and Hidden Bodies. As such, while there are elements of the story adapted from third Joe Goldberg book You Love Me, the majority of the plot was invented for the Netflix show. The librarian storyline comes from the book, but the fate of Love is changed significantly: in the third book, Vitoria Pedretti's killer wife is initially not involved because the Quinn family have paid Joe $4m to stay away from them, but she appears to try and exact revenge on him. Here, of course, Love and Joe are somewhat "happily" married, and it's not until the end when Joe's new stalking victim is revealed that Love turns on him and is killed.


In both cases, Love ends up dying, but in the book it's by her own hand (after she shoots Joe in the head) - so why did You season 3's ending change the specifics of Love's death? And why was she killed in the first place? It comes down to the opportunity to continue Joe's story into the newly announced You season 4, which couldn't happen with Joe still tied to suburbia, and also fits with Joe's darkness within and the curse that he will never be happy. As revealed in You season 3, Joe's evil manifests because of his "mommy issues" (or so he claims) and his innate need to be the saviour after he was forced to kill his father to protect his mother. After she rejected him for what he did, Joe was forever cursed to chase the perfect opportunity to save his victims - as a power trip and a realization of the fantasy his mother robbed of him - and a stable, happy ending with Love simply didn't fit that. In order for Joe's story to continue, in other words, Love had to die in You season 3's ending.

You season 3 goes some way into exploring Joe's origin story in a new way, giving him some insight into why he craves the power over his victims that drives him, but stops short of offering him the realization that he will never be happy with any of his "conquests". As soon as the chase is over, Joe will always become bored and look to his next possible victim, who could still feed his saviour complex from afar, without the stability and mundanity of familiarity. Joe isn't just stalking women, he's stalking the happy ending and the validation from his mother he feels he's due, and settling down destroys his opportunity to do that, blunting his edge.

On top of that, the reality of Love is nothing like the fantasy he'd created in his own head that had been fed by his need to save her. As soon as she revealed that she could be just like him, he was repulsed, almost killing her but choosing not to because of her shock reveal of her pregnancy. From there on, Joe was simply playing a role, performing to fit in and be what he thought he needed to be to save his son from becoming just like him. But his quick infatuations with Natalie and then Marienne proved without doubt that it was all a lie hiding his true impulses. Now that Love has been removed from the scene, Joe can continue to chase what he will never achieve: satisfaction in his "hunt". Additionally, Love's death at the end of You season 3 potentially gives season 4 its antagonist, as the Quinn family are unlikely to allow his death to go fully investigated, which may put them on a collision course in France when Joe Goldberg returns.

October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

DC's Titans Season 4 Officially Announced By HBO Max

TechCrunch

DC's Titans season 4 is officially announced, with the renewal confirmed during this year's DC FanDome event. The show originally premiered in 2018 as a darker, grittier take on DC's popular Teen Titans team, introducing core members like Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), Kory Anders aka Starfire (Anna Diop), Gar Logan aka Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and Rachel Roth aka Raven (Teagan Croft). In the seasons since, Titans has added Superboy (Joshua Orpin), Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) and Jason Todd (Curran Walters) to their roster of heroes - among other characters, including iconic villains like Deathstroke in season 2.

In Titans season 3, Jason has become Red Hood and turned against his former team to antagonize them along with Dr. Johnathan Crane aka Scarecrow (Vincent Kartheiser). The season also introduced Barbara Gordon (Savannah Welch) and Tim Drake (Jay Lycurgo), the latter of which has teamed up with the Titans to help them battle Scarecrow. Now, for those wondering what's next for Titans, the show has made an important announcement at DC FanDome 2021.


During DC FanDome 2021, HBO Max announced Titans season 4, with the series officially renewed for another outing. Titans season 3 will wrap up on Oct. 21 with the finale episode. It's not yet known when Titans season 4 will release, though it's possible it'll return sometime in 2022 depending on when filming starts and wraps.

Since Titans season 4 has only just been confirmed and the season 3 finale has yet to air, it's unclear what storyline the next season will explore. That said, given the sheer number of DC characters who join each season of the show, there's no doubt the showrunners will add even more comics characters. Between Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and now Tim Drake on the show, it's possible other popular Batman characters may be properly introduced, like Stephanie Brown or Duke Thomas. It's also not yet clear who the main villain of Titans season 4 will be, but there's quite a number of possibilities if they pull from the comics.

Ultimately the Titans season 4 confirmation shows that HBO Max remains confident in this particular DC series. Along with Doom Patrol, which is also returning for season 4, HBO Max is building out its DC offerings, with additional shows in the works. The Suicide Squad spinoff Peacemaker is arriving in January and a spinoff from Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves' The Batman is also in development. With the Harley Quinn animated show also available on HBO Max, the streamer has a wide variety of shows for all kinds of DC fans. For Titans fans specifically, they can look forward to a whole new season coming to HBO Max.

Source: HBO Max



October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

Adam Warlock vs Captain Marvel: Who Is Stronger?

TechCrunch

Which MCU character would win in a fight, Captain Marvel or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's Adam Warlock? The Marvel Cinematic Universe's "most powerful" debate has raged among fans since Phase 2 rapidly began broadening the franchise's roster of super-powered characters. Though there's no firm consensus on which hero currently holds that title, the most common picks are Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch (especially after her WandaVision boost), and Brie Larson's Captain Marvel, though that may soon change with Eternals on the horizon.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will introduce another keen contender for the MCU Heavyweight title - Adam Warlock. Left enraged by the Guardians of the Galaxy and their light-fingered raccoon, Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign, set about advancing the genetic engineering of her people to create "Adam." The most powerful and destructive member of the entire Sovereign species, Adam (the MCU's live-action version of Marvel comic character, Adam Warlock) will debut fully in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Will Poulter is now officially cast in the role.


Adam Warlock will immediately become one of the strongest entities in the entire MCU, and as a space-faring warrior wielding cosmic power, comparisons to Carol Danvers are only natural. Brie Larson's ace pilot continues to play a major role in the overarching MCU narrative, and returns in her 2022 solo sequel The Marvels... but is Captain Marvel stronger than Adam Warlock?

Although their origin stories are very different, Captain Marvel's MCU powers are broadly the same as her Marvel comics counterpart. Brie Larson gained superhuman abilities through raw exposure to the Space Stone, whereas the original Carol Danvers was a Kree/human hybrid whose biology mutated thanks to the Kree's psyche-magnitron. Danvers received gifts similar to Mar-Vell (who was also present during the psyche-magnitron incident) and became the superhero known as Ms. Marvel, before eventually transitioning to her more familiar guise of Captain Marvel.

Carol's powers have disappeared, changed, reawakened and faded over the decades, but generally consist of enhanced physical attributes (the typical strength, speed, stamina and durability), manipulation of cosmic energy, flight, and regenerative qualities. In the Marvel comics, Carol possessed a form of mental cosmic awareness to sense danger before it happened, which is missing from the live-action character. On the other hand, MCU Captain Marvel gets Binary Mode, burning through cosmic power to supercharge her existing abilities. Binary Mode is the MCU interpretation of Danvers' Binary transformation in the comic books.

Adam Warlock's combat repertoire in the MCU remains to be seen, but the comic character is a well established Marvel powerhouse. Rather than the Sovereign, Adam was created by the Enclave as the epitome of human evolution - a genetically perfect being harboring unique physiology and awesome powers. Like Captain Marvel, Adam possesses super strength, speed, stamina and durability, and casts cosmic energy as a weapon. He's also extremely difficult to kill, having something of a distanced relationship with Death, and using his cocoon to resurrect even after being killed. Other powers Adam Warlock has displayed throughout his lifespan include telepathy, teleportation, proficiency in magic, telekinesis, pyrokinesis and advanced cosmic senses. Though much of Adam's power derives from the manner of his creation, the Marvel character has been augmented further by the Soul Gem (an equivalent to the MCU Soul Stone), which was a gift from the High Evolutionary. Adam's bond with the Soul Stone has evolved his existing powers, making Warlock one of the Marvel universe's most formidable entities.


Will Poulter's MCU Adam Warlock comes bearing a very different origin story. Rather than being designed as the pinnacle of human evolution, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's post-credits sequence reveals Ayesha created Adam as the next evolutionary step of her own people, the Sovereign. In theory, this would make MCU Adam even stronger than the comic character, since the Sovereign are already superior to us measly Earthlings. Likewise, Ayesha's Sovereign are renowned masters of genetic engineering in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, whereas the Enclave was a coalition of (admittedly brilliant and well-funded) scientists originating on Earth. Again, one could argue that the Sovereign's alien technology should produce a more formidable Adam Warlock than the comic books.

However, Adam's alien origins might simply be compensation for his lack of Soul Gem. A fair portion of Adam Warlock's comic strength can be attributed to having an Infinity Gem lodged in his head, and this simply isn't going to fly on the big screen. Thanks to Avengers: Infinity War, we know the Soul Stone resided with Red Skull on Vormir until Thanos came along, which means Ayesha almost certainly couldn't use the orange-y jewel on Adam without some serious timeline gymnastics (which, let's face it, wouldn't be the first time). More likely, Poulter's Adam Warlock will have nothing whatsoever to do with the Soul Stone, which leaves Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 two alternatives. Either Adam will be under-powered in live-action, or the Sovereign's superior scientific knowledge means Adam gets all of his comic book powers without the influence of an Infinity Stone.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's post-credits scene, Ayesha promises her Adam will be capable of destroying Star-Lord's eclectic crew of space bandits, suggesting Will Poulter's character demonstrates his might as a villain in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This might explain Thor's role in the threequel, as the As-Guardian can stand up to Adam while the others run away. In the Marvel comics, Adam is not only a heroic character (usually), he also turns on his own creators. This means the MCU's new addition will likely switch sides before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is over.

Assuming Kevin Feige and James Gunn allow Adam Warlock more or less the same complement of powers and abilities as the comic character, it's he who would emerge victorious in a fight against Captain Marvel.


Although both Marvel characters are capable of absorbing and hurling photon energy, Adam Warlock's range of cosmic attacks is much wider. Whereas Carol Danvers traditionally sticks to Dragon Ball Z-esque waves and blasts, Adam's cosmic techniques show more versatility, including the kind of energy constructs and matter manipulation rarely seen from Carol Danvers, especially in the MCU. In addition to his proficiency with energy, Adam Warlock's quantum magic capabilities provide yet another edge over Captain Marvel, and his potential to sense Carol's attacks and teleport away would prove especially annoying to Brie Larson's character. Captain Marvel's only hope against Adam Warlock would be to somehow negate his cosmic powers and engage in a fist fight, where the experience and guile of Carol Danvers might overcome her godly opponent.

Of course, even if Captain Marvel could take Adam Warlock down, he'd simply slip into a regeneration cocoon and revive for a rematch, whereas Carol's regenerative anti-aging qualities are far more limited. Whatever angle you approach it, Adam Warlock (assuming his MCU powers mirror the comic books) has several upper hands against Ms. Danvers.

This outcome is supported by their respective battles against other Marvel comics characters, Thanos in particular. Carol Danvers boasts plenty of impressive victories against her name, and fared better against Thanos than many other Avengers (both in the comics and live-action). Nevertheless, Adam Warlock enjoyed a much easier clash with the Mad Titan. Adam successfully defeats the Infinity saga's villain in Jim Starlin's original story, and while Mar-Vell (an earlier Captain Marvel) also boasts a victory against the Mad Titan on his record, Carol Danvers does not. Elsewhere, Adam Warlock knocked out the mighty Silver Surfer (as a kindness to prevent his death), took a blast from Galactus, and was omnipotent enough to become the Living Tribunal. Very little in Captain Marvel's superhero career comes close to such feats.

All of which would suggest that, despite Captain Marvel's position among the strongest on the Avengers' roster, Adam Warlock ranks among the strongest beings in the universe, several steps above Carol Danvers. That won't necessarily carry over into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but Brie Larson should watch her back nonetheless - Adam Warlock goes higher, further and, indeed, faster.

October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

How Star Wars LEGO Special Pokes Fun At Kylo Ren’s Need For Wearing A Mask

TechCrunch

LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales, the latest comedic holiday-themed Star Wars television special, is the latest official property to poke fun at Kylo Ren’s mask. Kylo Ren, formerly Ben Solo, is one of the main antagonists of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, despite often being the subject of mockery both in-universe and in the real world. Like Darth Vader, Kylo Ren is a powerful dark side user who wears a menacing armored mask. Though Vader wore his mask as part of a cybernetic survival suit, Kylo wears his for a variety of other reasons -- namely, vanity.

Darth Vader, the grandfather of Ben Solo, was a Sith Lord who required his suit following grievous injuries sustained in a battle against Obi-Wan Kenobi. As Kylo Ren, Ben Solo worshipped Vader, but there were numerous differences between the two. Kylo was never a Sith. He was a Knight of Ren using the dark side with a different philosophical outlook from the Sith. While Vader resigned himself to his new Sith identity, Kylo craved his, killing and sacrificing everything any everyone necessary to ascend to his position as Master of the Knights of Ren.


The humorous take on Kylo Ren’s origin in the non-canon Terrifying Tales took some inspiration from the canonical four-issue Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren comic series, with Ben becoming intrigued by the Knights of Ren during his Jedi days. In the LEGO parody, Ben joins the marauding gang, but receives his armor, robes, and mask immediately, since the Knights needed to maintain an intimidating appearance. Though it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, this iteration of Kylo Ren wears his mask for similar reasons in the Star Wars canon universe.

There were several reasons why Kylo wore a mask in the Star Wars sequels, but the main one is that all Knights of Ren wore armored suits, complete with battle helms. After renouncing his ties to the Jedi, Kylo usurped Ren as the Knights’ new leader and devoted himself to their philosophy and customs, including the use of an armored mask. Aside from indicating his affiliation with the Knights and protecting his head, Kylo’s mask served another, more sentimental, purpose.

Kylo Ren worshipped his grandfather, Darth Vader, seeking to become a similarly fearsome dark side user, thanks in part to telepathic goading by Darth Sidious. When wearing his armored mask, which deepened his voice, Kylo felt more like Vader. Kylo’s dark side master, Snoke, brutally criticized Kylo in the comics and films for his attempts to mimic his grandfather.

Snoke, along with Poe Dameron, also complained about the mask’s distortion of Kylo’s voice, making it the subject of frequent criticism in-universe. Aside from Kylo Ren’s desires to follow in Vader’s footsteps the traditional helmets worn by the Knights of Ren were meant to strike fear into their victims. This makes the satirical reason for Kylo Ren wearing his mask fitting in LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales, as both he and the Knights of Ren were concerned with appearances.


October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

Superman Officially Gets New Motto, Drops 'The American Way'

TechCrunch

On Friday, it was revealed Superman is getting a brand-new catchphrase, as the iconic DC Comics hero will fight for  “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow." At DC FanDome, DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee revealed the Man of Steel will officially be dropping the "American Way" from his motto and instead, which will be replaced by the phrase "a Better Tomorrow." The new catchphrase better embodies the hero's ultimate mission of making the world a better place.

Superman is one of the most recognizable pop culture figures on the planet, as he originally debuted in Action Comics #1 in 1939. The hero has always been connected to the United States, as The Man of Tomorrow crash-landed on Earth and ended up being raised in Smallville, Kansas in the United States. However, despite his longtime motto suggesting he fights for the American Way, Superman has long fought for everyone across the globe - meaning his motto hasn't been all-encompassing as it should be. Now, Superman is officially losing "The American Way" from his iconic catchphrase. MORE DETAILS WILL BE ADDED SOON.




October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

How Squid Game Stays A Secret Despite So Many People Going Missing

TechCrunch

Netflix's Korean survival drama Squid Game has captured the imagination of a global audience, but how exactly does the game stay a secret despite so many people going missing? The Netflix smash hit establishes that a group of wealthy individuals recruit competitors with massive debts to vie for Squid Game's 45.6 billion Won prize, and it follows 456 of these competitors as they engage in the titular games. The premise of the game - and the show - is that 455 participants will die during the games, leaving one winner to take the prize money, pay off their debts, and live in comfort for the rest of their life.

Through the investigation of Jun-ho, a policeman who infiltrates the game disguised as one of its masked workers, it's revealed that the games have been running for 30 years. Assuming that each game has around 400 participants and (as the epilogue implies) that one occurs roughly once per year, that would mean an estimated body count of 11,970 - which is an awful lot of missing people to cover up. The theory that Jun-ho is still alive might see him bring the game's existence to light in a potential Squid Game season 2, but the real question is: just how has it been kept a secret for so long?


The show does imply an answer, but it's one that requires a lot of clarification. The game is run by the Front Man - later revealed to be Jun-ho's brother, In-ho - but it exists in order to entertain some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful people, known in Squid Game as the VIPs. With this level of financial backing behind it, it can be surmised that large sums of money are able to secure the game's continued existence. Squid Game's Old Man twist reveals that Oh Il-nam, also known as Player 001, is the game's founder, but it doesn't specify exactly how he has been able to keep it hidden for so long - although one of the most likely answers lies within the show's narrative theme.

Squid Game's story is rooted in South Korea's class divide and highlights the massive disparity of wealth within the country as well as examining the way in which the wealthy look at the people they deem beneath them. The most likely explanation for how the game remains a secret is that its selected players are all desperate people whose disappearance can be easily explained - Sang-woo is wanted by the police, Sae-byeok is a North Korean defector, and Gi-hun is a gambling addict with massive debt. The common theme is that Squid Game's cast of characters all exist on the bottom rung of a society that doesn't value them and that their disappearance will largely go unnoticed.

This is evidenced in episode 2 when Gi-hun approaches the police, and they laugh him off. They dismiss his story as outlandish as he has no real credibility, with only Jun-ho willing to investigate in an unofficial capacity in hopes of finding his brother. It certainly appears that choosing its competitors carefully is key to the game's continued secrecy, but it may even be more important that its workers are chosen carefully. From the events Jun-ho witnesses during his infiltration of the island, it's clear that complete obedience is required of the workers, and steps are surely taken to choose Squid Game's workers carefully in order to ensure their silence.

It seems that Squid Game's VIPs are the largest contributors to the game's ability to remain hidden, but this is something that's implied rather than stated. However, money and influence alone can't guarantee silence, so it's most likely that the game employs other contingencies against those seeking to expose it. Exactly what those methods might look like will surely come into play in Squid Game's hypothetical season 2, as Gi-hun made his intentions to expose the game all too clear.

October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

Iron Man Designed The Rescue Armor With A Huge Difference in Comics

TechCrunch

In Avengers: Endgame, the sight of Pepper Potts flying into battle while wearing her very own Iron Man suit drew massive applause from audiences - but many did not yet realize the massive changes Marvel made to the armor from the comics. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has certainly seen many changes from the source material over the years (the most recent is Shang-Chi's Mandarin to the character Wenwu in the film), and some are more drastic than others. But in the original comics, the suit - dubbed Rescue - had one major restriction.

In the MCU, the writers continually teased Pepper's Rescue suit, especially in Iron Man 3. The "Prodigal Son" armor, partially inspired by the armor seen in 2006's Extremis, was directed by Iron Man to surround Pepper during the collapse of Tony's Malibu mansion. But Pepper didn't get her complete suit until the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, and while the suit demonstrated multiple weapons and offensive capabilities, the armor in the comics was quite restricted - by design.


Pepper would find the Rescue Armor Model 1 in The Invincible Iron Man #10, but wouldn't actually don the suit until two issues later. She swoops into action as an earthquake nearly devastates a school, and her quick thinking saves the day. The entire suit has been designed from the ground up to save lives, not take them; though it has the speed, strength and flight capabilities like most other Iron Man armors, Pepper observes "There's not a single weapon anywhere on this suit." Every element is designed to protect and defend; the thrust doesn't even generate heat.

Though the suit has no weapons, it is by no means weak; Pepper intercepts a crashing airplane and manages to bring it to safety using her repulsor field generators in the same issue. Pepper wouldn't wear a suit with weaponry until donning the Rescue Armor Model 5 in Rescue 2020 #1, Pepper's own limited series premiering in 2020. Though the suit still focused on defenses, its repulsors could be used as weapons. The blue and silver suit was clearly modeled after the armor worn by actor Gwyneth Paltrow in Avengers: Endgame - but in the film, Pepper obviously had no reservations about using weapons at all during the final battle. With the fate of the universe (and their daughter) at stake in the film, Pepper needed all the offensive firepower she could get.

Love interests in comics rarely get a chance to partake in their significant others' battles, even in the modern era of comics. The Rescue armor is a new addition to the Iron Man mythos, but certainly a welcome on. Pepper Potts remains a major player in Iron Man books and hopefully will continue to use the Rescue armor for years to come.

October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

Michael Keaton's Batman Returns To The Batcave In The Flash Movie Image

TechCrunch

DC's The Flash movie trailer reveals Michael Keaton's Batman return, with the actor donning the Batsuit again in the upcoming movie. Ezra Miller will lead The Flash film as Barry Allen, reprising his DC Extended Universe role in his first solo movie. However, he'll be joined by other DC heroes in The Flash movie including Keaton's Batman from Tim Burton's 80s & 90s movies, Ben Affleck's DCEU Batman and new-to-the-universe Sasha Calle as Supergirl. IT helmer Andy Muschietti directs The Flash from a script by Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn).

During production on The Flash, Muschietti posted teaser images of Miller's Flash suit, Keaton's Batman suit and Calle's Supergirl suit that just showed their respective logos, but never revealed the full costumes. An additional teaser image featured a Batman logo with the Flash's red and gold logo painted over it, though it wasn't clear what exactly the image meant for the film's story. Further looks at the movie were revealed unofficially by photographers, with The Flash movie set photos revealing Keaton's Bruce Wayne, Calle's full Supergirl costume and Affleck's Batcyle. However, now official looks at the movie are unveiled.


During DC FanDome 2021, a first look at Keaton's Batman return in The Flash movie was revealed. Check it out in the video below.

Developing...

Source: DC

October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

Far Cry 6 Ending Fixes Far Cry 3's Biggest Mistake

TechCrunch

[Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Far Cry 6.]

While Far Cry 6 has issues of its own, a narrative choice made for its ending could fix Far Cry 3’s biggest mistake. Far Cry 3's campaign follows protagonist Jason Brody attempting to save his friends on the Rook Islands. Players soon meet a twisted, charismatic villain named Vaas Montenegro, whose "definition of insanity" monologue has continuously appeared throughout the franchise. However, Vaas seemingly dies approximately halfway through the game and is replaced by a far less compelling antagonist.

Far Cry 6’s continuity has been a matter of some conjecture. Before the game’s release, some players speculated Diego Castillo, son of villainous dictator Anton Castillo, was a young version of Vaas. This theory proved untrue, as Diego meets a tragic fate during the game’s final confrontation. Thankfully, it seems Vaas does return: Though players never see his face, his voice is unmistakably that of the "Smuggler" in Far Cry 6’s ending.


Far Cry 6 is also not a prequel to Far Cry 3 in any fashion, as newspapers and current events place the game in 2020. Similarly, Far Cry 3 features newspapers and radio shows that place it during 2012. Vaas' apparent survival suggests several things about the continuity of the franchise; while it’s possible Far Cry 6 could be an alternate universe or retcon, it’s also possible Vaas never died at all. Vaas’ death occurs while Jason is under the influence of Far Cry 3's hallucinogenic drugs and strange magics that are never fully explained, meaning the character could have been alive this whole time.

Though Vaas is ultimately Far Cry 3’s secondary antagonist, his actions are a direct catalyst to the story. What begins as a tropical getaway for several Californian partygoers spirals into a nightmare, as they are kidnapped and held for ransom by the Rook Islands’ local pirates. The first pirate to directly interact with Jason, Vaas' mental state is revealed through swift, irrational dialogue. His unpredictability and the frequent showdowns between him and Jason craft an exhilarating rivalry, but it's brought to a somewhat disappointing conclusion. After being stabbed by Vaas, players explore a strange hallucination through a drug-addled haze, fighting multiple copies of Vaas before eventually stabbing what seems to be the real version of him in the chest. As Jason loses consciousness, Vaas’ eyes stare directly at the camera one last time.

After his supposed death, Vaas never reappears in Far Cry 3's campaign, despite his connections to Cintra (another antagonist and Vaas’ sister) and Jason. Instead, Hoyt Volker replaces Vaas. Also referred to as The Tyrant, Hoyt is a South African crime lord who oversees a human trafficking operation in the Rook Islands with a crew of privateers. He fails to live up to Vaas' charisma, however, so what was supposed to be Far Cry 3’s big bad turns into its biggest disappointment. Far Cry fans who recently joined the franchise almost certainly know of Vaas, but Hoyt’s legacy died with him.

Though Vaas's appearance in Far Cry 6’s campaign was surprising, the character’s return wasn’t wholly unexpected. Before the game’s launch, Ubisoft announced players would finally have the opportunity to play as some of the franchise’s beloved villains in a trio of Far Cry 6 DLC episodes. The first, titled Insanity, is undoubtedly referring to Vaas’ insanity monologue and is scheduled for a November release.


The greatest strength of Far Cry has always been its villains, whose twisted philosophies and actions torment the games' protagonists. With the villain-oriented DLCs, Ubisoft is finally utilizing its strongest element to give players a side of the series they haven't seen before, all the while diversifying gameplay. Adventures centered around depraved individuals previously praised for their intrigue provide a unique storytelling opportunity, whereas many players' complaints about Far Cry 6 say it has a stale story with predictable dialogue and outcomes. Perhaps' Vaas' return in the game's main ending could signal a pursuit of this angle in content beyond just DLC.

Ubisoft has given players many choices during Far Cry's endings of the past, often deciding the fate of the villain and the game's central conflict. Far Cry 3 let Jason save his friends or kill them, fully embracing the chaos of his actions in the jungle. However, Far Cry 6 lacked this choice and cemented a traditional, undisputable ending. If Far Cry 6 is the beginning of a new continuity for the series, this is the opportunity for a true canon to be determined - and Vaas' return is evidentially a part of that. Further Far Cry 6 development is planned into 2022, so future DLC could see Vaas get a greater role. That, or Ubisoft might just deliver a playable Vaas in a full, brand-new Far Cry game.

October 17th 2021, 4:47 am

Telegram rides the wave of recent Facebook outages to 1 billion Play Store installs

TechCrunch

Image Credit: Dimitri karastelve 

 We may all have our favorite apps and services, but loyalty only goes so far. When something suddenly stops working, it doesn't take us long to go scrambling for alternatives. That's just what's been happening with Facebook and its properties lately, and a series of high-profile outages has had the consequence of pushing users to competing services, including Telegram. Now we're seeing the evidence of that exodus, as the Telegram app crosses the 1 billion installs threshold in the Google Play Store.

Facebook's servers have been taking users for a roller-coaster ride this month, going down, up, and back down again within days. In addition to Facebook proper, many of those outages also affected Instagram and WhatsApp. The combined effect of that was to deny millions of users access to their favorite messaging platforms — and Telegram was only too happy to help pick up the slack.

CEO Pavel Durov announced that Telegram managed to pick up some 70 million new users as a result of the shake-up, and that's unsurprisingly led to a lot of new installs of the Telegram app. Late last night the Play Store's listing finally rolled over from 500,000,000 installs to the lofty 1,000,000,000+.

That's a whole lot of phones running Telegram. Of course, it's still got a ways to go to catch up with WhatsApp or Facebook, both members of the 5,000,000,000+ club, but you've gotta have to something to motivate you, right?

October 16th 2021, 6:44 am

Attackers Behind Trickbot Expanding Malware Distribution Channels

TechCrunch


The operators behind the pernicious TrickBot malware have resurfaced with new tricks that aim to increase its foothold by expanding its distribution channels, ultimately leading to the deployment of ransomware such as Conti.

The threat actor, tracked under the monikers ITG23 and Wizard Spider, has been found to partner with other cybercrime gangs known Hive0105, Hive0106 (aka TA551 or Shathak), and Hive0107, adding to a growing number of campaigns that the attackers are banking on to deliver proprietary malware, according to a report by IBM X-Force.

"These and other cybercrime vendors are infecting corporate networks with malware by hijacking email threads, using fake customer response forms and social engineering employees with a fake call center known as BazarCall," researchers Ole Villadsen and Charlotte Hammond said.

Since emerging on the threat landscape in 2016, TrickBot has evolved from a banking trojan to a modular Windows-based crimeware solution, while also standing out for its resilience, demonstrating the ability to maintain and update its toolset and infrastructure despite multiple efforts by law enforcement and industry groups to take it down. Besides TrickBot, the Wizard Spider group has been credited with the development of BazarLoader and a backdoor called Anchor.

While attacks mounted earlier this year relied on email campaigns delivering Excel documents and a call center ruse dubbed "BazaCall" to deliver malware to corporate users, recent intrusions beginning around June 2021 have been marked by a partnership with two cybercrime affiliates to augment its distribution infrastructure by leveraging hijacked email threads and fraudulent website customer inquiry forms on organization websites to deploy Cobalt Strike payloads.

"This move not only increased the volume of its delivery attempts but also diversified delivery methods with the goal of infecting more potential victims than ever," the researchers said.

In one infection chain observed by IBM in late August 2021, the Hive0107 affiliate is said to have adopted a new tactic that involves sending email messages to target companies informing that their websites have been performing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on its servers, urging the recipients to click on a link for additional evidence. Once clicked, the link instead downloads a ZIP archive containing a malicious JavaScript (JS) downloader that, in turn, contacts a remote URL to fetch the BazarLoader malware to drop Cobalt Strike and TrickBot.

"ITG23 has also adapted to the ransomware economy through the creation of the Conti ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and the use of its BazarLoader and Trickbot payloads to gain a foothold for ransomware attacks," the researchers concluded. "This latest development demonstrates the strength of its connections within the cybercriminal ecosystem and its ability to leverage these relationships to expand the number of organizations infected with its malware."

Source: The Hacker News

October 16th 2021, 6:44 am

Elon Musk is now worth $230 billion—as much as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined

TechCrunch


Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Elon Musk has entered rarified air in the world billionaire rankings. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is not only currently the richest person in the world, but is now worth as much as fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined.

The 50-year-old’s net worth is $230 billion as of Friday morning, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates sits in fourth place with $130 billion and Buffett is No. 10 with $102 billion.

Both Gates and Buffett previously held the mantle of world’s richest person. Musk first passed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man in January with a net worth of $185 billion. Bezos had held the title since 2017.

Musk has added more than $60 billion to his fortune this year thanks to the strong performance of Tesla stock as well as a recent share sale at SpaceX which valued the company at $100 billion. The SpaceX deal added $11 billion to Musk’s net worth, according to Bloomberg.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have a combined net worth of $232 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Bezos, who was recently the recipient of Musk’s trolling when the Tesla executive tweeted a silver medal emoji at him, is still the second-wealthiest person on earth with a $191 billion net worth.

Of course, Gates and Buffett would be significantly closer to Musk in the wealth rankings were it not for the duo’s philanthropic giving. Both have given away tens of billions of dollars to charitable causes over the years, while Musk has been criticized for not giving away more of his massive fortune.

Musk has previously said he prefers to remain anonymous when giving away money, and earlier this year asked Twitter users for “critical feedback” on ways he can donate.

This year, Musk also pledged to give away $150 million — including a $100 million prize in a carbon removal contest — a figure that Recode estimates is larger than all his previous charitable giving.

October 16th 2021, 5:44 am

OnePlus Co-Founder Might Release A New Android Phone In 2022

TechCrunch

2022 could be an exciting year for Android fans, as a new rumor suggests OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei is creating a 'Nothing' smartphone. Any longtime OnePlus followers will know the company has taken a few big shifts in recent years. While OnePlus started out as an enthusiast brand focused on big specs and low prices, it's in a very different place today. Carl Pei left the company in October 2020, OnePlus is preparing to merge its OxygenOS platform with Oppo's ColorOS, and its product lineup is now very reminiscent of any other major smartphone brand.

Shortly after departing OnePlus last year, Carl Pei announced his own tech company called 'Nothing.' Nothing's first product ended up being a pair of true wireless earbuds — called the Nothing Ear (1). The earbuds didn't receive perfect reviews, but they were mostly praised for delivering good audio, a stunning design, and a competitive price. Now, Nothing is getting ready to set its sights on something much bigger.


According to a new report from 91Mobiles, Nothing is preparing to launch its first Android-powered smartphone in early 2022. The report doesn't go into great detail about the device, simply stating that the site has "exclusively learned from noted tipster Mukul Sharma that Nothing will launch its first phone." It's also teased that Nothing will release the Nothing Power (1) battery bank "in the next few weeks," but all attention is obviously on the rumored smartphone.

Although this report doesn't share any concrete details about the Nothing phone, it's not hard to imagine what it could entail. If the Ear (1) earbuds are any indication of Nothing's hardware ambitions, a phone from the company could be really beautiful. Nothing's earbuds are lightweight, comfy to wear, and their transparent design with neatly packed internals is beyond impressive. If Nothing's phone manages to offer that same mix of practicality with a unique aesthetic, it could have a strong design lead over much of the competition. It's also safe to assume the Android experience of the Nothing phone would be reminiscent of the old OxygenOS — that's to say, a stock-like interface, robust customization options, and select few feature add-ons to keep it lightweight.

It's certainly fun to speculate about Carl Pei returning to the smartphone space, but how much weight does this rumor actually carry? There's actually a bit to it. Don't forget that Nothing acquired Essential back in February — a purchase that included all of the latter company's trademarks, logos, and other branding material. While Essential was short-lived, the Essential PH1 was a pretty solid Android handset. The company also teased its Project GEM successor in late 2019, though it was ultimately scrapped following Essential's quick demise. Nothing also announced earlier this week a $50 million partnership with Qualcomm. In a press release, Nothing says the funds will be used for "research and development in preparation for the brand’s entry into new product categories as part of its ecosystem."

It's entirely possible this report is inaccurate and a Nothing smartphone doesn't exist. However, all signs are currently pointing to the opposite being true. If the rumored Nothing phone is real, 91Mobiles says to expect "teasers and reports" coming in the next few weeks.


Source: 91Mobiles, Nothing




October 15th 2021, 5:45 pm

Far Cry 6 Secret Ending Explained

TechCrunch

The Far Cry 6 secret ending offers an early, grim conclusion to the events of the game. Far Cry 6's relatively lengthy story follows guerilla soldier Dani Rojas in their attempt to bring down oppressive dictator Anton Castillo and save the Cuba-inspired country of Yara. It's a tale full of the bombastic action and open-world shenanigans found in most Far Cry games, but a majority of the events can be avoided if players choose to follow the secret ending.

The Far Cry series has become well known for providing secret, early endings that can be unlocked through unconventional methods. In Far Cry 4, players can choose to avoid fighting Pagan Min in Kyrat’s civil war by simply waiting for him to return to the room he's trapped protagonist Ajay in. When he comes back, he decides to let Ajay scatter his mother's ashes exactly where she wanted in a moment of unexpected camaraderie. Far Cry 5 goes a similar route by allowing players the chance to ignore the prompt to arrest Joseph Seed at the beginning of the game, which sees the lawmen give up on trying to take the Montana cult down and go home.


These alternate endings go against the grain of Far Cry’s intended violent and heroic acts by asking players to abandon their missions entirely, and Far Cry 6 continues that series pattern. Just like the previous ones, its secret ending involves choosing between two options and is considered the "bad" ending for Dani’s story, but players who choose this path will unlock an achievement to commemorate their unconventional decision. Here's how Far Cry 6's secret ending plays out.

[Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Far Cry 6.]

The chance to unlock Far Cry 6’s secret ending comes after completing the "Libertad Rises" mission, which sees Dani and the Libertad rebellion take down Anton Castillo’s warships. The cutscene that follows shows Clara fulfilling her promise to help Dani escape to Miami in exchange for their help, providing a boat they could use to sail off into the sunset. When players are given control of Dani, they're prompted to talk to Juan, but they can instead take control of the boat and drive south. After driving for a certain amount of time, a scene will commence where Dani says, "I’m sorry, Clara. Not my fight," and the screen fades to black.

After Dani’s escape, another cutscene informs players three months have passed since leaving behind Clara and the Libertad rebels. Dani is shown relaxing on a beach in Miami, far away from the guerilla warfare of Far Cry 6's campaign. Not all is well for the people of Yara, as a radio newscaster's voice declares Anton Castillo has defeated the Libertad rebellion, murdered Clara, and forced the country into a severe lockdown.

Credits roll on the scene, and players are presented with the "Hidden in Plain Sight" achievement for having found the Far Cry 6 secret ending. It's an incredibly dour conclusion, presenting a bleak vision of how Yara's fate would have been if Dani had stepped on that boat.

October 15th 2021, 5:45 pm

Dying Light PS5, Xbox Series X/S Upgrade Will Update the Game

TechCrunch

The developer of Dying Light is currently working on a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S upgrade for the zombie parkour game. Techland's announcement comes a little while after it shared the news that Dying Light 2 has been delayed by two months. This was the game’s second official delay, with its lead developer later explaining that the additional time is allowing the studio to better polish game. While the Dying Light community expected a December 7 release for Dying Light 2, it may be getting another port of the first game instead.

In the meantime, Techland appears to be revisiting the original Dying Light to drum up 2021 sales, with the current-gen update now known and a previously confirmed Nintendo Switch port of the game arriving soon. A Nintendo Direct in September established an October 19 release date for Dying Light: Platinum Edition’s Nintendo Switch port, which will grant Switch owners the full Dying Light experience in addition to an four DLCs and several skins. The all-inclusive Dying Light re-release originally dropped earlier this year on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Now, it seems current-gen owners will get a stab at the acclaimed zombie game, too.


Announced via the Dying Light Twitter account, Techland is evidently working on “a next-gen patch for Dying Light 1.” It’s not clear when the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S updates could drop, however. For now, the developer ensures fans that more will be revealed sometime in the future.

It’s a possibility that Techland plans to release Dying Light’s PS5 and Xbox Series X/S upgrades before Dying Light 2: Stay Human’s February 2022 launch. However, that window of time is a short one, as the end of 2021 is quickly approaching. There's also been no confirmation about whether or not the new-gen update will be a free upgrade for current PS4 and Xbox One owners or if Dying Light: Platinum Edition will be a separate release for the new consoles as it is on the Switch. It’s not impossible that Techland could offer both options, but the latter seems probable.

The studio's choice on the matter will likely affect the community’s response. As a recent example, Grand Theft Auto V was met with severe fan backlash after its revealed its own new-gen gameplay was revealed. Many series fans were dissatisfied with the ports' minimal visual improvements and features announced for GTA 5's upgrade at PlayStation Showcase 2021. A major component of that ire was because it's believed those ports will be full-price and charge previous GTA 5 owners for an upgrade, information that has also yet to be confirmed. In a similar situation, Dying Light is over six years old and a current-gen upgrade could spice up gameplay for the modern era. Hopefully, Techland is able to deliever on its PS5 and Xbox Series X/S upgrade without any further delays on Dying Light 2: Stay Human.


Source: Dying Light/Twitter




October 15th 2021, 5:45 pm

Wheel of Time Video Introduces Eyeless Villains & Their Minions

TechCrunch

The Wheel of Time show introduces its eyeless villains and their minions in a new video. Amazon is hoping it can find its own Game of Thrones as it adapts Robert Jordan’s sprawling fantasy novel series.

The first trailer for Amazon’s Wheel of Time released back in September and indeed teased a huge fantasy world filled with magic, monsters and prophecies. The magical element of the story as fans of the novels know revolves around The One Power, an energy that allows its users to perform feats like healing, teleportation and mind control. Season 1’s story follows a magic practitioner named Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) as she leads a group of five young people on a journey, believing that one of them may be the long-awaited Dragon Reborn.


Of course any good fantasy story needs its villains and The Wheel of Time has some monstrous ones indeed. A new video shared on social media gives fans their first good look at these baddies, who go under the general name Shadowspawn. See the clip in the space below:

Click Here To View The Original Post

In Wheel of Time lore Shadowspawn are in fact divided into a number of different groups. The two main groups, both mentioned in Pike’s voice-over in the clip, are Trollocs and Myrddraal (or Fades as they’re called in the video). Trollocs are horned ogres who operate as foot-soldiers of the story’s true Big Bad The Dark One, while the eyeless and big-mouthed Fades are more advanced and dangerous and also less numerous. In season 1 of Amazon’s Wheel of Time, Pike and her group of heroes are being pursued by these creatures. “Armies of Trollocs and Fades a million strong will wash across the Land, killing and eating every person they find,” Pike’s character Moiraine ominously intones, pointing up just how terrifying the Shadowspawn are.

It’s interesting indeed that The Wheel of Time seems to dive right in and introduce this monstrous threat in all its horror. Contrast this approach with Game of Thrones, which took time teasing its own swarming enemies the White Walkers. Of course, Game of Thrones didn’t have a huge budget right out of the gate, so fully visualizing George R.R. Martin’s supernatural ice zombies wasn’t really an option in early seasons. The Wheel of Time on the other hand reportedly had an $80 million budget for its first season, which obviously allowed its creators to immediately go whole-hog in bringing to life the books'  nightmarish bad guys. Of course, just being able to go wild with special effects doesn’t guarantee that a story will work – as became painfully evident in later seasons of Game of Thrones. Hopefully The Wheel of Time won’t fall victim to the same big-budget pitfalls that ultimately hurt HBO's iconic fantasy series. The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time arrive on Amazon on November 19, 2021.


Source: The Wheel of Time/Twitter




October 15th 2021, 5:45 pm

Hailee Steinfeld Compares Playing Hawkeye's Kate Bishop to Dickinson

TechCrunch

Hailee Steinfeld compares playing Kate Bishop in Hawkeye to the young poet in Dickinson. Created by Alena Smith for Apple TV+, the first season of Dickinson premiered in 2019 along with the debut of the streaming service itself. It was quickly renewed for a sophomore season and now, the Dickinson season 3, its last, is set to air on November 5. Starring Steinfeld in the titular role, the series has received rave reviews for its exploration of 19th century society with a millennial sensibility and tone.

Dickinson isn't the only series Steinfeld is starring in that airs this November, with the other being Hawkeye on Disney+. The Marvel show is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame as the MCU's famous archer, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), heads back to New York City for a fun Christmas with his family, but becomes sidetracked when is he confronted by enemies from his past as Ronin. Barton is then forced to join forces with a young super-fan named Kate Bishop, portrayed by Steinfeld in her MCU debut.


Now, in an interview with Screen Rant, Steinfeld talked about how her Marvel character isn't so much different from the audacious writer that she's been playing on Dickinson over the past three years. Steinfeld described the young poet she plays as a "strong and determined and independent and driven female character," which made the transition to playing Kate Bishop a little easier, since she shares a lot of those same qualities. Read what Steinfeld had to say below:

I am so excited to have gone from playing a character like Emily Dickinson for the last three years -- and because I feel I've spent so much time with her in playing this very strong and determined and independent and driven female character -- going into one that has those same qualities was a very exciting thing for me. And entering the world of Kate Bishop and entering the world of the Marvel Universe has been absolutely incredible and a rollercoaster ride to say the least and I cannot wait for the show to come out.

After her breakthrough role at the age of 13 in the Coen Brothers' True Grit (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award), Steinfeld went on to land a number of prominent leading roles like the coming-of-age drama The Edge of Seventeen and Bumblebee. Her career is certainly set to take off in an even bigger way now that she's been cast in the MCU and possibly taking over the Hawkeye mantle as Kate Bishop.

While Emily Dickinson and Kate Bishop might not appear to have much in common at first glance, it's certainly hard to argue with Steinfeld's assessment. The Christmassy vibes and dynamic between Clint and Kate are two of the most anticipated parts of the Hawkeye show. Coming over from Dickinson surely made the transition easier for Steinfeld, but Kate will still have her work cut out for her as she attempts to earn Clint's approval and become his successor.

October 15th 2021, 5:45 pm

The Batman Trailer Image Reveals Different Catwoman Hairstyle

TechCrunch

The Batman director Matt Reeves has revealed a new image of Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman/Selina Kyle ahead of the upcoming trailer for the film. Kravitz will play the iconic Batman character alongside Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne, Paul Dano’s Riddler, Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon, John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard’s Gil Colson, Andy Serkis’ Alfred Pennyworth, and Colin Farrell’s Penguin. The Batman is scheduled to release in theaters on March 4, 2022.

Catwoman has been a common inclusion in the modern era of live-action Batman films, having been played by Michelle Pfeifer in Batman Returns and Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises, in addition to a solo Catwoman film in 2004 starring Halle Berry. Kravitz is the latest star to bring Selina Kyle to the big screen, though she’s previously voiced the character in The LEGO Batman Movie. Depending on how The Batman performs at the box office, she could be playing the character for years to come.

A new image released on Twitter by Reeves shows Kravitz’s Selina Kyle sporting a shoulder-length haircut and a white tank top, staring intently at someone out of frame. It’s not the full shot of her Catwoman costume that some may have been hoping for, but it’s still a fun look at what’s sure to be a fierce new version of the character. Check out the new Catwoman image below.

Developing…

Source: Matt Reeves




October 15th 2021, 5:45 pm

Steam Games With Crypto, NFTs Being Removed From the Platform

TechCrunch

Steam is banning games that are built on blockchain technology or that allow the exchange of cryptocurrency and NFTs, establishing another hurdle for the world of blockchain games. Playable NFT video games are growing in popularity and a few have stuck out in the crowd, gaining considerable financial and commercial support. One company in particular, Mythical Games, announced a $75 million partnership in June, which will help it produce several NFT video games. One of its more popular titles, Blankos Block Party, is an open-world free-to-play game that is built on blockchain technology and uses vinyl figurine NFTs as playable characters. Players purchase new Blankos with cryptocurrency and can sell their collection on the marketplace for actual money.

NFTs or non-fungible tokens have previously garnered negative press. Much of the criticism stems from the environmental impact that NFTs can have, based on its Proof of Work crypto mining. What has attracted many people to NFTs despite this is the fact that there is proof of ownership tied to the NFT. Thus, unlike other virtual items, like many in-game skins or outfits, NFTs hold a particular value and can be collected or sold on an evolving marketplace, much like physical collectibles like trading cards. In spite of evidence that NFT video games are bad for the environment, many have chosen to get involved in the controversial new economy. Their efforts to do so in the video game market have now been hindered considerably by Steam.

Related: Blankos Block Party Uses NFTs But Not Bitcoin Mining

As revealed by the Age of Rust Twitter account (via NME), Steam has officially removed games on its platform that use blockchain technology or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs. The game’s developer explained that despite having been upfront with Steam regarding the fact that Age of Rust is a blockchain game, the title is still being removed, as the publisher has decided to do away with all such games on its platform. Steam recently made changes to its Rules and Guidelines, indicating that it will no longer sell any applications built on blockchain technology. According to the Age of Rust Twitter, “Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform.”

This is a considerable setback for blockchain games or any developer looking to create titles incorporating NFTs or cryptocurrencies. Age of Rust’s developer is looking for alternative modes of publishing and will continue to look for a place in the market. However, it’s unclear what effect Steam’s decision will have on other blockchain games that were housed on its platform.

It’s certainly possible that these games will follow the path of big NFT games like Axie Infinity, which is distributed to players directly through its website. Steam does offer many tools to help cultivate developers and market products, so without that level of backing, it’s likely many blockchain games or games using NFTs and cryptocurrencies will struggle to find footing in the market.

Next: Can Blankos Block Party Convince People It's Not A Scam?

Source: Age of Rust/Twitter, NME



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October 15th 2021, 5:00 pm

Titans' New Beast Boy Transformation Recreates A Classic Batman Villain

TechCrunch

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Titans season 3, episode 12, "Prodigal."

HBO's Titans season 3 finally sees Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) getting a new animal transformation, and he ends up recreating a classic Batman villain in the process. While Gar Logan is still struggling to control his transformations (beyond turning into a tiger), a traumatic scene triggers a new transformation in season 3, episode 12 when Beast Boy and Raven are trying to help Nightwing. Furthermore, because the Titans have been operating in Gotham for the majority of the season, Gar's transformation makes perfect sense.

With Bruce Wayne having left Gotham in the wake of Jason Todd's death and the Dark Knight's own murder of the Joker (the former Robin's killer), Dick Grayson brought the Titans to Gotham to serve as its new protectors. However, the Scarecrow had Jason resurrected, ushering Todd's transformation into the darker and corrupted Red Hood as they began their plans for a Gotham takeover. During that time, Beast Boy's limited ability to transform into animals has been something he's been struggling with while helping the Titans, seeing as how he's only ever been able to turn into a tiger on command.

Related: The REAL Reason Titans' Jason Todd Turned Into Red Hood Explained

However, Titans season 3, episode 12 sees Beast Boy and Raven finding Nightwing in the aftermath of his most recent battle with Red Hood. Having decided to go alone, Dick Grayson ended up being killed by the Red Hood. Todd also had the support of Gotham's citizens, seeing as how he and Scarcrow had tainted the city's water supply with fear chemicals while also controlling the public narrative to make Red Hood appear to be the hero and the Titans criminals. Finding Nightwing dead, the traumatic scene triggered a transformation within Beast Boy that saw him turning into a bat. However, the halfway point of the process saw him looking very much like Dr. Kirk Langstrom's Man-Bat, a classic Batman villain who turned himself into a monstrous were-bat.

One of the Dark Knight's more tragic villains, Kirk Langstrom was trying to create a cure for deafness using bat DNA, hoping to unlock their ability to echolocate. However, the experimental tests he ran on himself resulted in his transformations into the Man-Bat. As such, it's rather fitting that Beast Boy would resemble Langstrom (even if it was just for a moment) as he turned into a full-on bat in Gotham City.

Joining the cloud of bats that had formed in response to Gar's transformation, Beast Boy was seemingly able to direct the nocturnal creatures in his new form. Guiding the bats to pick up Grayson's body and take him to the Lazarus Pit he and Raven had found, they hoped that it would resurrect Nightwing just as it had the Red Hood. While Beast Boy eventually transformed back into his normal human form, it will be interesting to see if becoming a bat will be a new animal form he can now tap into as Titans continues, or if it was a one-time transformation in response to the grief of seeing Nightwing dead in this particular episode. Either way, Beast Boy's recreation of one of Batman's classic foes is a pretty fun Easter egg all the same.

More: Titans Has A Superpower Problem

Titans releases new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.



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October 15th 2021, 5:00 pm

Spider-Man 3's Hobgoblin Mask Easter Egg & Future Setup Explained

TechCrunch

The Sam Raimi Spider-Man films were filled with Easter eggs, including a reference to The Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 3 which allowed for his potential introduction in a future installment. Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is celebrated for its seamless combination of comic accuracy and heartfelt, realistically-written characters, but one occasionally overlooked aspect of the films is that it’s firmly set in a populated Marvel universe, with references to Spider-Man stories and characters in the films and even some shoutouts to other Marvel characters in the Raimi continuity’s non-movie material. One such reference was to The Hobgoblin, one of Spider-Man’s most prominent adversaries for years in the comics. A Raimi iteration of The Hobgoblin’s mask can be found in act 1 of Spider-Man 3.

The Hobgoblin, aka Roderick Kingsley, was a major Spider-Man villain for years in Marvel’s comics. Upon discovering one of the seemingly deceased Norman Osborn’s hidden stashes of the Green Goblin's (played by Willem Dafoe) gear, Kingsley, a corrupt corporate executive, modified Osborn’s formula to eliminate its insanity side effect and increase its physical enhancements. With a modified costume, Kingsley became The Hobgoblin. Although he was stronger than Norman, Kingsley’s lack of insanity made him an overall less dangerous adversary than the unpredictable Norman. Like the Green Goblin, the comics made the Hobgoblin’s true identity a running mystery, with several red herrings and fake reveals, explained by Kingsley brainwashing people like Ned Leeds into becoming body doubles. The Hobgoblin’s true identity was definitively revealed in 1997’s Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives.

Related: Spider-Man 3 Theory: Ned's Hobgoblin Is Raimi's Green Goblin Successor

Roderick’s Hobgoblin outfit was a modified version of Norman’s Green Goblin costume. Kingsley changed the color palette, including giving the mask a gold hue, and added an orange cloak, but retained the chainmail armor and legendary aesthetic that original Green Goblin Norman Osborn used first. In Spider-Man 3, Harry Osborn similarly creates a new outfit and uses improved technology. Calling himself the New Goblin (though the name is never said in the film), Harry takes Norman’s Goblin formula, granting him superhuman physical abilities but damaging his psyche in the process. Early in the film, Harry’s new technology is shown, along with a distinctive mask in between Norman’s Green Goblin mask and Harry’s New Goblin mask. This third mask resembles Norman’s, but is far more angular and aggressive, with notably sharper teeth. The mask is also a metallic gold color, indicating that it’s the Raimi universe’s Hobgoblin mask.

With both Norman and Harry dead by the end of the Spider-Man trilogy (though Norman could have easily been resurrected just as he was in the comics), a future installment in Raimi’s continuity could have had a new version of Roderick Kingsley's Hobgoblin. As a business tycoon, Kingsley could have acquired Norman Osborn’s assets or simply bought his Tudor City penthouse and discovered the Goblin lair. Like his comic counterpart, Kingsley would take the gear, somehow modify the formula, and become New York’s latest threat, motivated by greed and thirst for power, unlike Norman’s unbridled sadism and obsessions and Harry’s need for revenge.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the Raimi Spider-Man series referenced a character from the Spider-Man comics. The 2002 film subtly mentioned Eddie Brock and Curt Connors, both of whom went on to appear in sequels. The Marvel superhero and sorcerer Doctor Strange is mentioned by name in Spider-Man 2, an unintentionally fitting joke, considering the Raimi universe’s upcoming MCU appearance, thanks to Strange. The Raimi Spider-Man video games, which can easily be considered canon to the Raimi timeline, reference Latveria (Doctor Doom’s home country), Captain America, and The Punisher, and include an appearance by The Kingpin, Daredevil’s nemesis.

Had Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man continuity continued, it would not be surprising to see his take on Roderick Kingsley appear and menace Spider-Man as the Hobgoblin. Considering Raimi’s appreciation and understanding of the comic source material, it’d make sense to have Kingsley succeed Norman and Harry, and perhaps end up fighting the resurrected Norman as he did in the comics. Either way, Spider-Man 3’s Hobgoblin mask Easter egg was setting up a future with at least one more Goblin-themed supervillain.

Next: Spider-Man 3 Theory: Tobey Maguire's MCU Daughter Is Spider-Girl



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October 15th 2021, 5:00 pm

Southern Charm: Madison LeCroy & Brett's Relationship Timeline

TechCrunch

Madison LeCroy from Southern Charm and her now-fiance Brett went from being strangers to getting engaged in a matter of months. Before Madison met her future husband, she had quite the rollercoaster of a dating life. Her relationships were at the center of some serious celebrity drama this year. Late December, Madison began dating Jay Cutler, who is a former NFL player. She got involved with him shortly after her ex Austen Kroll was rumored to be romancing Jay's ex-wife, Kristin Cavallari.

After Jay and Kristin shared a photo that made people assume they were back together, Madison and Jay ended faster than they began. Shortly after they fizzled out, Madison was accused of having an affair with ex-MLB player Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez sometime last year. Madison says those rumors are false and claims that she and A-Rod never met up in person. However, some of her costars didn't believe her. Nonetheless, Madison is over her time as a single woman. The Southern Charm star is ready to become a wife.

Related: Southern Charm: Madison LeCroy Reveals She Is Engaged To Boyfriend Brett

In April, following her A-Rod controversy, Madison confirmed that she had a new man. After a fan said the former baseball player might not want to date her even though he's now single, she shared her new romance on social media. Madison quickly replied that she was already taken. However, she took a couple of months to reveal what he looked like and what his first name is.

In June 2021, the mother of one went Instagram official with Brett by sharing a series of snaps of the pair having fun in Lake Tahoe. Madison also spoke with Us Weekly about her new relationship later that month. The reality star revealed that the two met in Arizona at a bar and locked eyes right away, "from across the room." Brett eventually approached Madison, who went to Utah with him, and the two chatted for a while. " She told him, "You can take me out, but you’ll have to take me out in Charleston, South Carolina." Brett replied, ‘I’m fine with that. When are you available?’". Madison revealed that she instantly fell for Brett, and the couple has been together non-stop ever since.

On Thursday, Madison announced during an Amazon Live that she and Brett got engaged after six months of dating. Brett popped the question last Friday and even involved Madison's eight-year-old son Hudson in the proposal. The three of them went out for a fancy dinner in a limo, and Brett then decided to propose to her in her living room, while Hudson clapped in the background. Madison, who has shaded ex Austen, was so surprised that she began to cry. However, they were definitely tears of joy.

The Southern Charm star and her new fiance have had a. whirlwind romance and they do seem to be madly in love. Now that season 8 of the Bravo series has begun filming, fans are excited to see how their relationship will be showcased on the series.

Next: Southern Charm: Madison LeCroy Is Happy Austen Kroll Joined Winter House

Source: Us Weekly



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October 15th 2021, 5:00 pm

Eternals Early Box Office Predictions Highest Of MCU Phase 4 So Far

TechCrunch

Early Eternals box office projections indicate its opening weekend will be higher than Black Widow and Shang-Chi. While the box office still has a long way to go before it gets back to 2019 levels, theaters are very much on the road to recovery amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year saw a number of high-profile titles leave an impression at the box office, with Shang-Chi even breaking the pre-pandemic record for highest Labor Day debut. Venom: Let There Be Carnage was another strong showing, posting $90.1 million domestically in its first three days.

One of the next major projects on the horizon is Marvel's Eternals, which is set to open in November. The film introduces a bevy of new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many of whom are largely unknown to casual audiences. However, Marvel has demonstrated a knack for turning obscure properties into household names before, so the belief is they'll have similar success with Eternals. If the box office estimates are anything to go by, the MCU will be rewriting the record books again.


Per Box Office ProEternals is projected to earn between $82-102 million domestically in its opening weekend. Even the low end of those figures would be the highest opening in Phase 4 to date. Shang-Chi posted $75.3 million in its first three days ($94.6 million for the four-day Labor Day weekend), and Black Widow earned $80.3 million in its debut.

There's still a few weeks before Eternals premieres, so these estimates could fluctuate. Still, this is a good sign for the film's commercial prospects, indicating audiences are well aware of its impending release and are looking forward to it. In fact, Eternals was voted the fall's most-anticipated movie in a Fandango poll, beating out the likes of No Time to Die, Dune, and others. That shows the strength of the Marvel brand, and illustrates even when some viewers are still wary about returning to the theater, the allure of seeing the latest MCU entry on the big screen is enough of a draw. It will be interesting to see how Eternals' projections change as reviews come in and word-of-mouth spreads.

In the pandemic era, no movie has opened with $100+ million domestically, and the high end of the Eternals estimates would have it hitting that mark. That would be an impressive feat, especially considering Eternals' long runtime, which pegs it as the second-longest MCU movie after only Avengers: Endgame. This factor limits the number of daily screenings theaters can show, which could impact Eternals' box office prospects. Regardless, it looks like all things considered, the film should be another winner for Marvel.


Source: Box Office Pro




October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

Which The Manor Character Are You, Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

TechCrunch

The characters in Amazon Prime's new horror film The Manor encapsulate all different types of people. When Judith moves into the titular manor after her stroke, she becomes part of a system that doesn't have concern for the old or people with declining health. While she is lucky that her grandson Josh visits her, she's concerned that she'll be forgotten. Meanwhile, in such a large house, Judith encounters a variety of different people.


Nurses at the manor, as well as the other residents, have different personality types. Some of those personalities are more forceful than others. And some are even more nefarious. There are enough types that it's worth examining the various character in The Manor through the lens of the astrological zodiac signs.

One of the more gregarious characters in The Manor, Roland is a classic Aries. Aries signs are known for having no filter. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Roland specifically takes this attitude to another level. His charismatic energy becomes aggressive from time to time.

Roland inserts himself in Judith’s path. He makes sure she is involved in his friend group so he can take advantage of her ignorance. His energy is forthright and at times sexual, making him the quintessential Aries.

Liesel is a kind and understanding nurse at The Manor. She wants to take care of people, just like any Taurus sign would. She enjoys nature and takes Judith out on walks on the grounds. She shows this caring side even in the face of evil lurking in the house.


Judith tells Liesel that she is being accosted by a figure at night. Typical of a Taurus, Liesel is comfortable with how things are. She isn’t prepared to encounter what Judith is suggesting. But when she understands what is happening in The Manor, she proves her loyalty to Judith.

Ms. Benson is the administrator at The Manor. As such, she must be charismatic and intelligent. Geminis can play their roles well. While Ms. Benson acts unaware of the strangeness of The Manor, she knows exactly what is going on. Roland never confirms how Ms. Benson is closely related to him, but it is heavily implied that she is his granddaughter.

Ms. Benson knows that Roland and his friends are sapping the youth from other residents and aids him, using her position to do it. To do this successfully, Ms. Benson has to put up a front, something Geminis are good at.

From the first scene of The Manor, Josh proves to be sensitive. He cares for his grandmother, even more than his mother at times. Cancers are likely to take on other people’s problems. Josh is immediately concerned about Judith’s predicament. He sticks with her even though her claims sound outrageous.

Josh disengages from Judith only briefly, starting to believe that she is afflicted with dementia. But his concern for her is so strong that he investigates and never leaves her side again.

Trish has a big personality. She lights up a room, though it is not inherently evident why this is the case. Leos enjoy indulgences and the finer things in life, and Trish expands on this concept. Her room with Ruth is full of things that do not seem practical.

She also refuses to let go of her youth. Taking up where witches before her left off, Trish finds a way to never let go of her youth again. She exudes happiness and charisma because of this and is fun to be around.

Judith’s daughter Barbara is not the pinnacle of the story, but her personality is striking nonetheless. She never sides with Judith, finding relief in sending her away to The Manor after Judith’s stroke. A typical Virgo trait is always thinking they’re right. Barbara is certain that sending Judith to The Manor was the right thing, absolving her of any responsibility.

This is especially confirmed when the doctor tells Barbara that Judith is suffering bouts of dementia. Barbara doesn’t accept that her mother is lucid and has an air of judgment like many Virgos are capable of displaying.

Ruth is the one in the coven that has the least agency. She is fun-loving but goes with the flow. Libras often follow the path of least resistance and avoid conflict. The only time she speaks out is when she tries to convince Judith to join their circle to become young again.

Ruth enjoys the camaraderie of the group, even though they are ultimately killing residents that they have lived and dined with. It is easy for her to ignore since she is not alone and gets to be young.

Scorpios are complex more than anything else. Elizabeth is a nurse at The Manor who seems to have the most to hide. As soon as Judith arrives, Elizabeth makes sure to exert her authority by taking away Judith's phone. This is disconcerting, which Scorpios have no problem with being.


Elizabeth puts up walls to stop people from getting to know what is going on. This is in part to protect Ruth’s secret at the home. She knows spells are being cast, but like many Scorpios, she is unbothered.

Annette’s story is unfortunately short-lived. She finds herself in a real-life horror movie, closely resembling the likes of The Wicker Man. But that doesn’t stop her from caring about those around her. Sagittarius signs are emotional and principled.

She is often frightened because she knows she is going to die. Even though she doesn’t know Judith well, she uses her last acts to warn her about witchcraft at The Manor.

Dr. Geoghegan uses responsibility as a defense against questions. He is smart and part of the system that The Manor uses to protect its residents who do not have the best intentions. He has fake brain scans of the patients to convince residents’ families that they are declining in health. It is not evident how far his knowledge of witches extends.

Capricorns rarely display any form of emotion. Dr. Geoghegan has no empathy or bedside manner. He delivers bad news to patients and does not feel bad about it.

Imogen’s fate is not confirmed, but it can be assumed that she did not survive the events of the film. Her main use was to be a clue for Josh to find. After he sees her fear, he realizes that Judith is right in suspecting something wrong is going on at The Manor. These striking horror elements are one reason why The Manor is a good horror movie to stream before Halloween.

Aquarians often feel as though they are outcasts. There are few things more ostracizing than the feeling of being gaslit. The residents are told that they are sick. In reality, their life is being taken from them purposefully.

Pisces signs often feel the dichotomy of age. They can feel wise but also cling to their youth. Judith states that she doesn’t feel old, though she has turned 70. Her youthful outlook is something that comes easily to her. But also like a Pisces, she is insecure.

The Manor manipulates her into thinking that there is something wrong with her health. Judith is artistic and wants to hold on to the life she has left. Her outlook on life is what leads her to accept the witches’ offer at the end of the film.

October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

Love Island USA: Connor Trott Shows Off New Girlfriend Sage Sunner

TechCrunch

Connor Trott has taken to Instagram to show off his new girlfriend, Sage Sunner, which follows the breakup with his Love Island USA season 2 co-star Mackenzie Dipman. Both Connor and Mackenzie were introduced to Love Island fans as day-one islanders as they walked into the Las Vegas villa of season 2. Mack and Connor coupled up right away on that first day just based on first impressions of each other.

As the days went by, Connor and Mackenzie actually started to develop feelings for each other and take their relationship seriously. A lot of viewers questioned whether their relationship had what it took to survive outside the villa, which prompted fans to vote for Connor and Mack to be tested time and time again on the show. After Mackenzie had her head turned for Jalen Noble at Casa Amor, it was only a matter of time for her and Connor to be dumped from the villa. With that said, they reunited post-show and dated for many months, only breaking up in early 2021.


Now, Connor is showing off his brand-new girlfriend, Sage Sunner. As seen in the many Instagram posts included below, Connor and Sage have been all over each other as of late. On her Instagram profile, Sage describes herself as a Pittsburgh-based model. She appears to be signed to Docherty Model & Talent Agency. She also identifies herself as the mother of two adorable chihuahuas called Russ and Rambo. This is Connor's first public relationship since breaking up with Mackenzie earlier in 2021. Even before their breakup, Mack and Connor talked openly about the challenges that came with their long-distance relationship.

There's no denying that Love Island USA fans will be happy to see Connor moving on with his dating life after things didn't work out with Mackenzie in the long run. It appears that Mack has yet to move on with a new partner, or at least that information hasn't been shared with the public yet. She seems to be focusing on herself and her career as of late, but it's possible that there's already someone new in her life that Mack just chose not to publicize yet. Nonetheless, these are young individuals on their paths to find real love. Things didn't work out on reality TV for them, but it's great to see them happy with where they are now.

CBS had another successful run of Love Island USA in 2021. In fact, this American edition keeps picking up steam since breaking out into the mainstream last year. Hopefully, the inevitable Love Island USA season 4 will be even more exciting for viewers.


Sources: Connor Trott/Instagram, Sage Sunner/Instagram




October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

FTC Warns Hundreds Of Brands To Avoid Misleading Ads & Fake Reviews

TechCrunch

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent out a notice to over 700 companies — a list that includes the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Tesla — warning them about the menace of fake reviews and misleading ad practices using social media, and has asked them to abide by the rules or face penalties. Over the years, fake online reviews have become a menace, and many brands have actually been caught paying for favorable or false reviews on e-commerce platforms.

An Amazon data breach earlier this year revealed that a number of vendors negotiate terms with buyers who are paid to purchase their products and then post sham five-star reviews to boost the star ratings. But it’s not just e-commerce platforms where such practices thrive. In the ballooning world of social media marketing, influencers are often paid to praise a particular product or brand. But the problem arises when these influencers don’t actually disclose whether they are endorsing a particular product after inking a deal, and are just commending it from their personal experience. Pyramid schemes and crypto frauds find a lot of mention on the internet where people with influence — deliberately or unwillingly — often end up promoting a scam.


To combat the rising problem of misleading marketing and shady advertising tactics employed by brands, the US FTC has issued a notice to hundreds of companies to keep their ledgers clean and make proper disclosures if they are engaged in influencer-driven marketing. FTC clarifies that sending a notice to these companies doesn’t mean the agency is charging or alleging them of any wrongdoings. It just serves as a warning signal that it will take strict action against any brand that violates its fair marketing and advertisement policies. However, the US FTC makes it clear that for every violation, a company will be charged a civic penalty of up to $45,792.

The regulatory body — which has lately been at the helm of a heated antitrust campaign against Big Tech — outlined five types of red flags that will incur punitive action. They include wrongfully presenting an endorser as an actual user, making false claims about their products in ads, hiding financial connections with an endorser, peddling an endorser’s views as genuine user experience, and falsely claiming another individual’s endorsement. Back in June of this year, multiple Chinese electronic gadget brands were booted off Amazon for giving customers incentives to post favorable reviews. The most recent example of legal action covering alleged misleading advertisements is Apple. The company recently settled a class-action lawsuit for telling users that ‘remanufactured’ devices under AppleCare coverage are “equivalent to new in performance and reliability,” but actual user experience tells otherwise.

FTC’s latest notice will definitely put big names on edge thanks to the accountability dilemma. For platforms such as Amazon or Apple's App Store, the onus might fall on their respective owners if fake reviews end up hurting customers, even if they were paid for by third-party vendors. Amazon has historically struggled with the problem, and even though it has designed tools that identify suspicious behavior and remove thousands of fake reviews each year, the issue persists. But there is more to the picture than appears on the surface. For example, Amazon recently asked Apple to take down an app that allowed users to check the legitimacy of reviews. With each passing quarter, companies like Instagram and TikTok are adding new marketing tools for influencers, and it is going to be increasingly difficult for regulators to identify misleading endorsements on social media and hold companies accountable.


Source: US FTC




October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

How to Catch Snails in New World (& What They're For)

TechCrunch

During the "Baited" quest in New World, players are tasked with catching two aquatic creatures for crafting bait — a Snail and a Clam. The quest starts after players speak with Dena Ruby, an NPC near the Stolen Shores. Snails, in particular, can be found in freshwater, meaning New World players should fish in lakes and rivers. Although it is entirely possible to catch a Snail with a basic fishing pole and no lure, using a higher-tier rod along with special bait will undoubtedly increase the chances of catching a Snail.

While players may wish to cast their line out into the deeper areas of a lake or river to catch a Snail, keep in mind that characters in New World currently cannot swim if submerged. As mentioned above, Snails can be found within about any freshwater area; however, some places may yield better results than others. Continue reading to learn how to catch Snails in New World.


To catch a Snail in New World, players should use the proper bait to increase their chances of capturing one. Two excellent choices are Woodlouse Bait and Firefly Bait. These lures can be obtained by harvesting Bushes, Bulrush Plants, and Briar Plants in New World. While the baits do not guarantee a successful Snail catch, they will significantly boost the chances of fishing one out, particularly Firefly Bait.

After procuring bait and equipping a decent fishing rod, players should be able to easily catch Snails in New World freshwater areas. A recommended freshwater spot would be a small lake near Faith's Bounty within Everall. Cast in the line and wait patiently for a bite. It's essential to carefully take time while reeling in a catch, as tugging too quickly will lose the fish. Players may have to fish several times before capturing a Snail. After some patience and perseverance, players should be able to catch a Snail within a couple of minutes.

Return to Dena after catching a Snail and Clam to earn the quests reward. Completing the "Baited" quest will net players with XP, Coins, Territory Standing, and a small amount of Azoth. Additionally, players will receive Battered Fisherman's Gloves. Using the Snails they've collected, players can salvage the creatures into bait. This action will also produce a by-product known as Snail Slime, a material that can be used in Alchemy crafting in New World.

October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

Young Sheldon Shows The Issue With Penny & Leonard’s TBBT Ending

TechCrunch

The latest episode of Young Sheldon season 5 shows the issue with Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard Hofstadter's (Johnny Galecki) ending in The Big Bang Theory. After their inappropriate flirting, George Cooper (Lance Barber) and Brenda Sparks (Melissa Peterman) continue to try to keep the details of their night out a secret. But after Meemaw (Annie Potts) sensed that there was something sketchy happening between the pair, she started snooping around — which, unfortunately, brings her son-in-law and his neighbor closer together.

In the Young Sheldon season 5 episode titled "Snoopin' Around and the Wonder Twins of Atheism," Meemaw coincidentally bumped into Brenda at the grocery store. She began asking about what really went down the night that George had a mini heart attack. But instead of answering her queries, Brenda panicked and bolted out of the conversation. This alarmed Meemaw, who then subtly asked her son-in-law about the same thing. Suspiciously, George was equally evasive, which made things worse. This resulted in an emergency meeting involving George and Brenda at the latter's chicken house. What was supposed to be a discreet and brief conversation, however, turned into a lengthy chat.


Among the few other things the pair discussed was the subject of the Cooper patriarch’s workmate choosing his wife as his best friend. Both George and Brenda were perplexed about the notion, but in the end, concluded that the reason why George's coworker has such a relaxed and consistently happy marriage is because there are no kids. This indirectly highlights the potential issues in Leonard and Penny's The Big Bang Theory ending: As heartwarming as it was to see the couple happy with the news that they're expecting their first child, Penny had been previously adamant about wanting to be child-free. In fact, this was their core conflict in the show's final season as Leonard wanted children. Despite several back-and-forths regarding the matter, they never really found a resolution. Instead, she was just revealed to be pregnant in the finale.

Although it's possible the TBBT lead just changed her stance about the issue off-screen — since Penny looked happy about it — nothing in the series demonstrated that Penny was ready to become a parent. As Brenda and George recently implied in Young Sheldon, having kids significantly changes couples' dynamics for the worse. This issue could be much more detrimental for the Hofstadters' future since they originally had contradicting thoughts on the matter. Instead of The Big Bang Theory properly developing this arc, the finale offered an easy (and frankly, lazy) solution to the problem.

Once the excitement of learning that she's pregnant wears off, Penny could realize that she still doesn't want kids or isn't ready to settle down and become a parent — but since it's far too late for that, she would be stuck in her situation while Leonard gets what he always wanted. This could result in her being resentful toward her husband. Had the series showed more conversations between Penny and Leonard sorting through their differences, perhaps, it wouldn't be this concerning. Overall, The Big Bang  Theory's finale was nostalgic and heartwarming. However, the focus on Sheldon and his bid for the Nobel Prize in Physics was too much. It essentially relegated the rest of the main cast as supporting characters. That includes Penny and Leonard, who were given a less than satisfying, and questionable, send-off.

October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

Pokemon Diamond & Pearl Remake's Exp. Share Could Ruin The Games

TechCrunch

The return of the permanent Exp. Share in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl has become a major concern for many fans. Generation 6 made the Exp. Share item provide experience points to every party member, as opposed to only the one holding it, offering a much easier time for Pokémon series newcomers. The change to a universal Exp. Share has become a point of contention in the community, and it could negatively affect the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes' game balance and difficulty.

In just over a month, fans will finally get to play these long-awaited Gen 4 remakes. Many were initially disappointed that the Brilliant and Shining versions may be too similar to the original Diamond and Pearl, unlike Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, which more fully reimagined their original games. But as new trailers and previews have been revealed, the remakes have looked increasingly more impressive. However, in spite of growing optimism, the biggest takeaway from recent early press previews has been the potential detrimental effect of the new Exp. Share system.


The confirmation of a universal Exp. Share in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl isn't surprising or even unwelcome; party-wide experience gain, in itself, has been a mostly well-received mechanic. The problem is that, once again, Exp. Share cannot be disabled in BDSP. When the Exp. Share was first changed from a held item to a key item in Pokémon X and Y, players had the option to turn it off, allowing them to benefit from the new mechanic while also controlling the amount of experience points gained. This option was removed in Pokémon Sword and Shield and remains absent, which takes away players' ability to adjust the games' difficulty as they prefer.

The universal Exp. Share, much like Pokémon's overhaul of HMs, is one of the better quality-of-life features introduced in recent games. Grinding typically becomes a necessity in many RPGs because players eventually reach a point where they've run out of content and are still in need of experience to finish the game. Party-wide Exp. Share eliminates the need to rely too heavily on boring grinding, since all of the player's Pokémon are consistently gaining experience throughout the game, usually preventing them from being too underleveled. As convenient and beneficial as the mechanic is, it's also a double-edged sword.

One of series fans' biggest complaints is that recent Pokémon games are getting too easy. Part of this is the natural side effect of a two-decades-old series that functions on a rock-paper-scissors battle system, since most experienced players have already mastered the games' core mechanics. That said, newer Pokémon games haven't added much to offer resistance for players seeking a challenge. Gym Leaders are little more than just another Trainer battle, and rival battles no longer serve as difficult bottlenecks, so many players resort to self-imposed rules to make Pokémon games harder. Universal Exp. Share makes the games even easier - and makes some of those self-imposed rules nearly impossible.

Since the Exp. Share was reworked in Pokémon X and Y, the games' level curves haven't adequately changed to compensate for the increased rate of experience gain. This is especially noticeable around the midpoint of each game, as players begin to acquire fully evolved Pokémon earlier than they would otherwise, and their party becomes rapidly overleveled. Overleveling eliminates most of the challenge and makes getting through the rest of the games fairly simple, and the inability to turn off Exp. Share means it can be quite difficult to actively prevent Pokémon from overleveling. Given Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's apparent lack of changes to the originals, this could become a big problem.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are beloved for many things, but partially for their difficulty. Most of the games' battles are fairly straightforward, but a few are quite tough, most notably Champion Cynthia. Cynthia is often regarded as the most challenging Champion in Pokémon, due to her diverse team of powerful Sinnoh Pokémon like Togekiss, Lucario and Garchomp. Many players have found themselves overwhelmed and outmatched by Cynthia the first time they challenge her. The battle could be a true test of strength and strategy and was rewarding to overcome, but the permanent Exp. Share in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl may mean that's no longer the case.

Of course, it's impossible to know for sure until the games are actually out. Developer ILCA could have properly balanced the game, increasing boss levels to account for the new Exp. Share system, but for now, it will likely remain many fans' biggest concern. Fans have waited a long time for the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes, and a poorly balanced level curve could absolutely ruin the experience for players with nostalgia for the original, Pokémon franchise-altering games. A simple option to toggle the universal Exp. Share on and off would go a long way.

October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

Marvel Reveals The Shocking Truth Behind Its Most Powerful Character

TechCrunch

Warning! Spoilers for Immortal Hulk #50 by Marvel Comics below.

In this week's Immortal Hulk finale, Marvel Comics revealed the truth behind the One-Above-All, which completely changes the most powerful character in the Multiverse. In the comic, the cosmic being responsible for creating everyone and everything in the Marvel Universe was revealed to also be the One Below All. The revelation means One-Above-All, who is basically God, is also the Devil in disguise.

In the recently wrapped up Immortal Hulk series, the Jade Giant's ultimate enemy was the One Below All, a being living in the Below Place who wanted to destroy the Marvel Universe and end the process of the cosmos being reborn. The being is responsible for giving the Hulk his incredible strength, as when the Gamma Bomb went off and changed Bruce Banner, it opened the Green Door, allowing the One Below All to give him his powers. Now, Marvel Comics has told the truth behind the Hulk villain, which connects the being to the Multiverse version of God.


In Immortal Hulk #50 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Belardino Brabo, Paul Mounts, VC's Cory Petit, and Alex Ross, the Hulk finally encounters his maker in the Below Place. After fighting the villain, the Hulk demands to see its real face. The One Below All agrees, and suddenly the sky fills with brightness as the One-Above-All appears. It turns out, the One-Above-All and the One Below All are the same entity, with one serving as the Multiverse's agent of good and the other as an agent of destruction and chaos.

The revelation that the One Below All and the One-Above-All is the same being are an unexpected twist. The One Below All is basically the One-Above-All's own Hulk, as it's a balancing force in the Marvel Universe. Where the One-Above-All creates and nurtures, the One Below All is its counterweight, that destroys the universe in the name of cosmic balance. The conflicting personalities are very much like Bruce Banner and the Hulk but on the most substantial cosmic level possible.

The One-Above-All has primarily been used as a way to show that something is responsible for creating the Marvel Multiverse at large. Meanwhile, the One Below All represents the being's counterweight, which ensures the Multiverse is balanced. Both beings exist as a necessary part of creating (and ending) life across the Marvel Multiverse. Still, the fact that the One-Above-All and the One Below All are essentially the good and evil versions of Marvel's God is a shocking revelation that should considerably impact the Multiverse going forward.

October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

Prophetic 2007 Tom Cruise Movie Clip Circulates After Afghanistan Exit

TechCrunch

A clip from the 2007 movie Lions for Lambs is circulating the internet due to its eerily accurate predictions about events surrounding America's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Lions for Lambs features an all-star cast with names like Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Andrew Garfield. Although the movie's cast is impressive, it still struggled at the box office when it was released and also faced a barrage of bad reviews by critics.

Lions for Lambs centers around the war in Afghanistan, analyzing the government and personal responses to a Taliban attack that leaves two American soldiers stranded in enemy territory. Cruise plays a senator from Illinois who tries to use his plan for the situation to increase support for an upcoming presidential bid. He invites a liberal reporter to interview him about his ideas in hopes that he can win her and her devoted readers over.


In one of the movie’s more memorable scenes, the journalist suggests that the United States should simply remove its troops from Afghanistan. The response he gives is a surprisingly accurate foresight detailing the insurrection and lasting effects that would occur if the US withdrew from the nation. Television actor and director Kevin Sorbo pointed out the uncanny resemblance to recent international events by reposting the clip on his social media. Watch below to see why Sorbo found the scene to be so relevant in regards to current events.

[embed]https://twitter.com/ksorbs/status/1447367061949276160[/embed]

In the clip, Cruise's character explains that abandoning Afghanistan will result in Taliban rule and further repercussions. He goes on to state that the Taliban would retaliate against those loyal to the US and grow emboldened by their victory, escalating further conflict with the nation and its allies in the future. Movies like American Sniper and Lone Survivor have depicted actual events from the war but few have mentioned what the end of the conflict in Afghanistan would look like.

In August, many of the events foreshadowed in Lions for Lambs came true. The Taliban took control of Afghanistan when the US left the country, insurgents televised parades flaunting abandoned US military equipment, and several deadly attacks were carried out on civilians. Even The Simpsons, a show notorious for foretelling events, would be hard-pressed to depict the future this accurately.

Reality in the Middle East has reflected many of the statements in the video but there are a few differences to note. ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed civilians, not the Taliban. While both are Islamic extremist groups, they are actually enemies. The US has also not yet entered further conflict in the region as the clip suggested. Only time will tell if Tom Cruise's Lions for Lambs scene will continue to be fulfilled.


Source: Kevin Sorbo




October 15th 2021, 4:29 pm

Halle Berry Is An MMA Champion With Demons In Netflix’s Bruised Trailer

TechCrunch

A new trailer for the sports drama Bruised, starring Halle Berry as a former MMA fighter seeking her chance at redemption, has been released ahead of the film’s Netflix release in November. Bruised stars Berry as Jackie Justice, a disgraced former champion who enters the gritty world of underground fighting by circumstance and finds herself with a chance to reclaim her former glory in the octagon. Jackie’s story is complicated when she is reunited with the infant son she gave up years prior and is forced to face her demons as she seeks her comeback.

In a new trailer released by Netflix, Berry showcases her renowned acting talent as a tormented and strong sportswoman. The trailer also gives audiences their first look at the film’s tone and supporting characters, with Black Snake Moan’s Adriane Lenox and Dune’s Stephen McKinley Henderson among the cast. See the official trailer below:

Click to watch the video


As well as being somewhat of a dramatic comeback venture for Berry, who in recent years has taken blockbuster supporting roles in the John Wick and Kingsman franchises, the film is also her directorial debut. Berry became the first Black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar in 2002 for Monster’s Ball, and the milestone cemented her in Hollywood. Now she seeks a new challenge, on both sides of the camera, with the potential of more accolades for her story of an inspirational down-but-not-out sportswoman. Bruised debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2020 and releases officially for audiences on November 24.

 Reactions

Source: Netflix


October 15th 2021, 3:45 pm

Valve bans blockchain games and NFTs on Steam

TechCrunch

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Games that use blockchain technology or let users exchange NFTs or cryptocurrencies won’t be allowed on Steam, according to a rule added to Valve’s “What you shouldn’t publish on Steam” list. The change was pointed out by SpacePirate, a developer working on an NFT-based game, who said that the change was because the company doesn’t allow game items that could have real-world value. But Steam could also be avoiding controversy with the move.

Looking at a Wayback Machine capture of the rule page from late August, there are only 12 rules and no mention of cryptocurrencies or NFTs. The new rule is also missing from other documents — it currently doesn’t show up on the Joining the Steamworks Distribution Program page.

Continue reading…



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October 15th 2021, 3:14 pm

Google Search on mobile just got its biggest change in years

TechCrunch

 


If you've used Search on a mobile device recently, it will function quite differently starting today, at least in the US.

  • Google Search on mobile now has an infinite scroll layout.
  • Instead of getting to the bottom of a page and moving on to the next, you’ll just keep scrolling.
  • The new feature is live now in the United States and will likely come to other areas soon.

Usually, when you’re searching for something online, you don’t venture beyond the first page of results. If you can’t find what you want on page one, it’s likely your search string isn’t specific enough. Still, there are times you’ll venture on to page two (or, gasp, page three) as you hunt for the info you need.

Starting today, though, this kind of behavior on the mobile version of Google Search won’t happen. Now, when you conduct a search, your results will show as an infinitely scrolling page. You won’t need to ever go to the second page, because the results will just continue to load until there are none left.

Check out the video below to see how it looks.

Google announced this huge change to how its search results populate today. It is rolling out today within the United States for English searches. Google doesn’t mention it, but it is highly likely it will come to other English-speaking countries soon and then gradually roll out in other languages.

If for whatever reason you don’t like this change, you’re only other option on mobile would be to use another search engine. We recommend sticking with Google Search, but if you feel so inclined, there are other options.

October 15th 2021, 9:15 am

Chrome OS will soon let you set your wallpaper from Google Photos

TechCrunch

 

Image Credit:9to5google

Chrome OS will soon have a way to set your wallpaper to one of your favorite images or albums from Google Photos.

Across Pixel phones, Chromecasts, and Nest smart displays, Google has made it all too easy to set your wallpaper to your favorite shot from Google Photos or run a slideshow from an album. Meanwhile, to use something from Google Photos as a wallpaper on Chrome OS today, you need to download the image and manually set it as your background. There also isn’t an option to rotate through a local folder of images.

According to a newly posted code change, Chrome OS’s Wallpapers app is set to get a full integration with Google Photos. Once complete, Google Photos will appear among the “collections” available in the Wallpapers app, alongside options like “Dessert time,” “Cityscapes,” and “Local images.”

This CL adds the feature flag to gate Google Photos integration in the wallpaper app. It uses the flag to reserve a new tile in the existing 
that will serve as the entry point for the new integration. Note that the new tile will be in a perpetual loading for the time being.

Notably, the Google Photos option is only being made available for the upcoming redesign of the Chrome OS Wallpapers app. In that redesign, which first appeared in January, the current list-based design is switched out for a grid layout with each category appearing in a tile. To get that redesign — currently only available on non-stable versions of Chrome OS — you need to use a flag in chrome://flags.

Enable new wallpaper experience

Enables the wallpaper picker in ChromeOS Settings — Chrome OS

#wallpaper-webui


Once the the integration goes live, “Google Photos” will be available in the second slot. It’s not yet clear what options will be available for using your Google Photos, such as picking a specific album to cycle through or if automatic cycling will be offered at all. Things will become more clear as the feature is gradually developed.

For comparison, Chrome OS already has some Google Photos capabilities in its screensaver option which can cycle through an album of your choosing. It would be a surprise if the Wallpapers app wasn’t at least that capable. Considering the integration is only just beginning development, we likely won’t see the option to use Google Photos go live until at least Chrome OS version 97 or 98, set to release in January and February 2022, respectively.

Source: 9to5google

October 15th 2021, 9:15 am

DocuSign phishing campaign targets low-ranking employees

TechCrunch

 


Phishing actors are following a new trend of targeting non-executive employees but who still have access to valuable areas within an organization.

As reported by Avanan researchers, half of all phishing emails they analyzed in recent months impersonated non-executives, and 77% of them targeted employees on the same level.

Previously, phishing actors would impersonate CEOs and CFOs to trick company employees in targeted phishing attacks.

This made sense because sending instructions and making urgent requests as a high-ranking employee increases the chances of compliance by the recipient of these messages.

However, as the CEOs got more vigilant and security teams in large firms added more safeguards around those “critical” accounts, phishing actors turned to lower ranking employees that can still serve as excellent entry points into corporate networks.

"Security admins might be spending a lot of time providing extra attention to the C-Suite and hackers have adjusted. At the same time, non-executives still hold sensitive information and have access to financial data. Hackers realized, there is no need to go all the way up the food chain." - Avanan

An example of this practice is given below, where an employee who has access to internal financial systems receives an urgent request to update the impersonated sender's direct deposit file info.


Phishing passwords with DocuSign

As Avanan details in its report, a typical trick deployed in these campaigns is the involvement of DocuSign, an otherwise legit cloud-based document signing platform.

The actors offer DocuSign as an alternate signing method in the emails they send, and ask the recipients to enter their credentials to view the document and sign it.


While these emails are crafted to look like legitimate DocuSign messages, they are not being sent from the platform. On real DocuSign emails, users are never asked to enter passwords, but rather an authentication code is emailed to the recipient.

In the haste of daily work, it is likely that some employees will be tricked by this message and treat it as a real DocuSign request, entering their email credentials and handing them over to the phishing actors

When an email lands in your inbox, it is crucial to take the time and evaluate it for any signs of trickery. Unsolicited attachments, spelling errors, and the request to enter your credentials should be treated as big red flags.

Docusign-themed phishing attacks are nothing new and have been used by numerous threat actors to steal login credentials and distribute malware. In August 2019, a campaign using DocuSign landing pages took it a step further by trying to trick people into entering their full credentials for a wide selection of email providers.

Source: bleepingcomputer

October 15th 2021, 8:44 am

Pixel ‘Personal Safety’ gets automatic video recording when you trigger ‘Emergency SOS’ [U]

TechCrunch


image Credit:9to5Google

Car Crash Detection is a key part of the Pixel experience, and Google is now updating the Personal Safety app with the ability to automatically record video when you invoke an Emergency SOS. The UI has also been refreshed with Material You.

Update 10/14: Version 2021.09.16 is more widely rolling out — via the Play Store — this Emergency SOS upgrade, as well as Material You and Dynamic Color modernizations. These features are ripe for inclusion in the next Pixel Feature Drop.

Original 9/29: Besides being able to show medical information on the lockscreen and Crisis alerts, Personal Safety offers an “Emergency SOS” capability. When enabled, pressing the power button five (or more) times will play a loud alarm sound and call 911.

Version 2021.08.27.398269048 is now rolling out with more “Emergency actions” available. Calling emergency services (or an alternate number) can now be disabled, while there’s also:

The latter option will have your phone start recording for up to 45 minutes. It will continue to do so until you stop it, with users able to use their phones while video is being captured. Meanwhile, if a cellular connection is available, the clip will be automatically backed up to your Google Account and the Personal Safety app.

Image Credit: 9to5Google

There’s an “Auto share” capability to send a link of what was recorded to your preset emergency contacts, though this can be disabled by you before that happens. Meanwhile, clips can be viewed from Settings > Safety & emergency > Emergency SOS > Record emergency video > Your videos.

Google says the average video size is about 10MB per minute with quality compressed to save space, while telling you to “Record Responsibly.”

This feature is designed to record emergency situations to improve your personal safety. Please carefully consider your responsibilities before recording and sharing your videos.

The update to the Pixel’s Personal Safety app with the ability to record emergency video is not yet widely available. There are also Material You tweaks in version 2021.08.27.398269048, mainly dropping the pitch black background for Dynamic Color.

Source:9to5Google

October 15th 2021, 8:29 am

MCU Spider-Man 4 Would be Different To Homecoming Trilogy

TechCrunch

Tom Holland reveals that, should he reprise his role as Spider-Man for a fourth film after No Way Home, it would have to be very different from the Homecoming trilogy. No Way Home is set to conclude Holland's Spider-Man trilogy when it releases later this year. The film, which is one of the MCU's most hotly anticipated upcoming releases, examines the aftermath of Far From Home and the implications of Peter Parker's newfound fame now that his identity as Spider-Man has been shared with the world.

The trailer for No Way Home, which surpassed Avengers: Endgame's previous record for most views within a 24-hour period, shows that the conclusion to the trilogy isn't pulling any punches. After Doctor Strange casts a spell to help Peter regain his anonymity and bring back a sense of normality to his life, a series of threats emerge that threaten the safety of the entire world, including villains from past Spider-Man films, including Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Electro. For months it has also been rumored that former Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will also appear in the film in some capacity.


Although it seems that No Way Home will act as a conclusion for Tom Holland's standalone Spider-Man movies, the actor hasn't totally ruled out appearing in a fourth installment. In a new interview with EW, Holland explains that, should a fourth film ever move forward, it would have to be notably different from what they've done with the Homecoming trilogy. The film would have to explore new territory and be tonally different from the films they've done before, says Holland. Read Holland's full comment below:

"I think if we were lucky enough to dive into these characters again, you'd be seeing a very different version. It would no longer be the Homecoming trilogy. We would give it some time and try to build something different and tonally change the films. Whether that happens or not, I don't know. But we were definitely treating [No Way Home] like it was coming to an end, and it felt like it."

It seems like No Way Home will conclusively act as a final installment to the Homecoming era of Spider-Man, but the prospect of a fourth film isn't outside the realm of possibility. Although many standalone MCU films stop on or before the third installment, there are occasional exceptions. Thor: Love and Thunder, for example, the fourth installment in the standalone Thor films, is due out next year. Even Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy had a planned fourth installment at one point.

If Holland does indeed ever return for a fourth Spider-Man film, it would be interesting to see a new angle. Holland noting that they would "give it some time" suggests that, not only would a fourth film need to take some time to put together in the real world, but it could focus on a more grown-up version of Peter Parker. Perhaps Peter is attending university or in the midst of adulthood working at the Daily Bugle as a photographer. While the Homecoming films have been very light and comedic in tone, it would be interesting to see a more mature, or maybe even slightly darker take on Spider-Man. For now, though, it does seem like No Way Home is the last we'll be seeing of Tom Holland's Spider-Man for quite some time. Spider-Man: No Way Home is scheduled to release later this year on December 17th.


Source: EW


October 14th 2021, 4:14 pm

Iron Man's Secret Armor Doubles as a Corporate Lawyer

TechCrunch

Marvel's Iron Man is one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe - and he's also one of the shrewdest businessmen on Earth, so it's no surprise that the genius, billionaire, playboy-philanthropist would quite literally invent a lawyer for himself. As the CEO of Stark Industries, Tony is often beset by legal troubles; lawyers accompanying him everywhere he goes would not be seen as out of the ordinary. In the short story collection Iron Man: Titanium, the tale Railguns, Power Ties and Titanium Men, written by Adam Warren with art by Salva Espin and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, introduces readers to Tony Stark's very own "Lawyer Armor."

At the start of the story, Tony Stark accompanies Pepper Potts (along with bodyguards and lawyers) to a public meeting in a new skyscraper; the young Chief Technological Officer of the company Designed Intelligence, Huang Qiaolian appears ready to announce the company's IPO before dozens of potential investors. Instead, she kidnaps all the attendees and holds them hostage through the use of the Titanium Man: a robot that can also deploy smaller versions of itself. To add insult to injury, Huang Qiaolian isn't from Designed Intelligence at all, but Advanced Idea Mechanics, or A.I.M.

Related: Avengers: Endgame Is Changing Iron Man Comics In The Best Possible Way

Huang Qiaolin's plan is revealed as she ushers the hostages toward high-speed electromagnetic elevators. They're not elevators; they're mass drivers, designed to launch the cabins into orbit where they'll reenter the atmosphere and land near an A.I.M. ship. But Tony Stark has a plan; he stands in the middle of his two lawyers and  initiates a high-speed transformation sequence. The two lawyers disassemble and form around Tony, creating a new armor. "Suits-to suit conversation complete," he says - while Huang stands amazed that Stark was able to find a practical use for corporate lawyers.

Tony Stark is no stranger to hiding his suits in plain sight. The most famous of Tony's concealed armors is the "suitcase armor" popularized in Iron Man 2, but was seen much earlier in the comics. Unlike the film, the suit wasn't disguised as the briefcase; it simply hid Tony's collapsible armor within. The Extremis armor was the logical next step; Tony stored the undersheath of the armor inside his bones, and moved it outside his skin with a mental command.

Thanks to the Lawyer Armor, Tony was able to rescue Pepper Potts and the passengers inside the elevators, destroy the Titanium Man and defeat Huang Qiaolin (who was later revealed to be a Life Model Decoy). Stark's legal troubles worked to his advantage in this instance. Iron Man's reputation for palling around with an entourage allowed one more suit of armor up his sleeve.

Next: The MCU Failed Iron Man By Not Exploring His Darker Side



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Why Diana: The Musical Is So Controversial | Screen Rant

TechCrunch

Related: The Crown: Did Diana Really Perform "Uptown Girl" For Prince Charles?

Diana: The Musical is controversial largely because it attempts to turn Diana's real-life into a fun romp without really acknowledging the tragedies of her life. Diana dances in a Madonna-style wedding dress, hoping to make Charles "a rocker." James Hewitt arrives riding a saddle and making double-entendres. This version of Diana is a resilient woman who wants to make her marriage work and tries to use the press to her advantage in doing so, with no proper recognition of the fact the real person is known to have suffered from depression, paranoia, and anxiety.

There are 21 songs in Diana: The Musical, and none of them really highlight the struggles that were a key part of her life. They attempt to touch on her postpartum depression and barely mention her eating disorder. It is well-documented that she was stalked by the press, and the film initially sets that up to be part of the plot, only to abandon it at the end. Many people still remember watching her funeral live on television, as well as the hardships she endured. With this all in a relatively recent timeframe, the decision to not recognize the struggles that are an integral part of Diana's life to many leaves the musical to be in bad taste, as it risks reducing crucial elements of her personal life down in order to add in more jokes.

This said, one of the reasons the film has been accepted by some is because she is such an iconic figure. This film plays with the image of Diana as the fun-loving celebrity some remember. Many want to think of the song "The Dress" in Diana: The Musical as truth. Diana was a fashion icon. She was known to be cheeky, once remarking to Tim Curry that The Rocky Horror Picture Show "quite completed [her] education." She loved pop music, and this is a film that pays tribute to that love. To this group, this film is a love letter to how Diana wanted to be seen, and thus doesn't need to fully reconcile with the darker parts of her struggles.

The problem with Diana: The Musical is that the legacy of Diana is a complex one, especially given the deep emotions many still have for her. There are those who think this fun film makes light of all the adversity Diana faced in her life. There are others who think Diana herself would have enjoyed this. Neither group seems completely happy.

Next: Diana: The Musical Broadway Cast & Real Life Character Guide



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Judy Greer Spoils Major Halloween Kills Character Death In Interview

TechCrunch

Warning: SPOILERS for Halloween Kills below

Actress Judy Greer has revealed which death scene from Halloween Kills she found to be the most vicious, accidentally spoiling one character's fate in the process. The killer Michael Myers has been on a gruesome rampage since 1978 when he first appeared in John Carpenter’s classic slasher Halloween. David Gordon Green helmed a direct sequel to the original film in 2018. Simply titled Halloween, an older but still traumatized Laurie Strode prepares to confront her would-be killer 40 years later. Michael’s reign of terror continues on October 15 when Halloween Kills hits theaters and streams on Peacock.

Halloween Kills will see the return of much of the cast from the first installment, including Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie, Judy Greer as her daughter Karen, and Andi Matichak as Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson. The film is set to pick up moments after the 2018 film left off, with the women rushing to the hospital to seek medical treatment for Laurie. In part one, Karen dismissed her mother’s seemingly put-on paranoia. Now that Karen has experienced Michael’s wrath firsthand, the pair’s estranged dynamic is certain to change in Halloween Kills. Unfortunately for Karen, she’s doomed to witness even more of Michael’s bloodlust as he tears through Haddonfield.

Related: Halloween Kills Will Tie A Special Friday The 13th Record

In an interview with Collider, Greer filled fans in on Michael’s grisliest murders in Halloween Kills, highlighting one in particular that made the actress shudder. One of the franchise’s more unlikeable characters, Cameron Elam, doesn’t appear to make it through Halloween night in the upcoming movie. Though Greer doesn’t get into specifics, the actress confirms that the death of Cameron, played by Dylan Arnold, is decidedly “gruesome.” She also points to Michael’s stamina, claiming that the scene feels longer than a few short minutes. Read Greer’s full response below.

“Dylan Arnold and I became friends and we live in the same neighborhood, and I saw this film and I saw his kill and I texted him immediately and said, ‘Your mother cannot watch this movie. I’m so sorry, and tell her I said hi, but there’s no way your mom can see this.’ He was like, ‘Noted.’ He hadn’t seen the movie yet and then when he did see it he was like, ‘Oh yeah, no, my mom can’t watch this movie.’ It was so gruesome. I mean, Michael killed [Arnold’s] character for like—it just went on and on and on.”

Dylan Arnold first appeared in Halloween in 2018, where he plays Allyson’s sleazy, cheating boyfriend. Although Greer spoils the fate of his character, it likely won’t feel like much of a loss for the Halloween fanbase. A Halloween Kills behind-the-scenes featurette teased the character’s death, but some fans assumed his inclusion in the video was a red herring. Now Greer confirms that Cameron indeed crosses paths with Michael in the upcoming film, and it doesn’t end well for Allyson’s ex-boyfriend.

Halloween Kills will introduce legacy character Lonnie Elam, also known as Cameron’s father. Lonnie first appeared in the original 1978 film as Tommy’s bully who liked to spook neighborhood kids about the boogeyman. While fans now know what’s in store for Cameron, viewers will have to wait to find out if his father will also have a run-in with Michael, or if the returning character will atone for his sins as a childhood bully. Audiences can see what’s in store for the Elam family in Halloween Kills this weekend.

More: Halloween Kills Recap: Every Movie To Watch

Source: Collider



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Marvel Is About To Make The Avengers Unnecessary | Screen Rant

TechCrunch

The arrival of the Eternals could make the Avengers unnecessary in the MCU. In less than a month, Marvel Studios is debuting a brand new superhero team through Academy Award-winner Chloé Zhao's much-anticipated blockbuster, Eternals. Created by the Celestials, they were sent to Earth to protect humans from Deviants. The Eternals, some of Marvel's most powerful characters, have been in existence for thousands of years, but this is the first time that they will make their presence known.

MCU's main Eternals team is composed of 10 heroes, and Marvel Studios assembled a star-studded cast to play them. Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff ), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry ), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Sersi (Gemma Chan), and Druig (Barry Keoghan) initially operated as a unit. But after a couple of centuries, they decided to part ways, and they haven't reunited since then. Smart Hulk's (Mark Ruffalo) reverse snap in Avengers: Endgame inadvertently kicked off the mysterious Emergence, forcing the team to band back together. It's currently unclear what this new MCU tragedy entails, but it sounds quite serious, to the point that the Eternals are called back for duty.

Related: Eternals: Every Change To Marvel's New Superheroes We Already Know

Eternals has a lot to introduce, with a runtime that is longer than Infinity Warand given the looming introduction, once the titular heroes make themselves known after a long time in the shadows, there will be no turning back; they will become public personalities. This is good news for the MCU as it means that they can fully explore the characters moving forward, but not so much for the Avengers. The franchise's premiere superhero team is dubbed Earth's Mightiest Heroes, although admittedly the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame effectively made them galactic heroes. In any case, the Avengers' primary task is to keep Earth safe from threats. When the Eternals finally emerge from hiding, they can openly operate as the protector of humans, essentially taking over as Earth's go-to superhero team. This makes the Avengers unnecessary since the Eternals, with their various powers, could be more effective in the same job primarily because the cosmic beings are more powerful.

There's an argument that if the Eternals had revealed themselves from the beginning, the Avengers may have not even assembled at all. Instead of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) putting all his hope on the possibility that his individual recruits would work well together, he could've reached out to the Eternals when Loki's (Tom Hiddleston) invasion became clear. Relying on them is debatably a far less risky move because keeping humanity safe has been their mandate ever since. They're aware of their mission, and they are committed to accomplishing it regardless of the circumstances. On top of that, the Eternals have also been a team for thousands of years, so their camaraderie has been tried and tested which increases the chances of them defeating Loki, who is arguably the MCU's most important hero in phase 4, or any other adversary. From there, Fury could've simply sat back and let the Eternals function as Earth's defenders.

Inevitably, the Avengers and Eternals will cross paths in the MCU. When that happens, it's curious what kind of dynamic the teams would have with each other. While the cosmic beings know Earth's Mightiest Heroes, as revealed in the trailers for Zhao's movie, the Avengers are clueless about the other's existence. For what it's worth, it's currently uncertain who is the active Avengers on the heels of the Infinity Saga as each potential member is currently busy with their own adventures. So, in the meantime, it wouldn't help for the Eternals to take over Earth-defending duties while they sort their roster out.

More: Every MCU Character Confirmed For Phase 4



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Why Chucky Chose To Target Hackensack, New Jersey | Screen Rant

TechCrunch

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Chucky season 1, episode 1.

Chucky episode 1 saw the iconic villain unleash his unique brand of horror upon Hackensack, New Jersey — here's why he chose that town and how it ties to his origin. Since Don Mancini created him in 1988, the Brad Dourif voiced Chucky has rampaged through a variety of locations. In his human form, the serial killer was dubbed the Lakeshore Strangler and terrorized Chicago for years. After Charles Lee Ray transferred himself into a doll in Child's Play, he retained the same stomping grounds for a few more outings before moving on. Chucky subsequently targetted a distant Military Academy in Child's Play 3, went on a road trip in Bride of Chucky, and then resurrected in Los Angeles for Seed of Chucky.

After an extended hiatus, the titular doll returned for 2013's Curse of Chucky. Going on a more centralized murder spree, he picked off the extended Pierce family solely within the confines of their home. Cult of Chucky followed a similar formula, with the killer doll terrorizing the patients and staff of Harrogate Psychiatric Hospital. With the ending of Cult of Chucky, Mancini directly set up Chucky. In the process, he promised a much wider playground for every one of Chucky's movie forms to inhabit and unleash havoc.

Related: Every Child's Play Movie Character Returning For Chucky's TV Show

With Chucky season 1, episode 1, "Death By Misadventure," the show has already begun to live up to that promise. The Child's Play franchise has been characterized by frequent reinventions and tonal shifts, so the choice to move to Hackensack, New Jersey allowed Chucky to continue that trend and embody classic genre tropes. The idea of a seemingly idyllic suburban town turned upside down by blood-soaked carnage is a staple of other horror franchises as Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street. By adopting it, Chucky checked off another box in demonstrating its franchise versatility and also set up the kinds of homages and knowing references Child's Play has become known for — all as the red-headed fiend picks off Chucky 2021's new and returning cast of characters one by one.

As teased in the closing moments of Chucky season 1, episode 1, "Death by Misadventure," Hackensack is also Charles Lee Ray's hometown. That fact was actually revealed during the aforementioned road trip in Bride of Chucky. Long before Chucky decided he loved ruining lives as an unassuming doll, he sought to return to a human body. In service of that quest, he aimed to retrieve an amulet that was buried with his human corpse. As the journey began, Chucky revealed his grave was in Hackensack, New Jersey. That's also where Chucky's own genderfluid (and somewhat murderous) child was born and a ripe place to expand his "cult" even further — currently through Jake (Zackary Arthur). As such, Chucky choosing that town as his target was not random. Instead, it was a homecoming that will give the latest chapter of the Child's Play movie/Chucky saga something of a full circle edge.

Only one episode into the Chucky TV show, it is next to impossible to determine his wider plan for Hackensack, New Jersey. As teased by Jennifer Tilly's Tiffany in the trailer, however, there definitely is one. Equally, it's unclear whether Chucky is being designed as an overall conclusion or if Mancini already has future outings in mind. There's always a chance Chucky will serve as both - wrapping things up but allowing him the potential to come back (as he always does). Using Hackensack as the setting would lend the show an element of a conclusion, with things ending where they effectively began and perhaps amid the descendants of some original victims. As much as Hackensack is the perfect place to finally tell Charles Lee Ray AKA Chucky's full childhood backstory, it's also the perfect locale for a final showdown that Chucky has built towards for over 30 years.

More: Chucky TV Show Accidentally Repeats 2019 Child's Play Remake



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

GTA Online Players Get Free GTA 3 Shirt For Anniversary This Week

TechCrunch

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto 3, Rockstar is offering all players a free t-shirt in Grand Theft Auto Online this week. GTA Online has become incredibly successful since it first launched, giving players the chance to explore the large open-world with friends and other users or compete in a series of multiplayer game modes. Extensive creation tools even allow fans to create their own content, such as iconic real-world racetracks in GTA Online races, and the online game has an active community of creators adding to the vast library of available content.

News of the free t-shirt comes just after Rockstar officially revealed that Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy is in development. The studio announced the remasters of Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas last week, announcing that the collection was "coming soon" to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. However, Rockstar did not reveal what graphical and performance upgrades would be included in the remaster or when exactly Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy will release.

Related: GTA Trilogy Remaster Rumored For November

Players will be able to get access to a free Grand Theft Auto 3 t-shirt in GTA Online to celebrate the game's 20th anniversary. Rockstar revealed the news in a press release, confirming that users simply need to log in to the online title to get access to the gift. The free Typeface Tee is just the first in a series of special commemorative cosmetic items that will be added to GTA Online over the coming weeks. In addition to the new clothing and liveries, GTA Online is also offering extra rewards in a series of game modes. These include Sumo, which offers triple rewards, along with Special Vehicle Work, Gerald's Last Play, and Gerald Contact Missions. Those last three modes will offer double bonuses to players up until October 20.

While Rockstar is releasing a remaster of the three classic games, the developer also confirmed that it would be removing the original GTA releases for sale on digital stores. That means that fans will not be able to purchase new copies of the original games and instead will be forced to buy Rockstar's remastered trilogy.

Considering that it is such a big anniversary for Grand Theft Auto 3, it makes sense that the company would want to celebrate the milestone in some form. The free t-shirt is likely just the first in a series of promotions for the classic title following the announcement of the remastered trilogy.

Next: GTA 6 Reveal Trailer & Look At the New Map Rumored to Drop in November

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy: The Definitive Edition will be available for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2021, and it will launch on iOS and Android in 2022.

Source: Rockstar



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Minecraft Mob Vote Compared To Pokémon Starter Choices

TechCrunch

Mojang recently revealed the three new Minecraft mobs available for Minecraft Live 2021’s mob vote, and one Reddit user compared the options to Pokémon starter choices. Like last year, Mojang is allowing the Minecraft community to decide which mob will be added next to the 3D voxel sandbox. During Minecraft Live 2021 on October 16, fans will choose between the Copper Golem, Allay, or Glare, three new mobs with their own unique abilities. Mojang did the same thing last year, allowing the community to pick Minecraft’s new mob during Minecraft Live 2020. The choice then was between the Glow Squid, Iceologer, and Moobloom. The Glow Squid ultimately came out on top and arrived alongside the Caves & Cliffs Part 1 Update earlier this year.

For this year’s Minecraft mob vote, Mojang first introduced the Glare, a passive mob that shows players dark spots where other mobs can spawn. This utility will be especially useful when the Caves & Cliffs Part 2 update drops later this year, because the update adjusts light level requirements for dangerous mobs to spawn. The second new mob was the Allay, a flying creature that delivers gifts to players in exchange for music. Upon receiving a collectible, craftable item, or block, the Allay looks for more of said item and gives them to players if a music note is nearby. The Copper Golem is a completely buildable mob and would bring with it a brand new copper button.

Related: Starter Pokémon Evolve Way Too Quickly In The Games

Following the announcement of the vote, Minecraft’s new mobs were compared to Pokémon starter choices. Reddit user shyamadash posted a picture of the Copper Golem, Allay, and Glare that reflected more of a Pokémon art style. Underneath each mob was a description that compared them to the starter choices available at the beginning of Pokémon video games. The Copper Golem was listed as a fire/steel type, the Allay was listed as a water/flying type, and the Glare was listed as a grass/ghost type Pokémon. Just below the three mobs were Poké Balls. This piece of artwork prompted other Reddit users to note the resemblance between the three mob choices and starter Pokémon.

Starter Pokémon are the Pokémon a trainer picks at the beginning of their adventure. In most mainline games in the franchise (though not all of them), trainers get to choose between three starter Pokémon. Usually, the three starter Pokémon to choose from fall into either grass, fire, or water types. Sometimes, like with Bulbasaur, the starter Pokémon will have a secondary type. Shyamadash pointed out that the Copper Golem, Allay, and Glare seemed to fit the three starter types. Another fan, however, suggested that the Allay fall under the water/fairy type instead of water/flying, due to its pixie-like appearance.

It’s certainly possible that Mojang took a bit of inspiration from Pokémon to design the three mob choices for this year’s Minecraft Live event. As for which mob will join the ranks in a future update, fans will have to cast their vote on October 16 when Minecraft Live 2021 begins.

Next: Minecraft Caves & Cliffs Part 2 News & Updates: Everything We Know

Minecraft is available to play on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Android, and iOS devices.

Source: Shyamadash/Reddit



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

90 Day Fiancé: Tania Confirms She's Also On The Single Life With Syngin

TechCrunch

Tania Maduro will be joining 90 Day: The Single Life season 2 as a cast member with 90 Day Fiancé husband Syngin Colchester after their split. South African man Syngin first ignited rumors of a messy married life with his cryptic Instagram posts. Soon enough, Syngin was spotted with a new woman from Arizona whom fans thought was his girlfriend. While the 90 Day Fiancé season 7 couple kept TLC viewers confused about their relationship status, Syngin was announced as a cast member for The Single Life. And as it turns out, the discovery+ show will also have Tania joining the likes of Big Ed Brown, Jesse Meester and Natalie Mordovtseva.

Interestingly, Tania was never meant to meet Syngin in South Africa as she had traveled there for a date with a different man. But Tania ended up rejecting her man and walked into a bar, where Syngin worked as a bartender and thus began their 90 Day Fiancé relationship. The road to the altar wasn’t an easy one for Syngin with Tania away in Puerto Rico for a month out of his K-1 visa’s 90 days. And later came a time when Tania confessed that her husband wasn’t her soulmate as Syngin felt that he did not belong in the United States. Still, no one expected that Tania and Syngin’s next spin-off after 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? season 5 would be 90 Day: The Single Life.

Related: 90 Day Fiancé: Syngin Shows Interest In Natalie After Single Life Reveal

Recently, Tania shared an Instagram post saying, “I am single, [Syngin] is single - we're all single!!” But neither Tania nor Syngin shared the reason behind their breakup. A curious TLC fan reached out to Tania while she was attempting to make zucchini noodles on Instagram and asked her why she and Syngin had split. Blogger @90daythemelanatedway posted a recording of Tania’s Instagram Live, where she revealed that she is also a cast member of the 90 Day Fiancé spin-off. “Well, November 12 on Discovery+, you will get the inside scoop on that,” said Tania.

Even though they haven’t mentioned me at all being on it, but I’m on it,” the Connecticut resident confirmed. According to Tania, fans will get to see the reasons behind her separation from Syngin. “I don’t know when it will be on TLC, but it will be on TLC, so make sure you watch out for it,” Tania told her followers. Meanwhile, Syngin’s official bio for 90 Day: The Single Life on Us Weekly notes that after two years of a rocky marriage, he and Tania have agreed to divorce. For this to happen, Syngin will first have to move out of the shed. And that’s when Syngin decides to go across the country and start again.

If one watches closely, Tania is featured in the trailer for 90 Day: The Single Life with Syngin. The video started off with Syngin confessing that she’s open to meeting a gothic girl or a nun, “if nuns even date.” It later showed an angry Syngin asking Tania to stop blaming him for things. “Like I’m not here to make you happy anymore,” he told Tania, who then stormed off as Syngin muttered the classic 90 Day Fiancé line, “I’m done.” Even though Tania and Syngin seem to have stayed friends after their split, the fights that occurred on HEA season 6 had seemingly not ended when they came back to Connecticut. Yet, Syngin is perhaps the only cast member on the show that fans are not calling a villain, so his and Tania’s journey might be the one that keeps them entertained.

90 Day: The Single Life premieres November 12 on Discovery+.

Next: 90 Day Fiancé: Tania Shares Her History With Domestic Violence & Abuse

Sources: Tania Maduro/Instagram, @90daythemelanatedway/Instagram, Us Weekly



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Malek Akkad Interview: Halloween Kills | Screen Rant

TechCrunch

With just a few weeks remaining in October, horror fans can rejoice as Halloween Kills finally hits theaters and Peacock on October 15 following a year of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The horror sequel will pick up directly from the events of the 2018 Halloween rebootquel as Laurie Strode recovers her battle with Michael Myers, thinking herself victorious only to discover he has escaped her fiery trap and is on the loose in Haddonfield continuing his murderous streak.

Related: Halloween Kills Recap: Every Movie To Watch

Ahead of the film's arrival, Screen Rant spoke with producer Malek Akkad in a press roundtable to discuss Halloween Kills including the film's day-and-date streaming release, the future of the franchise, and David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's vision for the trilogy.

This is going to be a very different experience compared to other Halloween films given that it's also going to be released on day-and-date streaming. I'm curious to know your opinion in terms of that decision and whether you think it could have a different, or even perhaps a more special, effect playing at home given that people get to see it together on Halloween?

Malek Akkad: Yeah, I mean, it's definitely unique, as you say, and we've never done it. But I am still very certain, 100%, that to me seeing it in a theater, especially a horror film, there's nothing like that collective experience of tension and terror.

The moviegoing experience is the best, in my opinion, but I also hope that maybe people see it in the theaters and they may want to see it again and again. It's a new world we're living in and we're going to see how it goes. But I just hope people don't pass up on the opportunity to see it in the Majestic Theatre, as it always has been before.

Do you think it is truly the end for the Halloween franchise following Halloween Ends?

Malek Akkad: Tough question. We have done a lot of things in this franchise, we cut [Michael Myers'] head off at the end of H20, so I can't really predict the future. But I can tell you that when those titles were suggested to me, I'd just come to really love them and I think that sets up a wonderful coda ending climax to David Gordon Green's trilogy and that will be in this version. This version, it'll be David's Halloween Ends. 

The trajectory of these films so far have been really interesting and I'm curious coming into this and because of the success of the first one, did you guys step back and let David and his team really take creative control in terms of where they wanted to take Michael, where they wanted to take some of the thematic elements of these films of trauma and violence and the reactions of Haddonfield?

Malek Akkad: There's a lot of truth to it. Even though in the past we've touched on maybe a little bit the traumatic effects in Haddonfield, nowhere near what he's done. Then to address the more creative aspect of your question, when David and Danny McBride met me and pitched me their version of Halloween 2018, a lot of it is believing in these fine filmmakers, believing in the other production companies, the studio's read what we have put together, and really feeling like we caught lightning in a bottle and that was magic.

This one, we hope to break the bottle open with more lightning, but yes we did, at least from my point of view. David definitely earned a lot of room I guess, but he doesn't need it because he's so talented. He's collaborative, he knows when to hold the line, it's really been fantastic working with him. But I guess the simplified answer is yeah, we definitely were more comfortable going where he wanted to go with it. Although, I think we've gone some interesting places in our franchise - but nowhere as good as this one is. So it's exciting.

We know that Michael Myers is the essence of pure evil. I was wondering what is it, in your opinion, that Laura Strode has that can overcome that?

Malek Akkad: The deeper philosophical question is maybe a John Carpenter question because he set these characters up and they have become archetypes. She is, for lack of a better word, the ultimate final girl, which did become a bit of a trope and a cliché but Laurie Strode set the archetype and Michael Myers set that archetype. There's nothing that we found more satisfying and cathartic to have that final girl, make it to the final and no one can do it better than Jamie Lee Curtis.

What was your initial reaction when David came to you with this and said, "Hey, I want to go all the way back to the original film and forget all this other stuff and I want to take this on a completely different path"?

Malek Akkad: I'll be very honest. The very first initial reaction was - besides how cool is it David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are talking about a Halloween movie, I had to get over that. But it wasn't something that we necessarily hadn't tried to some extent before with H20. Because H20, if you remember, was a similar jump. I wouldn't necessarily compare the two and they're 20 years apart, but Jamie is amazing in that one too, which Steve Miner directed.

So it wasn't so far out of the parameters to be freaked out by it, but it did take me a minute. What convinced me ultimately, because it was just a pitch at that point, was really trusting in David Gordon Green and Danny McBride. Could it be done? Potentially. Could it be looked at as H40? These were questions I had if I'm being honest, but leaning into those fantastic filmmakers and taking a leap of faith, but they are so great that it's not really a leap of faith.

As a producer, I see you as a mediator between the movie and the audience, so what role does horror have in modern audiences' media consumption, given that every day of the last year and a half has sort of sparked anxiety?

Malek Akkad: We wrapped production of this before Thanksgiving 2019, so we had no idea what was coming our way. We were as mortified as anybody and threw a wrench in a lot of plans, but we had shot the film and, to your point of the sort of in-between moderator - I thought you were going to more the moderator between the creatives and the studio, or the executives.

The producer's kind of more in that realm, I would have to hand that question to David Gordon Green, who is really the moderator between what's on-screen and the audience more directly. But it just so happened that his vision of where he wanted to take it is still very relevant, was relevant then regardless of what we've been through.

It is very relevant today, in light of what we're dealing with and it's tough for everybody, but in a way, it's just a fun cathartic release, I hope. I hope that people take it for really the collective enjoyment that it is, and if it's anything like the last one, I think it will because we all feel very confident excited about this film.

Screen Rant: One of the things about all these legacy characters coming back that's so cool is that while we get almost everybody reprising their roles, unfortunately with Tommy, we have Anthony Michael Hall, who does a phenomenal job in the film, but I remember when word first came out about his casting, Paul Rudd was busy at the time of filming that he couldn't quite make it. Given that his debut in the franchise was your first producorial role in this franchise, what was it like for you hearing that the character would be coming back but then unfortunately not being able to get Paul back?

Malek Akkad: I was so excited to have Paul reprise that role, and would have been wonderful in a way. Like you said, that was my first producorial role and even in the casting of Paul, I remember it just like it was yesterday. He hadn't done a film, I'm pretty sure it was his first film at that point, so we're both kind of starting and what a spark he had, then you know the difficulties we had on six - don't get me started - but it would have warmed my heart and definitely there's some disappointment there.

But I ultimately think that Anthony Michael Hall fulfills this role in a way that's maybe less jarring for the narrative and maybe won't take people out of it. Because Paul Rudd is so big for a lot of things like comedy and whatever, he's a fantastic actor, I think it turned out this way for a reason and we're so excited. Anthony Michael Hall does a knockout performance, it's definitely gonna be one of the fans favorites.

Your father once said he wanted to stop making movies at Halloween 22 and that story comes from a time where he was on set with Donald Pleasance and Donald Pleasance jokingly said he would stop at number 22. My question is is that in the back of your mind, do you think you might honor both their wishes and stop that number? And second, do you have a desire to circle back and revisit some of those abandoned storylines and maybe make sequels to the unproduced scripts from that time period?

Malek Akkad: Thank you for bringing that up, I think I quoted that story a handful of times today, so it is always in the back of my mind. It was at a time where, God bless him, Donald Pleasance is doing the sixth installment of this thing with my father and they're talking about something that they couldn't ever imagine a decade later they'd be doing.

Well here we are so many decades later and we're still doing it so it's a testament to John Carpenter's creative vision and Jamie and Deborah Hill and everybody, but the fact that we are still doing it is fantastic and also kind of shocking to me. I never thought I would be doing it so long, but it's been wonderful. To your question, it's got a life of its own, and wouldn't you know, David Gordon Green just upped the ante and now it's bigger than ever, so who knows if there's ever putting the toothpaste back in this tube.

But there's a lot of creative ways it can go and the fan know those storylines perhaps even better than me, even though I've heard them all. At some point, I'm going to try and write them all down because some of the craziest ones are the funniest, but there are a lot of places to pick up, lead off on and explore, so we're focused on this one now, focused on wrapping the next one up with the same zest and quality David brought to the last few. That's really what we're thinking about now and I think the fans are gonna love this one and we're all super excited to get it out finally.

More: Paul Rudd's Tommy Could Have Become The New Loomis Of The Halloween Series



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Hidden Water Vapor Was Just Discovered On Europa's Icy Surface

TechCrunch

After studying years of old Hubble space observations, a scientist just discovered all-new signs of water vapor lingering on Europa. When it comes to our Solar System, there are certain destinations that tend to take up the spotlight. Mars is the focal point for many people right now, there's a reemerging interest in the Moon, and everything else tends to take a backseat in mainstream conversations. One location that's quickly rising in interest, however, is Europa.

Europa is one of four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter. It's the sixth-largest known moon in the Solar System, has a surface covered in ice, and is widely believed to have vast liquid oceans beneath its harsh exterior. Many people in the space and science communities believe that alien life is living in that ocean deep beneath Europa's surface. Europa may not receive the same attention as its Mars and Moon cousins, but it has countless secrets just waiting to be uncovered.

Related: We're One Step Closer To Uncovering Secrets Of Ancient 'Centaur' Comets

This latest discovery comes from the hard work of Lorenz Roth — a member of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Space and Plasma Physics in Sweden. After analyzing observations Hubble made of Europa between 1999 and 2015, it was revealed that there's a constant stream of water vapor in one particular hemisphere of the moon. Hubble previously found water vapor on Europa in 2013 when it captured plumes coming up through the ice (similar to geysers on Earth). However, this latest finding suggests water vapor is much more prevalent than anyone realized.

The observations that led to this discovery included numerous images and spectra Hubble captured over that 16-year period. Specifically, Roth looked at ultraviolet readings Hubble took of Europa in 1999, 2012, 2014, and 2015 — choosing these years to look at Europa while it was in different orbital positions. This is the same technique NASA used to find water vapor on the Jupiter moon Ganymede back in July. According to Roth, "The observation of water vapor on Ganymede, and on the trailing side of Europa, advances our understanding of the atmospheres of icy moons. However, the detection of a stable water abundance on Europa is a bit more surprising than on Ganymede because Europa's surface temperatures are lower than Ganymede's." Even though Europa is about 60°F cooler than Ganymede, these findings confirm that water vapor is forming on Europa in the exact same way.

As mentioned above, the water vapor was discovered in just one hemisphere of Europa — specifically, its 'trailing hemisphere.' As NASA explains, this is the part of Europa that "is always opposite its direction of motion along its orbit." Europa's second 'leading' hemisphere is the one that moves in the direction of its orbit. NASA doesn't fully understand the reason for this split in motion. For whatever reason, the trailing hemisphere is home to an abundant amount of vapor that the leading one lacks.

Even with the oddities surrounding this discovery, this is still a huge win all around. Scientists and astronomers now have a clearer understanding of Europa's atmosphere and the water vapor that's present there. This information will also prove extremely valuable for future Europa missions. The European Space Agency plans to explore Europa as part of its Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission, as does NASA with the Europa Clipper mission in 2024. There's a lot that remains unknown about Europa, but so long as we keep moving in this direction, many of its biggest questions will soon be revealed.

Next: Radio Signals Just Revealed Hidden Planets For The First Time

Source: NASA



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October 14th 2021, 3:45 pm

Signal’s founder is trolling with an NFT that’ll turn to shit if you buy it

TechCrunch

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Secure messaging app Signal’s founder Moxie Marlinspike is doing a bit of trolling by releasing an NFT that shows up differently depending on what platform you’re looking at it on — and that will, allegedly, display as a poop emoji in your wallet if you actually buy it.

He seems to be doing this to point out the potential fragility of NFTs, which are supposed to act as a sort of permanent record of owning a piece of art or media. They’re unique digital tokens that are stored on the blockchain, but in most cases, it’s actually just the record that lives on the chain — the image is stored elsewhere. That means that people shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars for them could be at the mercy of image hosts who are operating...

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October 14th 2021, 3:14 pm

You can now sign up to buy Spotify’s Car Thing, but you probably shouldn’t

TechCrunch

Photo by Ashley Carman / The Verge

Spotify is making it easier to get ahold of its first hardware device, the Car Thing, by opening up a waitlist to purchase the device that anyone can join starting today. The catch is that now the streaming service’s previously invite-only product is $79.99 when it used to be free with paid shipping and handling.

While Spotify will let anyone with an account sign up for its waitlist, whether free or premium, you do still need a premium account to actually use the device. Also, at its new $79.99 price, it’s worth re-examining what the Car Thing can do.

Image: Spotify
The Car Thing comes with a selection of mounts for your car.

The Car Thing is not a standalone Spotify device. It connects to your phone over...

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October 14th 2021, 3:14 pm

Google is making it easier to doomscroll through search results

TechCrunch

Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is making it easier to doomscroll through search results by automatically loading newer results as you get to the end of the page. Previously, when you got to the end of a page of Google search results, there was a big “See more” button at the bottom you could tap to, well, see more results. With continuously loaded results, you’ll be able to just keep on scrolling to see more.

Continuous scrolling does have some advantages; it’s a lot easier to see more results quickly if you...

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October 14th 2021, 3:14 pm

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 review: overpriced and underpowered

TechCrunch

A polished PC with inconsistent performance

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October 14th 2021, 3:14 pm

AMD CPU owners won’t be pleased with Windows 11’s latest update

TechCrunch


 AMD chips are having issues on Windows 11 and the latest OS update has made the problems even worse.

AMD and Microsoft previously revealed that Windows 11 was causing a reduced performance for AMD Ryzen CPUs for certain applications, with extreme cases seeing as much as a 15% performance hit.

Microsoft revealed a software update is in development to address these issues, but it looks like the very first Windows 11 update since launch has made the problem even worse.

TechPowerUp has reported that the latency is higher now. The Ryzen 7 2700X chip reportedly saw an increase from 10ns to 17ns when Windows 11 first launched. However, the latest Windows 11 patch (which launched on 12 October) made this problem even worse, seeing the latency reportedly skyrocket up to 31.9ns.

Latency is measured in milliseconds and measures how long it takes data to travel between the source and the destination, so a lower latency means a faster transfer. Seeing the latency increase so much could potentially cause noticeable performance slowdowns if your system uses a Ryzen processor.

Some rumours on Reddit are suggesting that the L3 cache issue will be addressed on 19 October. However, the core patch will need to be addressed by an AMD driver, which could come at the end of the month.

It seems that issues have been found specifically on Ryzen processors, with the recommendation now being that anyone with an AMD Ryzen processor should try and hold off on the Windows 11 update until all the bugs have been ironed out. Intel processors so far seem unaffected, but we’ll keep an eye on these developments just in case anything changes.

If you don’t use an AMD processor and want to test out Windows 11, you can check out how to download the latest OS. Just be aware that patches and fixes are still coming in, since Windows 11 is still in its infancy.

October 14th 2021, 9:37 am

The Apple Watch Series 7 officially ditches the hidden diagnostic port

TechCrunch

 


The Apple Watch’s diagnostic port has been a mysterious part of the wearable lineup since its first model, but the new Series 7 officially ditches the six-pin port entirely.

First noted by MacRumors, the lack of a port can be seen when you remove the bottom strap from an Apple Watch Series 7 — the company has removed the hidden plate and the port behind it. Intended for internal use for diagnostics, the port wasn’t officially acknowledged on Apple’s website or documentation. But the diagnostic port briefly hinted at the possibility of expanding the Apple Watch with hardware accessories.

The most famous of these was the Reserve Strap, which attempted to use the port for extending the battery life of the Apple Watch by incorporating extra batteries into a specially made band that would slot directly into the diagnostic port. The port actually offered faster charging than Apple’s own magnetic cable, too.

Unfortunately, Apple quickly blocked that capability and Reserve Strap (along with virtually every other attempt at harnessing the port for useful purposes). For the subsequent life span of the Apple Watch, it remained useful for its intended purpose: diagnostics for internal Apple use and repairs.

Of course, Apple still needs a way to do diagnostics on the Apple Watch, and appears to be replacing the mysterious port with an even more mysterious 60.5GHz wireless module that pairs with a magnetic dock capable of local data transfer for internal use. That’s led to some speculation that Apple is using the Series 7 as a test bed for a future portless iPhone that could use similar technology to replace cables for connecting to a computer. But if years of the useless diagnostic port have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes there’s no greater meaning or utility to be found in proprietary diagnostic tools.

October 14th 2021, 7:45 am

Adult Swim Festival 2021 Has Rick & Morty Panel, Live Streams & More

TechCrunch

Adult Swim Festival 2021 has announced its lineup, including a Rick and Morty panel and several musical performances. This is the latest in a run of exciting live stream festivals featuring huge announcements from popular properties. Just a few weeks ago, Netflix had its TUDUM event, which included the trailer drop for Stranger Things season 4 and the announcement that Chris Hemsworth would be returning for Extraction 2. On October 16, DC FanDome 2021 is poised to feature similar blockbuster announcements for its popular superhero projects.

This year's Adult Swim Festival will be the fourth annual iteration of the event, which includes live music performances in addition to panels and screenings. Last year, when the festival switched to a virtual format, the lineup included The Eric Andre Show, Toonami, and Run the Jewels. Back in 2019, the in-person event included a performance from Lil Nas X hot off the success of "Old Town Road," as well as a screening of a full episode from the then-upcoming Rick and Morty season 4.


This year's Adult Swim Festival will be live-streamed on the Adult Swim YouTube channel on Friday, November 12 and Saturday, November 13 with additional exclusives on HBO Max. This year, the musical lineup is huge, including Lil Baby, Karol G, 21 Savage, Flying Lotus, Alessia Cara, and Angel Olsen along with 19 additional artists. There will also be star-studded watch parties of 12 shows including Rick and Morty, Tuca & Bertie, Robot Chicken, and The Eric Andre Show. Check out the lineup poster below:

The Festival features some big-ticket panels this year. The Rick and Morty panel will find the series' cast competing to see "who is the Rickiest Rick in the multiverse," Squidbillies will be celebrating its final season with cast and crew, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force will look back at the storied history of the series which first aired in 2000. Also, the upcoming series Smiling Friends, about a company designed to bring happiness facing its greatest challenge, will be discussed by creators Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel. Last but not least, the animated series Blade Runner: Black Lotus will be featured in a panel exploring the long history of the property, which stretches all the way back to the 1982 Ridley Scott film and the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel it's based on.

Adult Swim Festival 2021 is more oriented toward having fun with existing and past properties. However, there are still certain to be big announcements coming during the panels, especially for Rick and Morty, which continues to be one of the network's most popular shows. Fans should also look forward to the full announcements of what stars will be attending the panels and watch parties because the options are truly endless.


Source: Adult Swim




October 13th 2021, 4:45 pm

Blumhouse Wolfman Movie Script Still In Development With Ryan Gosling

TechCrunch

The script for Blumhouse Pictures remake of The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling is still in development says producer Jason Blum. The Wolfman is one of the most iconic of the Universal Monsters, having first appeared in the 1941 film starring Lon Channey Jr. In 2010, a remake starring Benenco Tel Toro in the title role opened in theaters after a very troubled production to negative reviews and was a box-office bomb.

After Universal attempted to relaunch their monster's property with the critical and box-office failure of 2017's The Mummy, they scrapped their plans for their cinematic universe called the Dark Universe. The studio decided to do stand-alone horror stories, the first being 2020's The Invisible Man, which was a box office and critical success. Hot off the success the studio reteamed The Invisible Man director Leigh Whannell and producer Jason Blum to do another monster property, The Wolfman, which had already secured actor Ryan Gosling for the lead role.


In an interview with Collider, producer Jason Blum confirmed they are still developing a script for The Wolfman. The successful horror producer says they are waiting on the script to be just right for star Ryan Gosling, one that the actor feels comfortable with. Ryan Gosling is very involved with The Wolfman as the film was green-lit from his pitch to Universal Pictures. Blum said:

"Wolfman, we are also working on the script, got to get the script, right. In that case, it's Ryan Gosling...But working on trying to get a script that he feels good about and comfortable about and excited about."

The Wolfman is one of many projects based on the Universal Monsters the studio has planned. Eternals director Chloé Zhao is developing a sci-fi western Dracula movie at the studio, while a separate Dracula project from Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman based on the side character Reinfeld is in development. Elizabeth Banks is set to direct The Invisible Woman, which has no connection to the already released Invisible Man. James Wan is working on a new version of Frankenstein. Meanwhile, Toy Story 4 Josh Cooley director has the live-action/animated hybrid Little Monsters which will be aimed at a younger audience.

Gosling's involvement with The Wolfman was a surprise to many, as the actor has tended to avoid big franchise IP-driven films in favor of character-centric stories like First Man or original properties like Drive and La La Land. Gosling has been considered for a number of high-profile films including The Lone Ranger, 2017's Beauty and the Beast, The Joker in Suicide Squad, and the Sinister Six film Sony was developing. Gosling did star in the lead role of Blade Runner 2049, a sequel to a highly influential film and Gosling himself has never expressed any disinterest in franchise films. Given he pitched The Wolfman to Universal, it appears he is very passionate about this particular project.

October 13th 2021, 4:45 pm

Animal Crossing Streamer Hosts Squid Game With Big Bells Prize

TechCrunch

An Animal Crossing: New Horizons content creator has devised their own Squid Game contest within the Nintendo game. The YouTube streamer invited players to their island to take part in a series of Animal Crossing minigames, and while competitors weren't playing for their lives, they were playing for an impressive 99,000 Bell prize.

Netflix's Squid Game is one of the biggest shows of the year, engrossing viewers with its dark premise and narrative twists and turns. The Korean drama focuses on a series of competitive games in which players compete for a cash prize, with those eliminated from the games also losing their lives. The show has been a global success that has spawned countless fan-made video game recreations in releases including GTA Online, Roblox, The Sims 4, and of course, players have also been reimagining Squid Game in Animal Crossing.


Streamer and YouTuber Nikachu has created their own competitive Animal Crossing Squid Game, with seven of their viewers invited to their island to take part in three minigames. First is the "Red Light, Green Light" game seen in the first episode of Squid Game. In Nikachu's Animal Crossing version, Nikachu plays the ocarina as contestants try to reach a Face-Cutout Standee, with players eliminated if caught moving when the music stops. The second game pits teams against each other to pick flowers, while the final showdown puts a simple spin on the Squid Game itself, with players needing to push their opponent out of a square to win. The result is a hilariously cute take on the dark Netflix show, with Squid Game-inspired custom designs used throughout.

Watch the video on YouTube here.

A lack of gameplay is one of the biggest criticisms of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but as the content creator has shown in their video, the game's tools can be used for player-made fun with the help of some imagination and inspiration. Other popular minigames that can be made for multiplayer madness in AC include treasure hunts where players have to search for a prize in an area filled with buried trash, as well as races, and obstacle courses. Nikachu's channel is filled with inspirational and hilarious videos perfect to reintroduce fun for Animal Crossing players who've grown tired of the core gameplay.

Fans of the game are hoping that November's new Animal Crossing content will help add more gameplay and more ways to enjoy the game. The update will welcome the coffee-loving NPC Brewster and his Roost Cafe to New Horizons for the first time, but could also add even more gameplay elements, items, and design tools to help creative players continue creating new and exciting ways to experience ACNH. An Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct is scheduled for this week and will announce what's coming to the game in the future.


Source: YouTube/Nikachu




October 13th 2021, 4:45 pm

Letitia Wright Denies Black Panther 2 Set Conduct Reports

TechCrunch

Letitia Wright denies a report that claims she is expressing anti-vaccination views on the set of Black Panther 2. Following a few COVID-19 related delays, production of the sequel to 2018's Black Panther began in Atlanta this past June ahead of its July 2022 release date. Original director Ryan Coogler is returning along with writer Joe Robert Cole. However, the sequel had to be reworked considerably following the tragic passing of T'Challa actor Chadwick Boseman. The film will see Black Panther stars Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong'o, and Winston Duke reprising their roles.

There has been a lot of intriguing news coming out of the Black Panther 2 set as of late, including the revelation that Dominique Thorne will be making her MCU debut in the film as Riri Williams, a brilliant inventor who creates her own Iron Man suit, ahead of her upcoming Disney+ series, Ironheart. Letitia Wright, who will be returning as Shuri, was hospitalized in late August after suffering a minor onset injury, though she was able to return soon after. Earlier this month, Wright became embroiled in another controversy when The Hollywood Reporter claimed she was speaking out against the COVID-19 vaccine on set.


Now, Letitia Wright denies those claims in an Instagram post. The actress says it "saddens" her to have to address the report published by THR and went on to "honestly assert" that the claims made about her conduct on the set of Black Panther 2 are "completely untrue." Wright went on to defend her work ethic and say that her "main focus is always to do work that's impactful and inspiring." Read Wright's entire statement on Instagram below:

Click here to see the original post.

While Wright unequivocally denies the claims made by THR, she didn't clarify her actual beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine or whether or not she has been vaccinated herself. Wright has shared similar sentiments on social media, including a YouTube video that questioned the legitimacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. The report claims this resulted in her parting ways with her entire US team of representatives, though Wright didn't address that claim specifically.

Wright has since deleted that video from her social media, and this statement on Instagram is her first post since the controversy began. Though she has now denied claims about espousing anti-vaccine beliefs, the evidence is undoubtedly mounted against her. Disney will start requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for anyone working on their productions, though those already filming, like Black Panther 2, will be exempt from this mandate. While Wright could finish the rest of the film without further controversy, this could pose challenges for her future in the MCU.


Source: Letitia Wright/Instagram




October 13th 2021, 4:45 pm

James Gunn Pitched A Gilligan’s Island Movie With A Cannibal Twist

TechCrunch

The Suicide Squad director James Gunn says he once pitched a movie of Gilligan’s Island with a cannibal twist. The original show about a group of castaways becoming stranded on a desert island during what was supposed to be just a three-hour-tour aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967.

Years after that original three-year CBS run, the show received a revival in the form of three TV movies: The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island, The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island and Rescue From Gilligan’s Island. Today Gilligan’s Island is probably most known by younger people for its barroom-argument-inspiring “Ginger or Mary Anne?” question and its classic theme song, and of course older folks still cherish it. But despite the enduring popularity of the CBS sitcom, Gilligan, The Skipper and company have to this day never been brought back in theatrical movie form.

Related: Every James Gunn Movie Ranked From Worst To Best (Including The Suicide Squad)

It was just revealed by James Gunn however that efforts have been made to revive Gilligan’s Island as a movie. In fact, according to Gunn legendary screenwriter Charlie Kaufman at one time pitched a Gilligan’s Island movie that in true Kaufman oddball fashion added the gruesome twist of the castaways turning on and cannibalizing each other (unsurprisingly the idea went nowhere). Gunn went on to say that he revived the pitch some years later and actually received studio interest, but the whole thing was shot down by the family of Gilligan’s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz. Gunn tweeted his story as part of the recent “Pitch a movie with two pictures, no captions” meme that has taken over Twitter. See his tweets in the space below:

Click Here To View The Original Post

It’s interesting to note that Schwartz himself originally shot down Kaufman’s cannibal Gilligan’s Island pitch and that even after Schwartz’s death his family continues refusing to allow this take on the original show to see the light of day. But it seems Gunn is still keen to make this movie happen, as he says “If the Schwartz estate changes their mind, I’m here.”

Indeed if "Gilligan’s Island but they all turn cannibal" ever did become a movie, it would be hard to envision a better team to make that happen than Kaufman and Gunn. The former is of course a notedly eccentric writer responsible for quirky scripts like Adaptation, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And Gunn obviously is known for his own rather bizarre sensibilities through movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and this summer’s The Suicide Squad.

But though Cannibal Gilligan’s Island might seem like an amazing idea to fans of both Gunn and Kaufman, not to mention fans of bizarre movies in general, it’s also easy to understand why Schwartz and later his family would shoot down the idea. Gilligan’s Island obviously remains a Boomer favorite with a wholesome reputation and some twisted version of the show where everyone becomes cannibals could only undermine that image and would certainly add no value to the property. So as long as Gilligan’s Island remains something that has value as corny nostalgia, it’s certain the Schwartz family will continue protecting the show’s legacy from the crazed imaginations of people like Gunn and Kaufman. But perhaps things will change in the future and a Gilligan’s Island where they all lose their minds and eat each other will become a reality.

More: Every Unmade James Gunn Movie (Including Scooby-Doo 3)

Source: James Gunn/Twitter



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October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Eternals Ticket Sales Beating Black Widow & Shang-Chi

TechCrunch

Within just a day of going on sale, the early tickets for Marvel's Eternals have already begun to outpace Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. After being forced to take 2020 off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the MCU has returned in full force this year. So far, the franchise has put out two movies, and both have provided some sorely needed life to the domestic box office. Black Widow kicked things off in July with what was then the biggest opening weekend of the pandemic era, and Shang-Chi followed in September, breaking Labor Day records on its way to becoming the current highest-grossing film of 2021.

Next up is Chloé Zhao's Eternals, a cosmic epic that is very different from Black Widow and Shang-Chi. For one thing, Eternals is an ensemble piece instead of a solo story. For another, it will span thousands of years and introduce a team so powerful, fans are wondering why they didn't take out Thanos on their own. Eternals will follow in Shang-Chi's steps and debut exclusively in theaters. Tickets went on sale this past Monday, and they're already hinting Marvel has another moneymaker on its hands.


Per Deadline, Eternals reportedly earned $2.6 million in advance ticket sales within its first 24 hours of being available. This is 86% over Shang-Chi, which scored $1.4 million, and 30% over Black Widow ($2 million). Meanwhile, AMC reports that Eternals has nabbed their largest day 1 sales across all of 2021.

Though this doesn't give much indication of just how big of an opening Eternals will score, it looks like the Marvel movie is poised to make quite a splash when it arrives in November. Right now, the record-holder for the best 2021 opening weekend is Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which recently smashed Black Widow's record on its way to earning $90 million in three days. Eternals might not beat that, but it could very well earn one of the biggest debuts since the pandemic began. This will be a major win for theaters and for Marvel, and it could help make up for any slack caused by Eternals not releasing in China (as its chances there are currently up in the air).

The pandemic has made it difficult to predict how new movies will perform at the box office, but blockbusters like Venom 2 and Shang-Chi have helped a great deal when it comes to stabilizing the industry. Eternals, with its diverse cast and Oscar-winning pedigree (courtesy of recent best director winner Zhao), has a lot of things working in its favor. As the early sales have shown, audiences are listening, and they're excited to see what the film has to offer.

October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Life After Lockup: How Shawn Contradicts Himself With Poor Parenting

TechCrunch

Shawn has introduced his second relationship on Life After Lockup, and both times he's seemingly pushed his parenting aside to pursue love. On Life After Lockup season 4, viewers followed Shawn's new relationship with Sara after a messy breakup with his ex Destinie. It was just last year when Shawn was driving around town trying to hunt Destinie down to get his car back. He also proposed to her and wanted to build a future together, but Destinie was seemingly only interested in his financial stability. All the while, Shawn upset his ex Kelly due to how neglectful he was being to their six kids.

Shawn has now gotten into a relationship with Sara and things appear to be going well for the couple. He admitted to lying about his age and owned up to being 10 years older than the original 36 he told Sara. While Sara is aware that Shawn has other children back home, she isn't fully aware of how big Shawn's sacrifice for her was. He relocated to Ohio to be with Sara and left his six kids behind. While he expresses his hopes of being a step-father to Sara's daughter, he already has six kids of his own who are missing their father.


Recent reports say that Shawn and Sara might even be married and expecting a child together after about a year of dating. A video from YouTube channel realiteasquad (included below) recently unearthed alleged evidence hinting at Sara and Shawn being married while filming their couples confessional. Sara is the second relationship Shawn has shared on Life After Lockup. Each time, Shawn shows his devotion to his girlfriend while seemingly pushing his fatherhood role to the waist side. He hasn't included his children in the show.

Shawn has only sat down with his ex Kelly to inform her about the new woman he's fallen in love with this time around. Kelly's visible frustration with Shawn shows that he might have a history of disappointing her and their kids. Overall, raising six children isn't easy, so it's a role that requires a lot of time and dedication. But considering how much time Shawn dedicates to his romantic relationships, it leaves one wondering when he finds time to spend with his six kids.



If he is expecting another child, it'll be his seventh child and Sara's second. Shawn will also have to introduce his newborn to his other kids. That will be a whole new journey for Shawn and Sara to embark on. Hopefully, the Life After Lockup cameras is rolling to see what the dynamic will be for the blended family. It's good to see Shawn finally finding love, but not if it comes at the expense of spending time with his children.


Source: realiteasquad




October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

We're One Step Closer To Uncovering Secrets Of Ancient 'Centaur' Comets

TechCrunch

Comets are a frequent and gorgeous occurrence in outer space, and a study recently outlined plans for how scientists could watch them be created in real-time. As it's been proven time and time again, the mysteries of space are continually fascinating. Planets in our Solar System have many stories to tell, faraway galaxies hold countless other secrets, and there's a constant drive in the science community to uncover as many of these as possible.

Thanks to constantly advancing technology, each day brings us closer to answering previously unsolvable questions. In 2021 alone, there have been numerous milestones in the space exploration world. Perseverance collected the first Martian rock sample that'll be returned to Earth, InSight created the first interior map of Mars, and Ingenuity became the first helicopter to fly on an alien planet. In that context, it's almost unfathomable to think what we'll be able to achieve in 5, 10, or 50 years down the road.


Thanks to a new study from the University of Chicago, researchers have now outlined plans for astronomers to follow the creation of a comet from start to finish. More specifically, the study describes how we could document comet creation that takes place in Jupiter's orbit. As described by the author of the paper, Darryl Seligman, "This would be an amazing opportunity to see a pristine comet 'turn on' for the first time."

Comets and asteroids come from many places in our Solar System. There's a well-known asteroid belt near Mars, along with the Kuiper belt just beyond Neptune's orbit. One destination that's less understood is an area between Jupiter and Neptune. Between the two planets is a group of 'centaurs' — large chunks of ice that are from the Solar System's earliest days. Every now and then, these centaurs are pulled into Jupiter's orbit, shot off towards Earth, and transform into stunning comets hurtling through space.

While this whole process remains relatively unknown, Seligman believes there's an easy way to document it. In short, humans could send a spacecraft to Jupiter and have it stay there in its orbit. Then, once a centaur enters orbit and eventually leaves, the spacecraft could also leave Jupiter and fly alongside the centaur to watch its entire journey. That may sound like a farfetched idea, but as the study explains, all of the required technology already exists. NASA's Juno orbiter is orbiting Jupiter at this very moment, and a Japanese spacecraft returned samples from an asteroid late last year. The timing also lines up. It only takes about five years to get a spacecraft from Earth to Jupiter's orbit. Scientists have already confirmed another centaur will enter Jupiter's orbit in 2063. On top of that, there's reason to believe another 10 centaurs could also enter orbit within the next 40 years.



Along with the mission being technically possible, Seligman also uses the study to double down on why it's so important to act on. As he puts it, "It would yield a treasure trove of information about how comets move and why, how the solar system formed, and even how Earth-like planets form." It's unclear if/when a mission like this would actually happen, but here's to hoping someone at NASA (or another organization) is listening to what Seligman is saying.


Source: Phys.org




October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Radeon RX 6600 Vs. RX 6600 XT: Best AMD Budget Card To Buy

TechCrunch

The Radeon RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT are two of AMD's most affordable PC gaming GPUs, but which one is ultimately worth buying? While top-of-the-line graphics cards are a lot of fun to talk about, the reality is that most people aren't buying them. The vast majority of gamers are relying on low and mid-range cards to power their rigs. They may not be capable of the best graphics or highest frame rates, but budget GPUs are getting better every year.

Along with affordable options from Nvidia, AMD also understands the need for these types of GPUs. AMD launched the Radeon RX 6600 XT in July 2021. At the time, AMD was hailing it as its cheapest GPU launched during the year. A few months later in October, however, AMD one-upped itself with the even lower-priced RX 6600. Both graphics cards are compelling options for budget-minded gamers, but which is the best overall choice? Here's what you need to know.

Related: Radeon RX 6600 XT Vs. RX 6700 XT

As the nearly identical names imply, the RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT are very similar graphics cards. Both are powered by the same Navi 23 chipset, albeit with a couple of tweaks mentioned below. Each card also has the same 32MB infinity cache and 8GB of GDDR6 RAM. At the end of the day, both cards should be able to run most games at 1080p with very high graphics enabled (and even max graphics in some cases).

Looking a bit deeper, there are some clear advantages of the more expensive RX 6600 XT. The Navi 23 chip may be the same across both cards, but the RX 6600 XT delivers 32 compute units compared to the 28 of the RX 6600. It also has better clock speeds across the board, with the RX 6600 XT kicking out a 2359MHz game frequency and up to 2589MHz boost frequency. The RX 6600 clocks in at 2044MHz and up to 2491MHz, respectively. Gamers are also treated to faster RAM with the RX 6600 XT. It's capable of 16Gbps speeds and has a memory bandwidth of up to 256 GB/s, compared to 14Gbps and up to 224 GB/s on the RX 6600.

What does all of this mean for real-world use? In general, AMD says to expect a difference between 10 and 15 percent for the two cards. Running in 1080p at max settings, AMD shows the RX 6600 XT achieving 83fps in Cyberpunk 2077 while the RX 6600 gets 70fps. Forza Horizon 4 pulls in 137fps on the RX 6600 XT, but moving to the RX 6600, it goes down to 120fps. In a newer title like Resident Evil Village, the RX 6600 XT has 176fps compared to 145fps for the RX 6600.

And, of course, there's the price. At normal retail pricing, the RX 6600 XT costs $379 and the RX 6600 is a bit cheaper at $329. Based on the retail cost, it probably makes sense for most gamers to spend a little bit more for the RX 6600 XT. It has a more powerful chip, faster RAM, and delivers a better gaming experience across the board. On the off chance someone finds a unit in stock and priced as it should be, the RX 6600 XT is a fantastic little card.

Next: Intel Arc Dedicated GPUs Will Challenge Nvidia & AMD

Source: AMD



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October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Kurt Busiek To Write New Arrowsmith, Astro City Comics For Image

TechCrunch

Kurt Busiek is returning to Image Comics and bringing along his fan-favorite series Astro City and Arrowsmith. Fans can expect a new Arrowsmith miniseries beginning in January 2022 and an Astro City one-shot in March 2022 that introduces the new status quo of the upcoming series. Image also teased that the creator would be bringing more new comics such as Free Agents and another story in The Autumnlands series, as well as re-releasing some of his other popular titles.

Busiek is well-known in the comic book industry not only for his creator-owned projects but also for his work at the Big Two, including Avengers, The MarvelsSuperman, and JLA. Arguably his biggest creator-owned series is Astro City, a superhero comic book that began back in 1995 at Image Comics before going through several other publishers, including Image's partner studio Wildstorm before eventually ending up in the hands of DC Comics and Vertigo. The series paid tribute to many iconic superheroes, notably including homages to characters like Superman (The Samaritan) and the Fantastic Four (Furst Family) while also exploring struggles superheroes could face in the real world. Then there was his fantasy title Arrowsmith, which began as a miniseries back in 2003 under the Cliffhanger imprint of Wildstorm.  The title took place during World War II with not just guns but also magic.

RELATED: Wonder Woman Writer Claims DC Deliberately Designed Comic Not to Sell

The official Image Comics press release expanded on a bunch of announcements related to Busiek's return to the publisher. First off, his Arrowsmith comic book returns with a six-issue miniseries called Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines. It will begin in January 2022 and the original series, Arrowsmith: So Smart In Their Fine Uniforms, will be collected in hardcover for February 2022. The artist for the new miniseries will be Carlos Pacheco (Avengers ForeverFantastic Four, Final Crisis).  In the new miniseries, Fletcher Arrowsmith will be behind enemy lines and a secret history will be unveiled.

“Stepping back into this universe at long last, and writing these characters again feels like coming home, and visiting with old friends—admittedly, old friends we do dangerous, stressful things to in the name of adventure," Busiek said. "And the art, by Carlos, Rafael, and Jose, is just astounding. Arrowsmith fans have been very patient, but have never been shy about letting us know they want more—and I can’t wait for them to see both the new series and the re-mastered original in the kind of hardcover edition we think it deserves.”

To kick off Astro City's return, Busiek will be joined by longtime Astro City collaborators Brent Anderson (Return of the Jedi), Alex Ross (Captain America/Iron Man), and Alex Sinclair (Harley Quinn), in a one-shot that will set up the new status quo for the upcoming series, meaning new characters and dangers will be revealed. Fans will also get to enjoyed brand-new collected editions that will allow them and newcomers to get ahold of the entire backlog of Astro City comics.

“Alex, Brent, and I have been planning this for a long time—we’re introducing a teen-hero team, The Jayhawks (and more), in the special, and setting off a mystery as important to Astro City as what happened to the Silver Agent or the story of the Broken Man. Alex has designed a cornucopia of new characters, and Brent is going to town on the artwork. It’ll be a very fun ride—and yes, longtime readers, we will get to the story of the N-Forcer, I promise!"

Kurt Busiek fans rejoice as there will be plenty of old and new titles of his to look forward to next year. In addition to the return of Arrowsmith in January 2022 and Astro City in March 2022, along with the back issues of those titles being bound in collected editions, several of his other titles will be re-released from Image Comics, with new ones on the horizon as well.

MORE: Astro City Asks, What if The Fantastic Four Raised The Teen Titans?

SOURCE: Image Comics



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October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Marvel Never Asked Richard Madden To Go Blond (Or Change His Accent)

TechCrunch

Marvel never asked actor Richard Madden to dye his hair blond or change his accent for his role in Eternals. Madden plays Ikaris, who has traditionally had blonde hair in his comic-book incarnation. Created by Jack Kirby in 1976, Ikaris is an Eternal, created by the Celestials thousands of years ago, gifted with superhuman abilities that are meant to protect and guide humanity. Ikaris' earliest appearance shows him with longish blonde locks and he is fitted with a blue-and-red costume with three circular-shaped designs on his chest.

Eternals is directed by Academy Award Winner Chloé Zhao and stars Madden, Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Ma Dong-seok, Bryan Tyree Henry, and Barry Keoghan. The film takes place in the MCU's Phase Four series of films, which ushers in a new era for the franchise universe, introducing a bevy of new characters, which began with last month's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Eternals will be the first live-action realization of the characters in the MCU.

Related: Eternals: Why Richard Madden's Ikaris Leading The Avengers Is So Funny

During the Eternals set visit in January 2020, Screen Rant and other venues were on-hand to talk to the filmmakers about the film, including producer Nate Moore, who gave some insight into the appearance of Ikaris in the film. In the live-action Eternals film, Ikaris is featured as a short-cropped brunette and sports a blue-and-gold costume, which similarly replicates the comics uniform minus the red trim. When asked if there was ever a time that they considered making actor Richard Madden go blond for the role in order to look more comics-accurate, Moore said that not only did they not ask him to dye his hair, but they also had him keep his accent, saying, "We did not ask him to go blonde. So he gets to keep essentially his natural hair and the Scottish accent which he was very excited about."

Madden previously cut his teeth on projects like HBO's Game of Thrones, Bodyguard, and Rocketman. Also joining Madden in the film is fellow Game of Thrones star Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow on the show and is playing Dane Whitman in Eternals, a character who eventually becomes The Black Knight. Snow was the "half brother" of Madden's Robb Stark, so the two actors have a strong history together on the mega-popular show. It's unclear if either of them will share screentime in Eternals, but it's a reunion nonetheless from a casting perspective.

Many comic-to-film adaptations change up appearances of characters and Ikaris is just another link in that chain. Ultimately, the blond hair feels less consequential to the character than the origin, powers, and performance, so it's easy to overlook that aspect that's lost in translation. Jack Kirby created a massive backstory for these characters, which is far more important than getting every color and hue lifted off the page and put on screen. With such a diverse and talented cast, Eternals is already primed to make a big splash at the box office and is sure to make these longtime comic characters household names, just as Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor did years ago.

Next: Richard Madden’s Eternals Movie Character Explained: Who Is Ikaris?

Source: Screen Rant



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October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Warzone Season 6 Battle Pass Adds Vanguard's StG 44, M1 Garand For Free

TechCrunch

Editor’s Note: A lawsuit has been filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which alleges the company has engaged in abuse, discrimination, and retaliation against its female employees. Activision Blizzard has denied the allegations. The full details of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit (content warning: rape, suicide, abuse, harassment) are being updated as new information becomes available.

The Season 6 Battle Pass for Call of Duty: Warzone was expanded with Call of Duty: Vanguard's Stg 44 and M1 Garand, which players can earn for free ahead of the game’s official launch on November 5th. Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty will have full integration with Raven Software’s free-to-play battle royale when it launches, just as both Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War have had integrations with Warzone. The developers have confirmed many aspects of that future integration, including a massive new battle royale map that will replace Verdansk, as well as additional maps, modes, and events post-launch. Vanguard’s link with Warzone is reportedly stronger than past Call of Duty iterations, and the two will also share a new PC anti-cheat system developed by Raven Software.

Last week, the StG 44 and M1 Garand dropped into Warzone, likely by accident, after the Season Six update. The mistake was quickly addressed and the weapons were stripped from the battle royale. The American M1 Garand and German StG 44 were visible in the Warzone Gunsmith, though the guns couldn’t be equipped in loadouts. One YouTuber, however, said he was able to equip and use the Vanguard weapons that briefly appeared in Warzone, though he was unable to inspect the guns. Now those weapons have officially dropped in Warzone and are unlockable immediately from the Battle Pass.


According to Call of Duty, 24 new Battle Pass tiers have been added to Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, bringing Vanguard weapons and items that players can use immediately ahead of the game’s official launch. All items can be earned for free by playing Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, including the StG 44 and M1 Garand. Though the Battle Pass tiers can be earned in either game, the Vanguard weaponry can only be equipped while playing the battle royale. Developers also confirmed that the Gunsmith will be unavailable for both base weapons, as well as the weapon attachments and camos as of October 12. However, the features will be enabled when Vanguard launches.

Following this launch, Warzone’s Season Six update provides an opportunity to level up the StG 44 and M1 Garand before November 5, as all Weapon XP will be tracked and transferred to Vanguard when it drops. Those levels will also be integrated into Warzone when the official integration takes place later this year. Until those times, however, neither the Weapon Blueprints nor the base guns can be edited. The free Battle Pass tiers also include a plethora of other Vanguard-inspired rewards, including two Weapon Blueprints for both the StG 44 and the M1 Garand, as well as XP tokens, calling cards, emblems, sprays, weapon charms, and stickers. The Battle Pass’s final tier, Tier 98, unlocks the “Clocked In” Watch Wrist Accessory.

Developers Raven Software and Sledgehammer Games have teamed up to bring Vanguard content into Warzone early. Players now have a jumpstart on leveling the StG 44 and M1 Garand, and can begin incorporating those weapons into Warzone's meta ahead of Vanguard’s official launch. How the battle royale’s 100-gun meta will change with the inclusion of the World War II-era weapons is not yet known, though players now get a preview with two such weapons.


Source: Call of Duty




October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Stellan Skarsgaard & Dave Bautista Interview: Dune | Screen Rant

TechCrunch

The latest adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune is making its way to the screen on October 22 when the film premieres in theaters and on HBO Max. The film features an incredible cast and epic science fiction story with warring factions, alien races, and political scheming. Including in this cast are Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the leader of House Harkonnen and enemy of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), and his nephew, Glossu Rabban played by Dave Bautista.

Related: Dune Cast & Character Guide

Screen Rant spoke to Skarsgård and Bautista about bringing Dune to life.

Screen Rant: I'm curious what the biggest hook was for you in stepping into this world. Was it something about the character, was it a new challenge, or was it just a chance to work with director Denis Villeneuve?

Dave Bautista: For me, it was Denis. I really pursued this, because I was tracking Dune. I kept asking my agent, "When auditions would become available? When are they going to release these roles?" 

But I never hit up Denis personally, because I didn't want to be that guy. I didn't want to try to capitalize on our friendship, so I just waited and waited and waited - and finally, I got a phone call from him, and he offered me the role. I almost broke down; I was so emotional about it. Still, it's like, "Wow, this is crazy that I'm even here."

Stellan Skarsgård: For me, it was Denis as well. I admired him for so many years as a director and knew he would be wonderful to work with. Because I knew that he also was a very nice person. I don't want to work with geniuses that are assholes. 

But then I read the script, and there was barely anything in it. I mean, there [were] a few small scenes and stuff, but I didn't care, I wanted to do it anyway. But then I got fascinated by the idea of creating this monster and trying to make him feel human physically. He moved me, not in a prosthetic way, but in a very direct physical way. You could feel that, in all that fat, there was a lot of muscles underneath and all that stuff; the sensuality in how he moves. 

I'm really happy I did it because working with Denis is an experience any actor would think was absolutely fantastic.

 

This is obviously such a huge franchise, and there's another huge franchise that I'm a big fan of that Stellan is a part of. I don't know if you've heard, but ABBA released some new music. What do you need from me personally to make Mamma Mia! 3 happen

Stellan Skarsgård: I wish I could say. It took 10 years between Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! 2 - if it's going to take another 10 years, then I'll be dead. I'm worried we might not get there. But if they call, I will say yes immediately, because the experience of doing those two films was fantastic.

Dave Bautista: It's not going to be ten years. I guarantee you that people are on the phone; they've been anticipating this. And there is such a search for good entertainment, with all the new outlets that are constantly in search of media. I think there have been phone calls made, and Stellan will get a phone call when he gets home.

Stellan Skarsgård: Yeah, and hopefully you'll be in it, Dave. We talked about that. I want to dance with David on an island in Greece.

Next: How Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Could Kickstart The Next Big Sci-Fi Franchise



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October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

American Idol: Adam Lambert Reveals Details About New Cover Band Show

TechCrunch

American Idol season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert is returning to the small screen as a judge on E's new series Clash of the Cover Bands, premiering on October 13 at 9:30pm. Since leaving American Idol, Adam has had a successful solo career and a superstar turn as the lead singer of the rock band Queen. Adam's experience with performing both on a reality competition show and on tour in the real world will be great assets to him in this new endeavor.



Adam first won America's heart in 2009 on American Idol, during which he established himself as a glam rocker with a voice that soared to heights never before heard on the show. Although he came in second to winner Kris Allen, his career took off as soon as the show ended. His loyal faction of fans, the "Glamberts," are some of the most passionate around. They followed his career from his 2009 debut album For Your Entertainment, which included the hit single, "Whataya Want from Me," for which he earned a Grammy nomination, to his collaborations with Queen. In 2019, he founded the non-profit Feel Something Foundation to support LGBTQ+ and human rights activism. This year, Adam has an upcoming two-weekend residency at the Venetian in Las Vegas with an additional livestream special on Friday, October 29.




In an interview with E! News, Adam discussed his latest project, Clash of the Cover Bands, in which he will mentor cover band contestants alongside fellow singers Meghan Trainor and Ester Dean. The winning band will receive a $25,000 prize and the opportunity to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The bands will cover a vast array of artists this season, including Blink-182, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, U2 and Elton John. They will also sing the songs of female artists like Aretha Franklin, Carrie Underwood and Lady Gaga. Adam confessed he is "kind of partial to the divas. I think that's sort of my soft spot. We had a Britney, a J.Lo. We had a Céline Dion. We had Tina Turner. We had Dolly Parton. These are iconic women."

This was also a full circle moment for Adam because the show is filmed on the same stage and studio as American Idol. Adam explained, "So walking backstage into the studio every day was just so surreal. That was, what, 12 years ago? That's where everything started for me." It also helped remind him how difficult it can be to perform in front of judges. He said, "It made me keep in mind that when you get up on stage and you perform and you give it your all and you're putting yourself out there to be commented on by three people at a desk in front of you, it's not always the easiest thing." He knows that it is "tricky and takes a lot of bravery" to get up on that stage, and he kept all of that in mind when he was talking to the performers. He tried to be "constructive and yet sensitive to the journey."

Adam's path from American Idol contestant to Clash of the Cover Bands judge shows his growth throughout the years. He is now qualified to help a new generation of singers make it big. These bands are lucky to have a mentor like him to help them launch their careers. Adam has it all covered.


Source: E! News




October 13th 2021, 3:47 pm

Researchers Find Android Phones Still Track You, Even When You Opt Out

TechCrunch

PhotoLeon Neal (Getty Images)

 If you use an Android phone and are (rightfully!) worried about digital privacy, you’ve probably taken care of the basics already. You’ve deleted the snoopiest of the snoopy apps, opted out of tracking whenever possible, and taken all of the other precautions the popular how-to privacy guides have told you to. The bad news—and you might want to sit down for this—is that none of those steps are enough to be fully free of trackers.


Or at least, that’s the thrust of a new paper from researchers at Trinity College in Dublin who took a look at the data-sharing habits of some popular variants of Android’s OS, including those developed by Samsung, Xiaomi, and Huawei. According to the researchers, “with little configuration” right out of the box and when left sitting idle, these devices would incessantly ping back device data to the OS’s developers and a slew of selected third parties. And what’s worse is that there’s often no way to opt out of this data-pinging, even if users want to.

A lot of the blame here, as the researchers point out, fall on so-called “system apps.” These are apps that come pre-installed by the hardware manufacturer on a certain device in order to offer a certain kind of functionality: a camera or messages app are examples. Android generally packages these apps into what’s known as the device’s “read only memory” (ROM), which means you can’t delete or modify these apps without, well, rooting your device. And until you do, the researchers found they were constantly sending device data back to their parent company and more than a few third parties—even if you never opened the app at all.


Here’s an example: Let’s say you own a Samsung device that happens to be packaged with some Microsoft bloatware pre-installed, including (ugh) LinkedIn. Even though there’s a good chance you’ll never open LinkedIn for any reason, that hard-coded app is constantly pinging back to Microsoft’s servers with details about your device. In this case, it’s so-called “telemetry data,” which includes details like your device’s unique identifier, and the number of Microsoft apps you have installed on your phone. This data also gets shared with any third-party analytics providers these apps might have plugged in, which typically means Google, since Google Analytics is the reigning king of all the analytics tools out there.


As for the hard-coded apps that you might actually open every once in a while, even more data gets sent with every interaction. The researchers caught Samsung Pass, for example, sharing details like timestamps detailing when you were using the app, and for how long, with Google Analytics. Ditto for Samsung’s Game Launcher, and every time you pull up Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby.

Samsung isn’t alone here, of course. The Google messaging app that comes pre-installed on phones from Samsung competitor Xiaomi was caught sharing timestamps from every user interaction with Google Analytics, along with logs of every time that user sent a text. Huawei devices were caught doing the same. And on devices where Microsoft’s SwiftKey came pre-installed, logs detailing every time the keyboard was used in another app or elsewhere on the device were shared with Microsoft, instead.


We’ve barely scratched the surface here when it comes to what each app is doing on every device these researchers looked into, which is why you should check out the paper or, better yet, check out our handy guide on spying on Android’s data-sharing practices yourself. But for the most part, you’re going to see data being shared that looks pretty, well, boring: event logs, details about your device’s hardware (like model and screen size), along with some sort of identifier, like a phone’s hardware serial number and mobile ad identifier, or “AdID.”

On their own, none of these data points can identify your phone as uniquely yours, but taken together, they form a unique “fingerprint” that can be used to track your device, even if you try to opt out. The researchers point out that while Android’s advertising ID is technically resettable, the fact that apps are usually getting it bundled with more permanent identifiers means that these apps—and whatever third parties they’re working with—will know who you are anyway. The researchers found this was the case with some of the other resettable IDs offered by Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, and Huawei.


To its credit, Google does have a few developer rules meant to hinder particularly invasive apps. It tells devs that they can’t connect a device’s unique ad ID with something more persistent (like that device’s IMEI, for example) for any sort of ad-related purpose. And while analytics providers are allowed to do that linking, they can only do it with a user’s “explicit consent.”

“If reset, a new advertising identifier must not be connected to a previous advertising identifier or data derived from a previous advertising identifier without the explicit consent of the user,” Google explains on a separate page detailing these dev policies. “You must abide by a user’s ‘Opt out of Interest-based Advertising’ or ‘Opt out of Ads Personalization’ setting. If a user has enabled this setting, you may not use the advertising identifier for creating user profiles for advertising purposes or for targeting users with personalized advertising.”


It’s worth pointing out that Google puts no rules on whether developers can collect this information, just what they’re allowed to do with it after it’s collected. And because these are pre-installed apps that are often stuck on your phone, the researchers found that they were often allowed to side-step user’s privacy explicit opt-out settings by just... chugging along in the background, regardless of whether or not that user opened them. And with no easy way to delete them, that data collection’s going to keep on happening (and keep on happening) until that phone’s owner either gets creative with rooting or throws their device into the ocean.

Google, when asked about this un-opt-out-able data collection by the folks over at BleepingComputer, responded that this is simply “how modern smartphones work”:

As explained in our Google Play Services Help Center article, this data is essential for core device services such as push notifications and software updates across a diverse ecosystem of devices and software builds. For example, Google Play services uses data on certified Android devices to support core device features. Collection of limited basic information, such as a device’s IMEI, is necessary to deliver critical updates reliably across Android devices and apps.


Which sounds logical and reasonable, but the study itself proves that it’s not the whole story. As part of the study, the team looked into a device outfitted with /e/OS, a privacy-focused open-source operating system that’s been pitched as a “deGoogled” version of Android. This system swaps Android’s baked-in apps—including the Google Play store—with free and open source equivalents that users can access with no Google account required. And wouldn’t you know it, when these devices were left idle, they sent “no information to Google or other third parties,” and “essentially no information” to /e/’s devs themselves.

In other words, this aforementioned tracking hellscape is clearly only inevitable if you feel like Google’s presence on your phones is inevitable, too. Let’s be honest here—it kind of is for most Android users. So what’s a Samsung user to do, besides, y’know, get tracked?


Well, you can get lawmakers to care, for starters. The privacy laws we have on the books today—like GDPR in the EU, and the CCPA in the U.S.—are almost exclusively built to address the way tech companies handle identifiable forms of data, like your name and address. So-called “anonymous” data, like your device’s hardware specs or ad ID, typically falls through the cracks in these laws, even though they can typically be used to identify you regardless. And if we can’t successfully demand an overhaul of our country’s privacy laws, then maybe one of the many massive antitrust suits Google’s staring down right now will eventually get the company to put a cap in some of these invasive practices.

October 13th 2021, 11:58 am

GitHub Revoked Insecure SSH Keys Generated by a Popular git Client

TechCrunch


 Code hosting platform GitHub has revoked weak SSH authentication keys that were generated via the GitKraken git GUI client due to a vulnerability in a third-party library that increased the likelihood of duplicated SSH keys.

As an added precautionary measure, the Microsoft-owned company also said it's building safeguards to prevent vulnerable versions of GitKraken from adding newly generated weak keys.

The problematic dependency, called "keypair," is an open-source SSH key generation library that allows users to create RSA keys for authentication-related purposes. It has been found to impact GitKraken versions 7.6.x, 7.7.x, and 8.0.0, released between May 12, 2021, and September 27, 2021.

The flaw — tracked as CVE-2021-41117 (CVSS score: 8.7) — concerns a bug in the pseudo-random number generator used by the library, resulting in the creation of a weaker form of public SSH keys, which, owing to their low entropy — i.e., the measure of randomness — could boost the probability of key duplication.

"This could enable an attacker to decrypt confidential messages or gain unauthorized access to an account belonging to the victim," keypair's maintainer Julian Gruber said in an advisory published Monday. The issue has since been addressed in keypair version 1.0.4 and GitKraken version 8.0.1.

Axosoft engineer Dan Suceava has been credited with discovering the security weakness, while GitHub security engineer Kevin Jones has been acknowledged for identifying the cause and source code location of the bug. As of writing, there's no evidence the flaw was exploited in the wild to compromise accounts.

Affected users are highly recommended to review and "remove all old GitKraken-generated SSH keys stored locally" and "generate new SSH keys using GitKraken 8.0.1, or later, for each of your Git service providers" such as GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, among others.

Update: Along with GitHub, Microsoft Azure DevOps, GitLab, and Atlassian Bitbucket have also initiated mass revocations of SSH keys connected to accounts where the GitKraken client was used to synchronize source code, urging users to revoke the SSH public keys and generate new keys using the updated version of the app.

October 13th 2021, 11:46 am

Tesla Cybertruck Gigabeer is coming because Musk is never out of weird ideas

TechCrunch

 


The list of weird things with Elon Musk attached to them continues to grow, and this time, it's a beer. Specifically, it's the Gigabeer, or Gigabier in German. What is that? We really don't know, but it's an adult beverage inside a container that vaguely recalls the Tesla Cybertruck. Really, it's a little piece of celebration as Tesla prepares to (hopefully) begin production at its new Gigafactory in Berlin next month.


Musk announced the beer at a special event at the plant this past weekend and didn't say much else beyond the fact Tesla will make it. It will likely be akin to the Tesla Tequila, in the sense of being some sort of limited-run beverage that collectors will scoop up and try to preserve. Tesla Tequila bottles, with or without the liquor inside, can sell for $1,000 these days. The bottle retailed for $250 when new.

Perhaps the Gigabeer will arrive by the end of this year to coincide with the potential production start at the new factory. When the new Gigafactory does come online, it'll be responsible for assembling the Model Y to start, but it may also play a part in an even cheaper Tesla vehicle to come. Musk previously sounded open to a European-centric model like a Model 3 hatchback.

Meet Roadshow's long-term 2021 Tesla Model Y

October 13th 2021, 11:46 am

GOOGLE PIXEL 6 WITH THE NEW TENSOR CHIP & 8G RAM APPEARS ON GEEKBENCH

TechCrunch

 In a few days, Google will officially unveil its all-new series, Google Pixel 6 series. According to reports, this flagship series will arrive on October 19th in the U.S. and it will have two models. This series will have the Google Pixel 6 as well as the Pixel 6 Pro. A few days to the official launch of this series, the standard Pixel 6 is now available in Geekbench. As usual, the Geekbench listing reveals some key details about this upcoming flagship smartphone.


This series will be the first-ever Google smartphone to use its self-developed Tensor chip. According to Google, the Pixel 6 series will be far ahead of any smartphone that the company has released in the past. The latest Geekbench listing shows that this device will come with a Mali G78 GPU. The listing also reveals that the Google Pixel 6 scores 1027 on the single-core test. However, in the multi-core testing, this smartphone scores 2706. While the single-core score appears to exceed Snapdragon 888 SoC, the multi-core score falls short of the SD888 SoC. The model tested comes with 8GB of RAM. In terms of internal storage, we may get up to 265GB / 512GB.

In terms of availability, there is official confirmation from Google that this device will be available in eight countries.

Google Pixel 6 series speculations

From the Pixel 6 renders so far, there are some differences between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. On the front surface, the Google Pixel 6 has thicker bezels than the Pixel 6 Pro. This means that the Google Pixel 6 Pro has a better display effect than the Pixel 6. Furthermore, it appears that the punch-hole of the Pixel 6 is smaller than the Pixel 6 Pro. In addition to the thin bezel of the Google Pixel 6 Pro, it also has a premium hyperboloid display. The overall screen-to-body ratio is very high.

The Pixel 6 comes with a 6.4-inch FHD+ display while the Pixel 6 Pro uses a 6.7-inch QHD+ panel. Both phones have three rear cameras, but the Pixel 6 Pro has a 4x zoom telephoto lens. According to reports, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will get five years of software updates. This includes four years of major Android updates. The company has officially confirmed that these flagship smartphones will launch this fall. However, some reports claim that they will launch in October. In terms of software, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will get the best experience under the support of the Material You dynamic theme of Android 12. In addition, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have the most built-in hardware security layers, which are very powerful in terms of security protection.


Source:mysmartprice

October 13th 2021, 9:59 am

South Korea's Squid Game is Netflix's biggest original show debut

TechCrunch

 Hit South Korean show Squid Game has officially become Netflix's biggest original series launch, the streaming service said on Wednesday.

The nine-part thriller, in which cash-strapped contestants play childhood games with deadly consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won ($38 million), has become a worldwide sensation for Netflix since its launch less than a month ago.

The dystopian drama has inspired countless memes, Halloween costumes of the ubiquitous green tracksuits worn by contestants and real world recreations of the various games. It has also sparked a debate within South Korea about toxic competitive societies and prompted new interest in the country's culture and language around the world.

"Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever!" Netflix posted on Twitter.

The series reached that total in just 27 days, since its release on September 17, easily outpacing UK costume drama Bridgerton, which was streamed by 82 million accounts in its first 28 days.

Netflix gives limited information on viewing figures for its platform and cuts the data it does provide in various ways. The 28-day debut figures it released for Bridgerton and other shows included any account that watched an episode for at least two minutes.

Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told a tech conference in California last month said the streaming service was surprised by how popular Squid Game has become.

"We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity," he said.

The series was so popular that South Korean Internet service provider SK Broadband sued Netflix to pay for costs from increased network traffic and maintenance work because of the surge in viewers.

And a South Korean woman was in talks with the US firm about compensation after she was deluged with thousands of prank calls and text messages when her phone number was inadvertently highlighted as a key plot point in the series.

Netflix has it would spend more than $500 million on content produced in South Korea this year.

October 13th 2021, 9:44 am

HarmonyOS 2 vs Android 12: Control Panel and Quick Settings

TechCrunch


image credit :huawei central


 Google Android 12 is the next operating system that comes with various new features. Android is open source and provides different types of customizations for the smartphone makers to customize Android and make it as a base of their custom software skin just like the Huawei EMUI.

However, if you are coming from any phone such as Huawei, Samsung, and others, you may find that Pixel device has minimized and a limited amount of apps, that solely launched by Google. This clean and Google apps only user experience is called – Stock Android.

But HarmonyOS is the next operating system that has entered on Huawei phones in China with the version HarmonyOS 2. Therefore, more and more device owners continue to upgrade over this new open-source operating system to ramp up HarmonyOS numbers to stand up against Android.

Image Credit:huawei central

In the past, we’ve compared different Android software including numerous types of software skins but this time, we’ll compare stock Android 12 vs HarmonyOS 2. For this HarmonyOS 2 vs Android 12 comparison, we’ll first dive into the quick settings feature of both of the software and see which one is the best.

Stock Android 12 Quick Setting:

Android 12 is powered by Material You, a new user interface design specially designed for the Android ecosystem. The Android 12 Quick Settings panel shows the same integrations. Once shipped downwards, you can access the quick settings and there are various tiles (quick tap buttons), that have a good amount of width to make sure that you don’t miss a tap.

The brightness control and volume sliders also have now bigger sliders. However, the position of the brightness slider at the top should have been at the bottom side. You can also edit the Quick Settings options and add more into them or remove any if you want.

image credit:HC


However, a virtual power button is a lifesaver, and it’s presented on the Android 12, from which, you can tap on emergency, initiate a lockdown, turn off the device or restart it. You don’t have to press the physical key to do such actions.

HarmonyOS:

HarmonyOS comes with a new Control Panel, that has different types of mobile services in a single place, such as media controllers, connectivity, quick settings, super device, and smart connected device. You can manage these from a single place without a hassle.

Image credit:HC



Talking specifically about the quick settings, the HarmonyOS carries forward the EMUI 11 icons but polished them with better visibility and the design scheme of the HM OS software. Compared to the Android 12, you can check more of the quick switches on the same screen without any issues.

The design of the HarmonyOS quick settings is very simple and subtle, which makes it easy to use. However, that power switch is also a required feature that Huawei should use to this new operating system, to save the phone’s physical power key.

Source:HC

October 13th 2021, 4:43 am

Google Pixel 6 Pro camera module may not be user-replaceable

TechCrunch

 


As we approach the release date of the Google Pixel 6 Pro, it seemed like we knew everything there was to know about the upcoming Google phones. We've seen renders, spec sheets, even teardowns, camera samples, and pricing for some markets. What we're learning now is that Google may go the way of Apple and make it more difficult to get the Pixel 6 Pro fixed, particularly the camera module.

If a leaked page from the Google Pixel 6 Pro's technical repair manual is to be believed, Google appears to be pairing a triple camera module to a unique device from the factory. The document states "RL rear camera is calibrated at vendor site to secure the image/video quality post repair." This page was published to Repair.Wiki and the Wiki page mentions that a replacement module "is different from the production camera module that is paired to the original logic board."

This means that one may not be able to use the camera module from an existing Pixel 6 Pro and install it onto another device. It also suggests that a replacement module might need to be hard coded to work on another Pixel device. The same document says "If changing the logic board: ASP also needs to change the RL Rear camera has the 'GEO' mark. For the replaced Rear Camera from the original device, keep them, and RTV (Return To Vendor)."

In a YouTube video, Louis Rossmann explains that since Apple has made camera module repairs with the iPhone 12 more difficult to perform outside of Apple's authorized repair network, other vendors may see this as an opportunity to do the same. There's no accusation that Google will make third party or DIY repairs more difficult, but the clues are leading in that direction. Still, this would have to be confirmed by actually taking apart two Pixel 6 Pro devices and swapping the camera modules to see whether they work or not.

Rossmann wonders what the benefit is to pair a camera module to the logic board. The leaked document claims it is "to secure the image/video quality post repair." but this statement is met with skepticism.

October 13th 2021, 4:13 am

Adobe shows off upcoming Camera Raw support for Photoshop on iPad

TechCrunch

 Adobe is bringing Camera Raw to the iPad version of Photoshop, and has demonstrated how it works in a hands-on video. Ryan Dumlao, senior product manager for Photoshop on iPad, shows how Camera Raw can be used to edit RAW and DNG photos directly imported from a camera — in this case a Fujifilm — or ProRAW files from the iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro.

Camera Raw is a long-standing plugin that allows for advanced RAW image editing within Photoshop, and it’s also the technical basis of Lightroom’s processing engine. Dumlao’s video shows how you can edit various settings and exposure parameters within Photoshop, including importing the RAW file as a smart object for non-destructive editing that can be carried over to the desktop version. In his demo, Dumlao uses Photoshop features to perform tasks like removing individual tree branches and adjusting the color of a specific rope in his photo.

While many photographers use Lightroom as their primary editing tool, adding Camera Raw to Photoshop for iPad will dramatically expand the photo editing capabilities for iPad owners who use Photoshop as a big part of their workflow. Adobe hasn’t announced exactly when the feature will be released, only saying that it’s “coming soon.”


October 13th 2021, 4:01 am

Squid Game' takes China by storm despite censors over violent content

TechCrunch

 

It is not available in China but Netflix's global sensation Squid Game has already built up a huge following in the country, with fans dodging strict internet controls to stream the show and snapping up merchandise such as its unique outfits.

The dystopian South Korean thriller has become the most popular Netflix series launch ever, the streaming giant said Tuesday, but it is unlikely to pass China's censors because of its brutally violent content.

Yet it is already a hit in cities such as Shanghai, where a crowd formed Tuesday at an eatery selling dalgona -- the crisp sugar candy featured in one episode -- with customers gathering at its Squid Game-themed sign to take photos.

"People were sending jokes related to the show in group chats when I started watching," a customer surnamed Li told AFP.

"It's rather fast-paced and therefore, quite thrilling," the video producer said of the series.

After buying the candy, Li and his friend filmed their attempt at a challenge from the show, where contestants try to cut shapes from the snack without cracking it.

Squid Game features a group of society's most marginalised and indebted people who are forced to compete in a series of children's games until all participants are dead except one. The "winner" gets $38 million.

As the show became an international hit, China's ever-nimble manufacturers raced to tap into demand, with products -- including the bright pink uniforms and eerie masks worn by anonymous guards -- popping up across the giant online shopping platform Taobao.

Vendor Peng Xiuyang told AFP his sales had spiked by around 30 percent thanks to demand for Squid Game merchandise.

He had never heard of the show when a customer asked last month if he sold the masks -- a plain black full-faced covering printed with squares, triangles or circles.

But now vendors like him and plastics manufacturers in the eastern hub of Yiwu are all rushing to meet demand -- from both domestic and international buyers.

"Our customers are those who have seen the series and want to join in the trend," he added.

With Halloween coming up, the spine-chilling masks have become his most sought-after product.

Illegal distribution

The lack of official availability has not stopped Chinese audiences from finding ways to watch the show -- including easily available unofficial streaming sites or file-sharing.

The piracy problem is so widespread that South Korea's ambassador to China, Jang Ha-sung, recently told a parliamentary audit that he had asked Chinese authorities to take action.

"Our assessment is that Squid Game, which is gaining global popularity, is being illegally distributed on around 60 sites in China," Jang said, testifying remotely from Beijing.

As fascination with the show swirls among China's tech-savvy youth, the hashtag Squid Game got nearly two billion views on social media, and related topics have been trending for weeks.

Users discussed how they would pass the challenges featured in the show, and wondered what a Chinese version of Squid Game would be like.

But one user said: "It's not like it would pass censors if we made such a show ourselves... if it were too violent, it would just get taken down."

For now, fans just want to have fun.

A customer in Shanghai surnamed Yang said: "I've seen (the snack) being sold online, but it's my first time finding it in real life."

October 13th 2021, 4:01 am

Who Is Adam Warlock? Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 Character Explained

TechCrunch

The archenemy of Thanos in Marvel Comics, Adam Warlock's origin and powers will be an interesting story to see unfold in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Following a handful of rumors saying that The Revenant actor Will Poulter has been cast as the MCU’s Adam Warlock, Guardians on the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn confirmed the news. This means that years after being teased for the first time in 2014, the Golden Gladiator is finally set to cross paths with Star-Lord’s team and potentially become an MCU superhero.

Like Nova, Silver Surfer, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Adam Warlock is one of the most important characters in the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. In fact, he was the central figure in some of Marvel’s biggest crossovers in the 1990s, including Infinity Gauntlet. For these reasons, fans have been waiting for him to make a splash in the MCU for several years now. The first big tease of his arrival came in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy when a cocoon identical to his was spotted at the Collector’s museum. Then, Marvel went even further by introducing his gold-skinned race, namedropping him, and revealing his real cocoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.


While this felt like clear setup for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn cast doubt on these theories by repeatedly pointing out that nothing was set in stone about Adam Warlock’s introduction. According to him, the teases were put in the movie to lay the groundwork for his eventual debut. Now, the mystery of whether or not he’ll actually show up has been solved, thanks to Will Poulter’s casting. And given his importance in the comics, Poulter’s appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may not be the last time audiences see him on the big screen. Here’s who Adam Warlock is in Marvel Comics, what his powers are, and what to expect from his MCU counterpart.

Before getting the superhero codename he’s known for, Adam Warlock burst onto the scene in a Fantastic Four comic as Him, a powerful being genetically engineered by a group of evil scientists called the Enclave. After escaping from his cocoon to forge his own path, Adam tried to pick Lady Sif as his mate, thus leading to a heated showdown with Thor. Following his loss, Adam Warlock spent some time trying to gain a better understanding of who he is and his purpose in the world.

While contemplating his future, Adam Warlock had a fateful meeting with the High Evolutionary, who gifted him the Soul Stone, named him “Warlock”, and send him off on a series of adventures. During this time, Adam Warlock befriended a group of children who taught him a great deal about morality and humanity. He also struggled to control the Soul Stone, which – much to his disgust – drained the lifeforces of his enemies. After beating the villain known as Man-Beast, Adam Warlock moved on to the next chapter of his life and began his storied rivalry with Thanos.

A team-up with the Avengers and the original Captain Marvel led to Adam Warlock sacrificing himself and seemingly receiving a happy ending by finding a new life in the Soul Stone’s pocket dimension, Soulworld. Many years later, Marvel brought Adam back in a huge way, and made him its main protagonist in a number of Thanos stories, including Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity Crusade, and Infinity War. It was ultimately Adar Warlock who spearheaded the heroes’ plan to beat Thanos and the acquisition of the fully-assembled Infinity Gauntlet. In the aftermath of the battle, Adam Warlock formed the Infinity Watch to protect the Stones and is still deeply connected to them today.


Adam Warlock's powers make him an immensely forceful being with abilities that put him on par with the highest tier of Marvel superheroes. In fact, he’s capable of engaging in prolonged standoffs with characters as strong as Thor. However, it’s worth noting that Adam Warlock's physical strength isn’t quite on the same level as the God of Thunder, Hercules, and the Hulk. That being said, Adam Warlock's powers easily make up for what little he lacks in that department. Adam can draw upon cosmic forces to enhance his strength, fly, project blasts of energy from his hands, and he can regenerate from fatal wounds by retreating to a new, self-made cocoon.

Plus, with all the changes that Adam has experienced over the course of 50 years of comic book history, the character’s powerset has been revamped on numerous occasions, with some of the additions to his arsenal being teleportation, transmutation, and Quantum Magic, a form of magic that involves using the metaphysical energy around him. Among his greatest weapons was the Soul Stone, which had a vampiric effect on his foes.

Obviously, several of Adam Warlock’s biggest stories have been taken off the table in the MCU by Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In the comics, he was instrumental to the Mad Titan’s defeat, but had no role whatsoever in the movies’ version of events. Unfortunately, there’s no room for his relationship with Thanos to be represented on the big screen now, but that doesn’t make Adam Warlock's Phase 4 introduction pointless. His MCU storyline could incorporate other characters tied to him in the comics, such as the High Evolutionary, Man-Beast, and Adam’s evil counterpart, Magus.

As for how Marvel brings him in, it’s expected that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will follow up on the second movie’s setup, which indicated that Adam Warlock’s first mission will be to seek revenge for Ayesha by going after the Guardians. Similar to the comics, Adam could begin questioning his place in the world and what it is he’s supposed to do. If so, he could abandon his mission and join up with Star-Lord’s team. In the comic books, the first phase in the Golden Gladiator’s life was a journey of self-discovery, and it makes sense that Marvel will lean in the same direction in the MCU. After all, Adam will essentially be an adult who was just born, so there will be a lot for him to learn and figure out in the span of just one movie.

All things considered, there’s a good chance that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is only the beginning of Adam Warlock’s story. In addition to being a candidate for Guardians of the Galaxy 4's team, Adam has a ton of potential for movies and shows outside the franchise. While his arc in Gunn's movie could be about finding himself, his next appearances could serve as the next steps in his evolution toward becoming the MCU’s main cosmic hero. Adam may have missed the fight with Thanos, but he could still be the one who rallies the heroes of the MCU to victory in the next crossover film, possibly as an enemy of Annihilus, the Magus, or even Kang the Conqueror.

October 12th 2021, 6:02 pm

Tales Of The Walking Dead Spinoff Anthology Series Coming To AMC In 2022

TechCrunch

The Tales Of The Walking Dead spinoff anthology series has been greenlit and is coming to AMC in 2022. The network announced the spinoff series was in development back in 2020, but few details have been revealed since. The show was originally touted as featuring new and old characters from The Walking Dead universe, exploring narratives that will include both backstories and stand-alone tales.

The spinoff was announced at the same time that AMC said it would pull the plug on the main series, The Walking Dead, with season 11, ending its run in 2022. The Walking Dead has been running on the network since 2010 and became a global pop culture phenomenon, creating a number of spinoffs already, including Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. In addition to those spinoffs, it was previously reported that Andrew Lincoln's character, Rick Grimes, would be getting his own standalone movie trilogy, although the status of that project is still up in the air.


Today, AMC announced that Tales of the Walking Dead is officially greenlit (via Variety) and that it will debut in summer 2022. The anthology series will, in fact, focus on new and existing characters from The Walking Dead universe and will debut with a six-episode first season on AMC and AMC Plus. The Walking Dead writer/producer Channing Powell will serve as showrunner for the series side-by-side with Scott M. Gimple, the chief content officer of TWD universe. Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios said that they see the potential for some rich storytelling akin to the type of anthology shows like Twilight Zone and Black Mirror. Here's what he had to say about the project:

“We see so much potential for a wide range of rich and compelling storytelling in this world, and the episodic anthology format of ‘Tales of the Walking Dead’ will give us the flexibility to entertain existing fans and also offer an entry point for new viewers, especially on streaming platforms. We have seen the appeal of this format in television classics like ‘The Twilight Zone’ and, more recently, ‘Black Mirror,’ and are excited to engage with fans in this new way, against the backdrop of this very unique and engrossing world.”

If the post-Jedi shows don't add depth to the sequel trilogy, they must plant seeds for a post-Skywalker Saga timeline to avoid being simple fan service. Even if The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian, and Ahsoka connect to each other, the stakes will feel lower and lower if audiences realize each story is irrelevant by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Even Ahsoka, which promises to reintroduce both Jedi (by including Ezra Bridger) and a brilliant villain to the post-ROTJ timeline, is unlikely to affect a post-sequel trilogy galaxy - Ahsoka herself is implied to be deceased by Rise of Skywalker, and her likely adversary Grand Admiral Thrawn is completely absent from the trilogy.

It's also clear that Disney has been hesitant to commit to a post-sequel trilogy direction. Star Wars: Visions has proven the potential of the era, touching on the Force, lightsabers, and the future of the Jedi. However, it's not canon, further hinting that Disney is afraid to take the saga in a new direction. Lucasfilm's upcoming shows will surely please audiences. Without a larger plan, however, they may simply be safe bets and an appeal to nostalgia. Hopefully, The Book of Boba Fett will use the iconic character to grow the franchise in a meaningful way.

October 12th 2021, 4:45 pm

No Time To Die: Safin’s Plan Needed Blofeld

TechCrunch

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for No Time To Die

Several key elements of Safin's plan in No Time To Die simply don't make sense without the presence of the previous major Bond villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Although Blofeld does feature prominently in the narrative, it's clear that he is playing second fiddle to Rami Malek's Lyutsifer Safin. However, as a result of this reduced role, the film as a whole suffers and, ultimately, raises serious questions about the efficacy of Safin's supposed master plan.

After occupying center stage in 2015's SpectreNo Time To Die sees Blofeld very much behind the scenes in a British prison. Although he is still running operations at the criminal organization, courtesy of a computerized eye carried around by colleagues, his power and influence has been reduced as a result of his incarceration. This is made clear when an attempt to use stolen nanobots to kill James Bond at a Spectre party inadvertently results in the death of Spectre's entire leadership. It later becomes clear that Safin is behind the mix-up as part of his plan to exact revenge on Spectre for the death of his family. Eventually, Safin manages to successfully assassinate Blofeld via James Bond, after Madeleine Swann infects him with nanobots programmed to match Blofeld's DNA.


After executing his convoluted plan to kill Blofeld, Safin then focuses on finding a buyer for his stolen nanobot technology. This brings him into further conflict with Bond, who recognizes the potentially devastating impact of the so-called Heracles project. However, while programmable nanobots with the potential to kill anyone they come into contact with in seconds are undoubtedly scary, under closer inspection, the rationale for Safin's supposed masterplan doesn't hold up. Not only is it unclear why he hopes to eradicate so many people, but also what motivates him once he successfully kills the head of Spectre. Here's why, ultimately, Safin's plan in No Time To Die needed Blofeld to stand up to scrutiny.

Initially, Safin's plan to kill Spectre as an act of revenge makes a certain amount of narrative sense. After all, avenging the deaths of your family is a perfectly compelling reason to seek potentially world-ending technology. However, not only does the continuation of his plan make little emotional sense after he has succeeded in his earlier goal, but the coherence of the entire project quickly falls apart after even a minimal amount of examination.

For example, it seems highly unlikely that an individual such as Safin, no matter what his resources or his level of influence, would be able to match the tools of a global criminal enterprise such as Spectre. After all, throughout the early story arc of the Craig era, Spectre was responsible for pulling the strings behind everyone from Le Chiffre to Raoul Silva – highlighting the extent of its power. The idea that a hitherto unknown villain with a mysterious backstory would be able to defeat the entire organization singlehandedly by persuading a single scientist to switch sides, therefore, seems extremely unlikely.

What's even more unusual is that Blofeld and Spectre, despite the clear and present danger that he poses to them, seem largely unaware of Safin's true motivations. Despite working for Spectre as an assassin, Safin's revenge plot seems to take everybody by surprise. The idea that such an individual would be able to operate in the criminal underworld, amassing the resources to build his own poison base, without Spectre discovering his real plan and the potential threat he poses to the entire operation seems to stretch credulity to the limit.


Given the fact that Safin is both a new character to the franchise and seemingly lacks strong motivation once his revenge mission is completed, it seems that he may have worked more effectively as a supporting henchman, rather than a central villain. For instance, the idea of Spectre's chief poisoner on the trail of James Bond at the behest of an incarcerated Blofeld may have helped the audience to overlook the obvious problems with incentive that emerge during the film's second and third acts. This would have placed Safin alongside the likes of Jaws, Oddjob and Red Grant as iconic Spectre associates, rather than saddling him with the undue burden of carrying the whole movie.

As it is, the film arguably begins to fall flat once the shadow of Spectre, which had previously defined so much of the Daniel Craig Bond era, completely disappears from the scene. Although Safin's desire for revenge offers an interesting shade to his character, his early success actually undermines the groundwork laid for the organization by previous movies. As a result, turning Safin into a henchman would have been an effective way for No Time To Die to underscore the danger posed by Spectre, rather than reducing them to a sideshow easily eliminated by a single defecting scientist.

By contrast, an alternative plot in which Blofeld was the real mastermind behind the nanobot plot would not only have served Safin's character better, but would have been a far more compelling way to bring the entire Craig-era story arc to a close. Given the conflict between the two characters in previous movies, No Time To Die could have provided greater scope for exploring this compelling relationship. It's easy to imagine, for instance, an alternative story arc in which Blofeld – with Safin's help – attempts to exact revenge on James Bond from prison, perhaps with equally tragic results. This would have built on existing emotional tensions from the rest of the saga, rather than shoehorning in a new villain and starting again from scratch.

Placing Safin as a secondary villain would also have allowed the film to continue a trend that has defined Daniel Craig's Bond movies – namely, defying convention and pushing boundaries. Throughout the Bond era, henchmen have typically been two-dimensional caricatures that, despite iconic characteristics, have lacked proper development. Placing an actor such as Malek in this role would have allowed the film to do something genuinely radical with its supporting baddie, giving him his own compelling motivations. Placing him in the heart of the action without a genuinely compelling story behind his actions ultimately satisfies no one and represents a serious mistake for No Time To Die.


One way in which the film could have incorporated both Safin and Blofeld would have been to alter Safin's loyalties. It's not inconceivable, for instance, that in a world where Blofeld is behind bars, a power struggle might break out at the top of the organization. In a bid to keep control of the group, Blofeld could therefore have recruited Safin to assassinate his rivals on his behalf.

Ironically, this approach may also have tied in with Safin's plan for revenge. Given Blofeld's age, it's extremely unlikely that he would have been in charge of Spectre when Safin's family were killed at the request of the group. However, other high-ups within the organization may well have had a hand in the murders, providing Safin a compelling reason to team up with Blofeld. In this world, Safin as the liberated expert poisoner could have operated on the outside with Blofeld still holding the reins of power in jail. This would have helped alleviate one of the central problems with No Time To Die by providing two villains with competing and equally compelling motives, while also giving a villain as iconic as Blofeld his due.

There's no doubt that aspects of the movie provide a fitting swansong for Daniel Craig's time as James Bond. However, for all of the exciting onscreen action, including Bond's heartbreaking final sacrifice, it's undeniable that Bond's adversaries often fail to live up the rest of the film. With a few tweaks to the story, it's easy to see how this problem could have been avoided. As it is, No Time To Die represents a missed opportunity – both for Rami Malek's Safin and the re-imagined Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

October 12th 2021, 4:45 pm

How Long It Takes To Beat Far Cry 6

TechCrunch

Players are finally getting their hands on Far Cry 6, and the newest entry in the series provides a fairly lengthy experience. Far Cry 6 has received fairly good reviews so far, with critics and players enjoying the core gameplay experience while recognizing the similarities to other games in the franchise. The game follows the tale of Dani Rojas as they attempt to bring down the devilish dictator Anton Castillo and save the fictional country of Yara.

Ubisoft has become well-known for creating open-world experiences that contain a plethora of activities to engage their fans. Franchises like Watch Dogs and The Division feature wide-open city landscapes full of story missions and side quests that can keep players occupied for hours on end, and the Assassin’s Creed series has evolved from a more linear-based open world into a full-blown RPG affair. Far Cry titles fall into the category of open-world adventures as well, but distinguish themselves from Ubisoft’s other franchises by implementing a first-person perspective.


Ubisoft has established a pretty significant pattern for Far Cry games since the release of Far Cry 3. Players are dropped into a land ruled by a vicious dictator and asked to help a group of rebels take back their home, and gameplay stems around explosive combat and exploration. The games typically keep players busy with a good amount of content, and Far Cry 6 appears to be no different.

Far Cry 6 is a moderately lengthy game, with HowLongToBeat polling players at an average of 19 hours just to run through the main story of Dani’s fight against the ruthless Anton Castillo and his forces. Some players were drawn instead to some of the expansive side content, which pushed the average time to about 26 hours. For those looking to explore every nook and cranny of Yara, a completionist run looks to take around 44.5 hours.

When comparing Far Cry 6’s length with the rest of the mainline games in the series, it narrowly takes the lead as the longest entry in the series so far. Far Cry 5 holds the second-longest main story at 18 hours, followed by Far Cry 4 at 17.5 hours, Far Cry 2 at 16.5, Far Cry 3 at 15.5, and the original Far Cry at only 13.5 hours. Far Cry 6 maintains that lead over the spin-off titles Far Cry New Dawn and Far Cry Primal as well, which come in at around 14.5 hours and 11 hours, respectively. It’s fair to say that Ubisoft has steadily increased the amount of content available in each game as time has passed (outside of the dip between 2 and 3), with Far Cry 6 leveling out at the top.

While not quite as long as a Soulsborne title, Far Cry 6 still seems to offer a decent amount of content to warrant a longer investment. Keep in mind that the amount of time it it takes someone to complete the game will differ from player to player, depending on the difficulty selected and how much of the side content the player chooses to experience. Nevertheless, Far Cry 6 should keep players busy for many hours to come.


Source: HowLongToBeat




October 12th 2021, 4:45 pm

Far Cry 6 Hints At Assassin's Creed Universe Connection

TechCrunch

Ubisoft's Far Cry 6 includes a number of fun Easter eggs hidden throughout the game, with some hinting at a connection to the Assassin's Creed universe. This entry in the Far Cry series places players in the role of Dani Rojas, a Guerilla fighter working with rebel forces to oust the oppressive dictator Anton Castillo. It's a setup highly similar to previous Far Cry games, and fans' enjoyment may vary if they were expecting a revolutionary change for the seriesThose looking for another Far Cry experience should still find a lot to enjoy with Far Cry 6, however, especially when searching for all of the Easter eggs tucked around Yara.

Many video game developers have a tendency to include Easter eggs in their games that reference past projects, other games in the industry, and forms of media outside of gaming. Ubisoft is no stranger to a good Easter egg, with Doctor Who’s TARDIS popping up in Assassin’s Creed Origins and references to The Shining, Star Wars and more in Watch Dogs 2. The developer also uses clever references to link their franchises together, and Far Cry 6 is the latest example of Ubisoft’s supposed efforts to create an expansive “Ubi-verse.”


Far Cry 6 features a ton of Easter eggs for players to discover along the way, ranging from an obscure Jurassic Park reference to the potential appearance of a Far Cry 3 villain. The game also includes references to other Far Cry games and different Ubisoft franchises, including the Assassin’s Creed series. The Assassin’s Creed Easter eggs in Far Cry 6 appear to be more than just fun nods to the series, seemingly connecting the two in-game universes in interesting ways.

While exploring Pino Crest on Far Cry 6’s expansive map, players should come across a series of underground bunkers running through the area. In one particular bunker is a note that lists a number of contraband items that Castillo’s forces have moved down into the bunker, including a “Golden Apple” artifact. This Assassin’s Creed Easter egg in Far Cry 6 is a direct reference to the Apples of Eden, which were pieces of Audi technology that fueled the war between the Assassins and the Templars.

Another Assassin’s Creed Easter egg in Far Cry 6 pops up in the treasure hunt mission “Cache Money,” taking players to more bunkers within the Oasis Plains airfield. Another note can be found in the area that details a handful of items that are to be auctioned off, including a couple familiar to fans of Assassin’s Creed. The first item mentioned is an ancient spear that was “once broken, repaired many times,” which is certainly the Spear of Leonidas that Kassandra wielded in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The other item on the list is a “pair of ancient, concealed blades” that have the ability to be “extracted and retracted from gauntlets.” This Far Cry 6 Assassin’s Creed Easter egg is a clear nod to the Hidden Blades, which were the signature weapons for members of the Assassin Brotherhood.

This isn’t the first time that a Far Cry game has established a connection with the Assassin’s Creed series, as Far Cry 3 included Abstergo boxes way back in 2009. It would be interesting to see Ubisoft actually take the leap and include something substantial like usable Hidden Blades in a Far Cry game, which isn’t necessarily out of the realm of possibility when considering the series’ penchant for over-the-top weapons like Far Cry 6's Supremos. Linking Far Cry 6 to the Assassin's Creed franchise opens up a number of possibilities for the two Ubisoft mainstays, and it would be interesting if the developer delivers a unique crossover game in the future.

October 12th 2021, 4:45 pm

Wonder Woman's Most Powerful Form Came from Marvel's Mjolnir

TechCrunch

Already one of DC's powerhouses, Wonder Woman's ultimate form was achieved thanks to her discovery of Marvel's Mjolnir. Displaced due to Thor's previous battle with Shazam, the mythological hammer lay undisturbed until Wonder Woman discovered it and learned that she was worthy of its power. While heroes and villains battled for the survival of their worlds in DC vs Marvel, this ultimate form of Wonder Woman not only showcased the best of both worlds but foreshadowed events yet to come in the legendary crossover series.

In the series by Ron Marz, Peter David, Dan Jurgen, and Claudio Castellini, both comic book worlds experience a massive dimensional breach that has heroes and villains randomly disappearing and reappearing in new universes. While some fought and others worked together, all were left trying to make sense of the madness, only to learn it was all the precursor to a contest unlike any other. Two beyond powerful entities similar to brothers had discovered each other and sought to prove who was better by pitting hand-selected champions against each other, the winner would be allowed to live while the loser would be wiped from existence. While Wonder Woman had been seen briefly in DC vs Marvel #1, her most important role in this unfolding conflict was about to be revealed.


In DC vs Marvel #2, Wonder Woman came across Thor's hammer Mjolnir, which had been temporarily lost after colliding with Shazam's magical lightning bolt. Recognizing it as an ancient Norse hammer, Princess Diana of Themyscira read the inscription carved into the iconic weapon and called out its unrealistic expectations about deeming who was worthy and who was not. When she attempted to pick it up almost as if to prove her point, Wonder Woman was surprised to see Mjolnir emit powerful energy and near the end of the issue, she appeared not only wielding its power but also sporting a new wardrobe as well.



Although this new form would be short-lived and wrapped up by Marvel vs DC #3, this ultimate form of Wonder Woman was not only a significant upgrade to one of DC's most recognized heroes but also a unique amalgamation of both universes. Her new outfit was argued to be one of her worst, but Wonder Woman still had her superhuman abilities and Mjolnir added the ability to control the weather along with other powerful abilities that technically made her the new Goddess of Thunder a decade or two before Jane Foster took on the role. This change may have also been a deliberate foreshadowing to when the series caused both universes to merge, creating the Amalgam Universe, which saw new characters created as mash-ups of Marvel and DC characters.

It was actually thanks to X-Men's Storm that this new form didn't last long. Confronting the powerful Amazon warrior, Storm not only says that she's ready to battle, but that she'd fight Diana even with her new advantage. Although Mjolnir may have reduced Storm's threat to another rainy day, Wonder Woman felt that such an advantage was not fair, loosening her grip so she could fight Storm, ultimately losing the hammer. Although her defeat by Storm was heavily debated despite being determined by fans, one can only wonder what could have happened if she had used Mjolnir after all.

October 12th 2021, 4:45 pm

KUWTK: Kourtney & Travis Pack On The PDA On Fun Disneyland Date

TechCrunch

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker packed on the PDA during the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star's latest romantic Disneyland date. For many months now, Kourtney and Travis are continuing to show off how in love they are despite the criticism they received for being extremely touchy-feely in public. Their latest Disneyland date comes after Scott Disick blasted the couple for packing on the PDA during their vacation in Italy. Alas, the couple remains unbothered by Scott's jabs and Travis even used a new reference to describe his love for Kourtney.

Things have been going extremely well for Kourtney and Travis since confirming their relationship earlier this year. They have spent showing off their romance on social media and during public outings. Their double dates with Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox have made them one of the hottest couples in Hollywood. Kourtney and Travis even made their red carpet debut at the VMAs where Kourtney and Megan introduced their boyfriend's stage performance together. As they gear up for their first public holiday season together, Kourtney and Travis also made another visit to Disneyland.




Travis and Kourtney kicked off the week with another trip to Disneyland. "I want your skull," Travis captioned a short video (included below) where he's holding Kourtney as they kissed each other. The caption was a lyric from a Misfits song, and it comes off as another one of the Blink-182 drummer's odd ways of professing his love for Kourtney. He has already tattooed her name across his chest, let her tattoo him, and purchased matching nameplate necklaces. Now, Travis is letting his fans know that his love for Kourtney goes skull-deep.

Kourtney responded to the video adding the rest of the song's lyrics. "I need your skull," she wrote with a black heart emoji. The heart matched the color that the couple wore during their latest Disneyland date. Kourtney and Travis have enjoyed a number of Disneyland dates since going public. They've even enjoyed family Disneyland dates with both of their kids. Now, the Disick and Barker kids are gearing up for a blended family Christmas. It'll be Kourtney and Travis's first time celebrating Christmas together as a public couple. Last year, they were still keeping their romance private.

Sources recently said that Scott has plans of spending Christmas with his kids and Kourtney. However, considering his bitterness over her dating Travis, it's a wonder how their holiday season will turn out. Kourtney and Scott haven't been on good terms after he was caught sending Younes Bendjima a DM to bad mouth Kourtney for kissing Travis in public. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians alumni still have three children to c0-parent, but if Scott isn't willing to get over Kourtney dating Travis, that could be a challenge for them to all come together as a family.


Source: Travis Barker/Instagram




October 12th 2021, 4:45 pm

90 Day Fiancé: Michael Jessen Confirms Split From Juliana On Anniversary

TechCrunch

Fans of 90 Day Fiancé have praised Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio for forming a happy and healthy patchwork family, but Michael has just confirmed that their relationship is over. It turns out that the couple was not as happy as they seemed to be. Juliana's social media left viewers speculating over whether or not she left Michael, as she posted tearful and cryptic messages on TikTok. Michael let his followers know about the split on their second wedding anniversary, before sharing that one of them has already moved on with a new love interest.

When Michael and Juliana first appeared in 90 Day Fiancé season 7, fans were skeptical about their romance. Many thought that the international Brazilian model was taking advantage of the wealthy older American. However, Juliana quickly bonded with Michael's ex-wife Sarah and their two children, Max and Cece. However, the past few weeks have seen Juliana dropping breakup hints. The model worried that fans would blame her and dislike her when they discovered the truth.

Related: 90 Day Fiancé: Michael Jessen’s Kids Named Kindest In The Franchise

Michael took to his Instagram @michael_jessen77 to announce his split from Juliana on their anniversary, by sharing a sweet snap from their wedding on their second anniversary. "Today is only our second wedding anniversary and, sadly, our last. Our marriage is a Covid-19 casualty that will not be showing up in any statistics," Michael remarked in his lengthy caption. He wrote the caption to Juliana, adding that she was doing well while others are still suffering. He then praised his now ex-wife for her “resilience, self-reliance, and independence” as well as her “beautiful joy, happiness, and positivity.” However, he also wrote that the pandemic slowly robbed Juliana of her winning qualities.

Though Michael wrote seemingly kind words and blamed the pandemic for the end of their marriage, he also made it clear that Juliana left him. "I did not maintain the strength of mind and the fortitude to be the husband that you wanted me to be. The stress and the pressure of providing for everyone got the better of me and I did not take care of myself," Michael explained to Juliana. "I do not blame you for wanting to leave and for desiring a new start. You are more suited for the life that you had before we met and I can understand why you would want to return," he said, before writing that his "heart is broken."

Michael then dropped a major bombshell that Juliana had already found someone else. "I am happy that you have moved on and have quickly found someone new. I hope that you will have lasting love and happiness and achieve every dream that you set out upon. If anyone can do it, it is you, and I will always be rooting for you," he wrote.

Many 90 Day Fiancé fans came to regard Michael and Juliana as one of the happiest and sweetest couples in the franchise. Michael's children have been praised for their devoted and loving natures, while many viewers were impressed with how Juliana bonded with Michael's ex-wife Sarah. Though some viewers have been skeptical of their relationship from the start, many were surprised to see Juliana's tearful messages over the past few weeks. Since Michael had the first word on the split, many 90 Day Fiancé fans are curious about Juliana's response- and her new man.

Next: 90 Day Fiance: Why Fans Still Wonder If Juliana Is A Gold Digger

Source: @michael_jessen77/Instagram



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October 12th 2021, 4:45 pm
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