Firm offers refund for 'impossible' glitch
Firm offers refund for 'impossible' glitch
Wil Wheaton’s got jokes! In a super meta moment on Thursday, the actor dared wear a Star Trek uniform to a screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.
The actor, who played Wesley Crusher from 1987 to 1994 on Star Trek: The Next Generation, shared a photo of his costume on Twitter saying, “Oh, and I went in costume for the first time ever, because I am an adult and I get to decide what that means.”
I loved #TheLastJedi! It hit all the right notes for me, and seeing it in the Chinese Theater, surrounded by my fellow nerds was glorious. The Force was with us.
Oh, and I went in costume for the first time ever, because I am a damn adult and I get to decide what that means. pic.twitter.com/mTqB0LP4hV
— Wil 'Kick the Nazis off the tweeters' Wheaton (@wilw) December 15, 2017
In 2015, Wheaton appeared as himself on The Big Bang Theory, and during one episode, he took in a Star Wars movie while wearing a Star Trek uniform. His choice of attire attracted some hecklers and Wheaton delivered the unforgettable line, “Live long and suck it!” (Watch the clip here.)
No need to worry if the gimmick was ill-intentioned: Wheaton had nothing but good things to say about the latest Star Wars installment. “I loved #TheLastJedi! It hit all the right notes for me,” he said on Twitter. “Seeing it in the Chinese Theater, surrounded by my fellow nerds was glorious. The Force was with us.”
Mr. Robot has been renewed for a fourth season.
USA Network announced the news today, Variety reports.
Mr. Robot stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater, the latter of whom received his third consecutive Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series. Martin Wallström, Grace Gummer, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Michael Cristofer, BD Wong, and Bobby Cannavale also star in the show.
Series creator Sam Esmail serves as an executive producer, alongside Steve Golin and Chad Hamilton. Mr. Robot is co-executive produced by Kyle Bradstreet and Joseph E. Iberti.
We’ve all seen them. Scroll down far enough through your Netflix library and they start to appear, those categories that seem just a little too specific. They’ll start innocently enough. Maybe Netflix will assemble a collection of “Quirky comedies” for your amusement, or “Historical TV Dramas”.
But pretty soon things can start getting weird. “Critically-acclaimed social issue dramas”, “Suspenseful movies starring Denzel Washington” and “Raunchy TV Comedies Featuring a Strong Female Lead” are all categories that have been spotted out in the wild.
You can blame Mike Hastings for all of the categories you see while browsing Netflix. A former film critic with an passion for categorisation, Hastings is in charge of the 30-person strong team that watches and categorizes Netflix’s entire catalogue.
Their aim? To work out what you like to watch, understand what you like about it, and to recommend you more content that you might like.
Hastings has an obsession with rating and categorising movies. When Netflix moved towards its thumbs-up, thumbs-down system and away from a 5-star rating system, he lamented the loss of the feature.
“I love stars because I’m kind of a nerd and I love clicking them,” he explains, before explaining why the change had to take place, “the product manager that introduced thumbs up thumbs down did a lot of testing to find that not all people are like me and like making a five star decision on a title.”
“Netflix has shown me that as much of a nerd as I am, and as much work as I’m willing to put into this, not everyone wants to put in that much effort in terms of selecting stars.”
With each piece of content on Netflix amassing an average of 250 individual tags, Hastings and his team have their work cut out.
When it comes to content catogories, genre is still king. “I keep thinking that genre is going to go away and be replaced by something else but genre continues to be the thing that people respond to first,” Hastings explains.
Genre is also where Netflix sees the biggest regional variations. The ‘Action’ genre is almost universally the most popular worldwide...except in the UK where it’s actually outranked by ‘Horror’ and ‘Family friendly’. Italy, perhaps unsurprisingly considering national stereotypes, skews heavily towards ‘Romance’.
Once genre has been established, Netflix can start moving onto more esoteric tags. They’ll try and describe a show’s tone, be it ‘humorous’, ‘cerebral’, or ‘irreverent’, and its characters. Are they an ‘everyman’? A ‘smart aleck’? A ‘strong female’?
Storylines are another key series of tags. Does the show, like Master of None, deal with storylines about ‘friendship’? ‘Dating’? Or, like the recently released Dark, is it about a ‘Missing Person’, a ‘Family in crisis’ and ‘Unintended consequences’?
Throughout the years Netflix has had to expand the tagging categories as it launches into more markets. Before it launched in Japan it didn’t measure ‘Cuteness’ as a metric, but were forced to in response from demand from viewers there.
More importantly, its ideas around mature content have had to evolve as it’s been exposed to differing sensibilities around the world. Americans are much more lenient when it comes to violent content, so its tags surrounding violence are relaxed slightly. In Australia meanwhile, violence against animals is a particularly sensitive area, causing Hastings and his team to start measuring it when they hadn’t been before.
With so much data being thrown into the system, and with many tags alluding to racial elements of movies and tv shows, we were keen to understand what Netflix is doing to prevent these tags assembling into inappropriate categories.
After all, over the last year we’ve seen what appear to be bots creating disturbing content on YouTube kids, while Google inadvertently surfaced holocaust denial websites when asked if the Holocaust happened.
“Algorithms can do funny and unexpected things,” Hastings acknowledges, “Sometimes you get some results that seem a little tone deaf.”
But he also keenly emphasises that the team keeps close tabs on the categories that the algorithms create, both before and after they are served to the Netflix-viewing public.
Hastings and his team set up “tester accounts” that are given different personalities, and so are exposed to different combinations of tags. “We’ll have one that’s in to one type of content, one that’s into another type of content, and we’ll see both our rows and our algorithmic rows, are they making sense, are they doing anything that’s strange?”
Once the algorithms are let loose in the wild, the team’s work continues with them monitoring social media for any mentions of odd combinations of tags. “We watch Twitter for screenshots of recommendations that people think are wrong or bad.”
At every stage in the tagging process humans play a vital role in generating the data that guides Netflix’s algorithms, but that may change as machine learning and AI grow increasingly dominant in Silicon Valley. Hastings indicated that although these currently play no part in the tagging process at present, their use is something that Netflix is looking into.
Surprisingly, none of this data is fed into the commissioning process for Netflix’s original content.
“We let the ‘total creative freedom’ part happen and then we follow behind,” Hastings explains, “We don’t use the tag data to dictate content at all, we usually let the creators do what they’re going to do.”
“Algorithms aren’t going to replace the creative process when it comes to content.”
The idea of the ‘social media bubble’ has come to define the modern era. Rather than being forced to share a public space with those around us, the sheer breadth of the internet has allowed us to retreat into ‘bubbles’, where we can surround ourselves with people who match, rather than challenge, our views of the world.
The same has happened in the world of media. Now that we’re not limited to watching what’s on the same channels as everyone else, we’re free to watch exactly the content we want to watch. The whole world might be talking about the hot new show on NBC, but you can get your TV fix without having to go anywhere near a mainstream channel.
But at its heart, Netflix seems to be gently tugging people out of their comfort zones. You might spend every waking moment of your day watching sci-fi shows, but if Netflix’s algorithm’s work out that the sci-fi you engage with most all feature a quirky tone, then it can start recommending you quirky content from other genres.
It’s motivated by self-interest (after all, Netflix wants you to watch enough content that you’re happy to continue paying your subscription), but if it succeeds then it might just be able to broaden our worldview, one tag at a time.
Now, if you’ll excuse us we have some raunchy TV comedies featuring a strong female lead to watch.
Make your scribbles searchable.
Stephen Colbert addressed the “scary” situation in New York on Monday when a man set off a makeshift bomb at the Port Authority bus terminal. After the attacker was arrested, the host of The Late Show chuckled at the absurdity of the guy’s plan.
“Seriously?! You try to terrorize New York subway commuters? Nice try! Nice try,” he said during his opening monologue. “New York commuters don’t even flinch when the subway breakdancers kick two inches away from their face. They have to battle rats for the seat, which for the record you should only give up if the rat is pregnant.”
“You try to sow chaos and confusion in the Port Authority bus station?” he added. “That is the normal state of affairs at the Port Authority bus station. There’s a pretty good chance your little explosion may have scoured some of the grime off the wall. Thanks! Now you’re going to jail for a long, long, long time and all New Yorkers want to know is, does that mean your apartment is free and is it rent controlled?”
The man, a 27-year-old inspired by ISIS, prematurely detonated the device, causing injury to himself and three others. Though, there were no fatalities.
“You tried to terrorize New York and it failed,” Colbert said. “The worst you did is make the subways run late and the MTA does that just fine without your help.”
Watch Colbert in the clip above.
We could all use more Christine Baranski in our lives.
Fortunately, CBS All Access is ready to help. The streaming service announced today that The Good Fight — the spin-off of The Good Wife that stars Baranski — will return for a new, 13-episode season on March 4.
Here’s the official tease for season 2 from the streaming service: “The world is going insane, and the Chicago murder rate is on the rise. Amidst the insanity, Diane (Baranski), Lucca (Cush Jumbo), Maia (Rose Leslie) and the rest of the law firm find themselves under psychological assault when a client at another firm kills his lawyer for overcharging. After a copycat murder, the firm begins to look at its own clients suspiciously. Meanwhile, Diane battles with a new partner at the firm, Liz Reddick-Lawrence (Audra McDonald); Maia becomes tougher after her parents’ scandal puts her on trial; and Lucca is brought back into Colin’s (Justin Bartha) orbit.”
The series, like the original, is from Robert and Michelle King and also stars Delroy Lindo, Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, and Nyambi Nyambi.
CBS All Access is CBS’ digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service.
Netflix's The Witcher series adaptation has found its showrunner.
Variety reports Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, co-executive producer on Marvel's The Defenders and Daredevil as well as Starz's Power, will serve as showrunner and executive producer on Netflix's new show based on the fantasy saga. Along with Hissrich, Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of Sean Daniel Company, as well as Tomek Baginski and Jarek Sawko of Platige Image will executive produce.
Andrzej Sapkowski, author of the eight The Witcher novels, will serve as a creative consultant on the series. Tomas Baginski, who has directed the intro videos for the three Witcher games from CD Projekt RED, will direct at least one episode per season. No release date or casting has been announced yet.
In Monday’s midseason finale of The Good Doctor, Sean (Freddie Highmore) goes AWOL after Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) tries too hard to micromanage his home life, Dr. Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas) is sexually harassed, Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu) loses his job, and Jessica (Beau Garrett) tells Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) that she doesn’t want kids. We asked executive producer David Shore to recap the episode and tease what we can expect when the drama returns to ABC in January.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The gamer provided a great way into addressing Sean’s need for independence. Has it been a challenge balancing out how much to focus on Sean’s autism and your need to get busy telling medical stories?DAVID SHORE: The answer is that one services the other. Whenever we look at medical stories to begin with, what we are really looking for are opportunities to highlight something about the way Sean sees the world. What will it allow us to say? One of the things I really like is how Sean says these things like, “You are very arrogant. Does that help you be a better doctor?” The things he asks are the things we ask ourselves. The medical stories give us the opportunity to allow Sean to face these challenges.
In real life, I would think that patients would ask a guy like Sean every day, “What’s wrong with you?” But you can’t keep doing that, right?Yeah. There are certain things that may happen all the time. What I liked about the is that he has dealt with autistic people in his life. I think the gaming world has more than its fair share of people with autism. He embraces them and thinks they are great. we don’t have to go to that well and have explain that over and over again every week.
We already want to see Sean beat the odds and succeed. Will we ever see him get diagnoses wrong?I think we have to, and we already have seen him make mistakes and he has to continue to make mistakes, otherwise the victories become false. He becomes a cartoon character who is just getting everything right. We want to play him fully dimensional with great strengths but he has weaknesses as well. He will be wrong, just like we all would be.
Freddie Highmore is so believable. Do you have to give him any notes at this point, or is he just off and running, all on his own?He is pretty much off and running, all on his own. We continue to talk regularly, and the directors contribute stuff. But he is so fantastic. He understands this character and he works very hard and is very insightful. He’s a pleasure to work with.
Is there much more to say about Sean’s autism? When do you stop mining his condition for B-stories?It can never just be about the autism. The condition is there, it’s part of who he is. If it’s just about the autism, I think it will grow tiresome at some point. Who he is and what his strengths and weaknesses are, we can continue to explore that, hopefully, for many years.
Can you say what will happen to Sean next? I’m assuming he just found another apartment.Well, he’s gonna disappear. He is gone and hasn’t just rented another apartment. He is gone and not sure what he wants to do. He has to find those answers and he will go on a little journey.
Will Aaron learn to lay off?Aaron is who Aaron is. He will learn he needs to lay off. How effective he will be in that, is another question.
Did you come up with the plot about Claire being harassed after the Harvey Weinstein allegations surfaced?It was before.
Did you make any adjustments to the script after the issue of sexual harassment became big news?We did a rewrite but only because we would have done that anyway. We suddenly became very aware. We knew we were dealing with something important, but it became a much more sensitive issue. A different eye was brought to it.
Will we see the harasser again?There will certainly be a shadow left by him.
How the heck is Jared going to get out of this?Attorneys will be involved. I’m an ex-lawyer — that’s where I go on everything.
Have we heard the last from Jessica’s rich dad?He has set something in motion that will have substantial consequences.
You did a nifty thing a few weeks back where you had Neil and Sean work on a 3-D heart. Will you be doing more of that?I hope so. You don’t want to go to that same well over and over again, but there are some really cool things being done, really cool cutting-edge medical technology, and we’re looking into that stuff.
So where does this show live, the medical mysteries?I like where it is right now, I like these emotional stories. I like the impact that these stories have on our characters’ home lives. That has always been the sweet spot for me and what I always wanted to do. These are young people who are literally saving lives by day, literally reaching into the human body and saving lives. At night, they have to try to figure out what their place in the world is. I like seeing both sides of that and how one impacts the other.
The Good Doctor will return in January on ABC.
Ever watched a James Bond movie and considered what changes you’d make if you were the villain? Cooler jumpsuits for your henchmen, extra time spent in those online poker courses, and of course finishing Mr. Bond off rather than assuming your over elaborate death trap will do the job after you’ve left the room.
But the one thing you would keep is that awesome aquarium, the one built into the wall of your volcanic lair. Who wouldn’t want an HQ with a view looking out into a gorgeous seascape filled with giant manta rays and white-tipped reef sharks – even if they don’t come equipped with frickin’ lasers!
Well, guess what, we always wanted that too. But we don’t have a millions needed to build a supervillain aquarium – nor the host of minions to clean it.
What we do have though is a PlayStation 4 attached to a big screen TV. So, we did the next best thing and created Aqua TV.
Aqua TV is more a piece of eye candy than a game. You choose your environments (tropical reef or traditional aquariums of varying sizes) and then populate it with a choice of fish and other sea creatures. And that’s just about it!
During development we had many (sometimes heated) discussions about adding some simple gameplay mechanics, but kept coming back to our initial goal – to create that ‘supervillain aquarium’ vibe – and that meant creating a beautiful – but passive – experience.
Okay, you can do some stuff other than just decide what you want in your scene. Like picking camera angles, zoom positions and background music; but it’s all about having something beautiful on your wall when you’re listening to your tunes, or just generally chilling out. At least that’s the theory. Try to get a bunch of game developers to agree on a playlist though, and even Aqua TV finds keeping the peace a challenge!
And speaking of getting devs to agree, there was a lot of debate on WHAT creatures to include. Sharks, sure. Rays, definitely. But outside of that everyone had their own favourites and with so many fish in the sea we couldn’t include everything!
Oh, and the art team decided that the only way to model everything ‘just right’, given all textures were to be hand painted, was to request ‘research’ scuba-diving trips to Mauritius, Hawaii, the Caribbean and more (understandable I guess given the Scottish weather).
They were more than a little disappointed when a box of super high quality fish photography and Blu-rays arrived! But I hope you’ll agree that even without trips to far flung places they did a great job on the 25 creatures that make up our selectable species list, along with the dressings, backgrounds and floors for the aquariums.
Aqua TV launches on 12th December in Europe, with a limited time 30% discount for PS+ members!
The post Turn your PS4 and TV into an aquarium fit for a supervillain with Aqua TV appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.
Samsung on Tuesday announced that it had developed a way to improve Lithium-Ion batteries with its new material called graphene balls. The company says that batteries featuring the new material charge five times faster than conventional Lithium-ion accumulators and enable a considerably higher volumetric energy density.
The new battery technology developed by Samsung SDI and its partners* uses the so-called graphene balls (a 3D structure synthesized from silicon dioxide, Si02) to cover a cathode and also as an anode material. Graphene balls on the cathode suppress damaging side reactions while also providing efficient conductive pathways. This enables faster charging (as graphene features 140 times faster electron mobility than silicon) and increases the number of cycles a cell can withstand. According to Samsung, a battery cell featuring graphene balls has a 27.6% higher volumetric energy density compared to a similar cell without graphene balls. Furthermore, the cell also retains 78.6% of its capacity after 500 cycles at between 5°C and 60°C.
Samsung articulates that graphene balls could enable batteries with up to 45% higher capacities (than contemporary batteries) that can charge in 12 minutes – or five times faster than today’s batteries, as Samsung puts it. However, what Samsung is not saying when it intends to use the technology for commercial applications. Incorporation of a new protective layer for cathode and switching anode material changes battery production technology, which generally affects costs. Meanwhile, Samsung claims that the graphene ball material is not expensive to produce using its new chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. To grow graphene around SiO2 nanoparticles with diameters of 20–30 nm, Samsung feeds them into a furnace and feds methane (CH4) into it at 1000°C.
“Our research enables mass synthesis of multifunctional composite material graphene at an affordable price,” said Dr. Son In-hyuk, who led the project on behalf of SAIT*. “At the same time, we were able to considerably enhance the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in an environment where the markets for mobile devices and electric vehicles is growing rapidly. Our commitment is to continuously explore and develop secondary battery technology in light of these trends.”
Samsung expects to use its Li-ion batteries featuring graphene balls for electric vehicles and various mobile devices. Since the improved batteries can handle temperatures of around 60°C, they are a good fit for both applications. The most important question is of course when exactly Samsung SDI plans to commercialize them. To that end, it is noteworthy that earlier this year an unnamed executive from Samsung SDI told a newspaper that the company would be able to produce solid-state batteries for smartphones sometimes in 2019.
*The new battery technology was co-developed by Samsung SDI (the company’s battery arm), Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) as well as Seoul National University’s School of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Here’s some heavenly news for The Good Place: NBC just renewed the afterlife comedy for a third season.
The network announced on Tuesday that it has ordered 13 additional episodes of Michael Schur’s critical darling starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. In season 2, the show is averaging a 2.0 rating in the 18-to-49 demo and 6.2 million viewers (when factoring in a week of DVR playback).
The Good Place — which also stars D’Arcy Carden, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto — unveiled its fall finale earlier this month, and returns to the schedule with its final five episodes of season 2 starting on Jan. 4.
NBC has already renewed This Is Us and Will & Grace for next season.