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23 Nov 17:37

Burnout Paradise, Sleeping Dogs lead December’s Xbox Games With Gold

by Samit Sarkar

Burnout Paradise joins the Xbox backward compatibility list

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15 Nov 15:33

FX’s ‘Y: The Last Man’ Gets ‘American Gods’ Writer

by Angie Han

Y The Last Man Showrunner

The ongoing saga of Y: The Last Man‘s journey to the screen has taken another promising turn. Michael Green has been tapped as showrunner on the planned FX series, which is based on Brian K. Vaughan‘s acclaimed comic book series. Green’s recent work includes Starz’s American Gods (another long-simmering adaptation of a beloved geek property), the Wolverine spinoff Logan, and Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Green will co-write the script for Y: The Last Man with Vaughan. Illustrated by Pia Guerra, Vaughan’s comic book series begins with the sudden, simultaneous, and totally unexplained death of nearly every mammal with a Y chromosome. Among the very few survivors are a young man named Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand. The pair set out into a post-apocalyptic world to find Yorick’s loved ones and discover what caused the mysterious plague, as well as the reason they alone were spared.

The series yielded 60 issues between 2002 and 2008, and was massively successful with both fans and critics. As I recall, it was the kind of comic book that even people who didn’t really read comic books (like myself, at the time) were reading. Y: The Last Man earned three Eisner Awards and a Hugo nomination.

FX put Y: The Last Man in development as an ongoing drama series last year. The project is still in the early stages at this point, though getting a writer and showrunner on board is an encouraging step forward. Previously, Y: The Last Man had been in on-again, off-again development for years as a potential movie adaptation, before the rights reverted to Vaughan in 2014. Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are teaming with FX and FX Productions on the Y: The Last Man TV series.

Green’s film credits include Green Lantern and the upcoming Alien: Covenant and Murder on the Orient Express. On the small screen, he created Kings and has written for Sex and the CitySmallvilleHeroesGotham, and more. He’s serving as co-showrunner of American Gods with Bryan Fuller, though it’s unclear whether that will change if and when Y: The Last Man gets picked up. In addition, he’s known for his work on comic books like Superman/Batman and Supergirl.

The post FX’s ‘Y: The Last Man’ Gets ‘American Gods’ Writer appeared first on /Film.

03 Nov 13:29

The 'Trainspotting 2' trailer is here and it's everything we'd hoped for

by Sam Haysom

"Hello Mark. So what you been up to... for 20 years?"

From the opening line of the Trainspotting 2 trailer, any fears that the sequel would in some way be an awkward departure from the original are immediately blown away.

The first full-length trailer for Danny Boyle's T2: Trainspotting is like an intoxicating trip down memory lane: Renton, Spud, Sick Boy, and Begbie are all 20 years older, but their lives (with the possible exception of Renton's) look depressingly similar to how they did in the original.

The clip above doesn't give too much away: we know Mark has returned to Scotland after a 20-year absence, and that Begbie is also back (presumably from a long stint in jail); we also know, from the random glimpses of drug-taking and violence, that Mark's return doesn't go entirely smoothly. Read more...

More about Uk, Scotland, Ewan Mcgregor, Danny Boyle, and Trainspotting 2
02 Nov 15:02

Inherent Vice (2015)

02 Nov 15:02

Eddie the Eagle (2016)

01 Nov 17:05

Watch Phish play David Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' album

by Adam Rosenberg

Phish celebrated Halloween in the best way possible: they covered the late David Bowie's seminal album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

The band has a long tradition of donning a "musical costume" on Halloween night. In the past, they've delivered full runthroughs of The Beatles' White Album" Velvet Underground's Loaded and Talking Heads' Remain in Light

This was the first musical costume for Phish since 2013, when the band played through its as-yet-unreleased album, Fuego. You can watch the full Bowie set up top.

More about David Bowie, Halloween, Music, Entertainment, and Phish
27 Oct 23:40

Peter Jackson’s next project is steampunk Mad Max

by Susana Polo

Except the cars are cities that eat other smaller cities. Seriously.

Continue reading…

27 Oct 13:53

Jumbo jet will no longer make 'world's scariest' landing

by Nikolay Nikolov

One of the world’s coolest and scariest airport landings is ending. The Dutch carrier KLMwill no longer fly the four-engined Boeing 747 to St Maarten airport starting Oct. 30. The flight will be operated by an Airbus 330 instead. This video shows the penultimate landing of the flight. Read more...

More about Mashable Video, Plane Landing, Beach, Caribbean, and Boeing
25 Oct 12:43

New York Times devotes a 2-page spread to "The 281 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter"

by Cory Doctorow
14 Oct 15:05




motherfucker has ice in his veins

Trebek, you are a smug dickwagon.

12 Oct 22:21

Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender gets January premiere date for second season

by Julia Alexander

Just a little while longer

Continue reading…

11 Oct 14:43

STAR WARS’ Official BB-8 Waffle Maker Makes for a One-of-a-Kind Breakfast

by Jenn Fujikawa

Getting out of bed is a drag, but having a roly-poly droid waiting for you sure makes mornings a lot easier. Think Geek has answered our breakfast prayers by creating a BB-8 waffle maker. Eat one of these and you’ll immediately know how to find Luke Skywalker, I’m sure of it.

Following in the footsteps of previous Star Wars wafflers modeled after the Death Star and Darth Vader, this little machine gives your morning routine a piping hot thumbs up. The waffles are not very big, only five inches by six-and-¾ inches, but you can make up for that in flavor. Oh, and by eating a ton of them. This is officially-licensed Star Wars: The Force Awakens merch so you won’t find any Tosche Station knock-offs here.


The cast aluminum cooking plates give beautiful detail to every waffle, and the high sides make for giant circular pools to fill up with the best syrup in the galaxy. Think Geek put together a video showing off this latest in droid technology, and it’s fun to see all the BB-8s sitting around the breakfast table eating… BB-8s? Wait a minute, is this some sort of droid cannibalism? I can’t watch.

As for us humans, a few of these toasty BB units, side of sizzling banta bacon and some blue milk and you’ve got yourself a well balanced meal to start the day.

Get a closer look at the waffle maker in the gallery below and you can pre-order the BB-8 Waffle Maker exclusively on Think Geek.

Will you be waffling up an astromech droid in the morning? Let us know in the comments and tag @nerdist and @justjennrecipes on Instagram to show us how you Star Wars up your breakfast!

Images: Think Geek
07 Oct 13:19

Mondo Releasing LUKE CAGE Soundtrack on Vinyl

by Eric Diaz

If you’ve already watched the Marvel/Netflix series Luke Cage (and if you haven’t you should really get on that, because it’s amazing) you’ve noticed one of the the things that sets it apart from so many other shows is its awesome musical score. A mix of modern R&B and Hip-Hop, combined with old school Soul tunes that recall the Blaxploitation films of the ’70s, it reminds viewers of movies like Shaft and Coffy, but without venturing into parody territory. This amazing soundtrack comes to us from composers Adrian Younge (Black Dynamite) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest).

Now Mondo is proud to unveil the soundtrack for Marvel’s Luke Cage, together with collectible artwork of the bulletproof hero by Matthew Woodson. The 2XLP soundtrack will be pressed on 180 Gram “Power Man Yellow” colored vinyl, and pre-order begins on Friday (10/7) at 12PM CST at for $35. Marvel’s Luke Cage Original Soundtrack Album will also be available at digital retailers and streaming services on October 7. You can check out images of Mondo’s vinyl release in our gallery below.

As described by Mondo, “the combined forces (of composers Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad) have produced one of the best scores of 2016, featuring an inspired, genre-bending blend of orchestral score and 90s hip-hop beats, filtered through the sonic lens of the works of Ennio Morricone. It’s no surprise that the score hovers in the same terrain of the Spaghetti Western soundtracks of Morricone – the narrative of Luke Cage plays out like a modern Western, only set in Harlem. Younge and Muhammad have meticulously crafted one of the most unique sonic landscapes in the history of television.”

Are you excited that this amazing, retro style score is coming out on vinyl? Let us know in the comments below. Also be sure to check out our brief history of all the live musicians featured in Luke Cage. We even made a playlist which you can see below.

Images: Mondo / Marvel 

05 Oct 12:50

Third-gen Apple TV is now officially discontinued

by Stan Schroeder

Looks like my next device maybe a ROKU

It's no secret that Apple didn't exactly want customers to buy the old, third-generation Apple TV instead of the new, tvOS-powered one — the company all but hid it from its store — but up until recently, it was still available for purchase. 

This is no longer the case9to5Mac has obtained a company email sent to employees informing them that the third-gen Apple TV has been discontinued

"Effective immediately, Apple TV (3rd generation), MD/199LL/A, has reached end of life and is now discontinued. The Apple Supply team is going to fulfill all shippable backlog," Apple's memo said.  Read more...

More about Discontinued, 3rd Gen, Third Generation, Apple Tv, and Tech
04 Oct 19:02

The 10 most painful Oscar snubs of all time

by Jonathan Keshishoglou

Fans can get indignant when their favorite movies are passed over during awards season—and rightfully so. Some of the biggest directors in film have had their best movies snubbed, from Alfred Hitchcock to Stanley Kubrick to Spike Lee.

These Best Picture Oscar burns, selected from decades of cinema by CineFix, were painful enough to be felt through the ages.

Subscribe to CineFix for more videos:

More about Mashable Video, Stanley Kubrick, Hitchcock, Spike Lee, and Best Movies Ever
04 Oct 16:05

Robotech (1985)

03 Oct 14:28

Guided by Voices: Alien Lanes

by Steven Hyden

The passage of time has done nothing to make the mid-’90s heyday of Guided by Voices seem any less extraordinary. Released at the height of the band’s underground popularity in 1995, Alien Lanes supposedly cost $10 to make (excluding the cost of the beer consumed as it was recorded) while garnering GBV an advance worth nearly $100,000 from its new record label, Matador. GBV’s 37-year-old mastermind and only permanent member, Robert Pollard, had already been around a while, recording several albums in the ’80s and early ’90s that virtually nobody heard. But Pollard’s latest opus was a big deal: famous mastering engineer Bob Ludwig mastered Alien Lanes. (Among Ludwig's prior credits was Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, possibly the most celebrated "lo-fi" album ever.) Upon release, Alien Lanes was greeted with a laudatory four-star review in Rolling Stone comparing GBV to the twin pillars of ’90s alt-rock, R.E.M. and Nirvana. “The new drunk drivers/Have hoisted the flag,” Pollard sings on Alien Lanes’ opening track, “A Salty Salute.” The bravado was warranted.

Bandcamp has since normalized the idea of a bedroom tunesmith from flyover country releasing a self-recorded masterpiece to the world, and getting semi-famous in the process. Will Toledo was once a high school kid from Virginia who wrote and recorded dozens of songs in the backseat of his parents’ car, and now Car Seat Headrest is one of 2016’s biggest new indie bands.

But the lack of online distribution channels was hardly GBV’s only disadvantage before Alien Lanes. By the time GBV’s would-be swan song, 1992’s Propeller, became a surprise critical hit, Pollard was a family man from Dayton, Ohio, who by rock‘n’roll standards was over-the-hill. By day, he worked as an elementary schoolteacher, and on weekends, he blew off steam by getting drunk in his garage and laying down weird, succinct, and insanely catchy songs informed by ’60s and ’70s prog and psych-rock on a four-track machine with guys from the neighborhood. And for many years, that was basically the extent of Pollard’s music career. 

Even after GBV finally made its mark, Pollard’s unabashed devotion to the less fashionable sectors of classic rock (Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, Who’s Next, Cheap Trick) put him out-of-step with indie’s entrenched punk orthodoxy. “King Crimson with a short attention span and a sixpack,” was how Craig Marks described Guided by Voices in the Spin Alternative Record Guide, published just as the band’s notoriety was peaking. While the King Crimson comparison would’ve flattered Pollard, it wasn’t meant as a compliment in the alt-era.

What Guided by Voices lacked in traditional indie cool, it made up for in songs. So many, many songs—great songs, bad songs, OK songs that became good because they were short and worked as segues between the great songs. With 28 tracks dispensed in just 41 minutes, Alien Lanes offered up more songs than any other GBV album, and they were dense with in-jokes and non-sequiturs about a pimple zoo, the Amazing Rockethead, and Baron Von Richtofen, among other obscurities. Pollard’s method was to write five duds in order to get one perfect tune, and then release all six songs. In the end, making art was like breathing for Pollard—you can’t inhale oxygen without exhaling carbon dioxide. 

GBV also had mystique to burn. After 1994’s Bee Thousand made them bona-fide indie sensations, music critics talked about the band in terms that recalled the romanticism once foisted on the Band, as it transitioned from Bob Dylan’s backing group to the rustic fantasia of 1968’s Music From Big Pink. Like the Band, GBV were perceived to be “proud brothers,” to quote “A Salty Salute”—regular, blue-collar guys who drank cheap domestic beer without irony and imbued prissy indie conventions with jocular earthiness and a refreshing lack of pretension. As far as New York City-based music writers were concerned, Dayton might as well have been situated in the middle of the woods, a la the Band’s mythical headquarters in West Saugerties. (In reality, Dayton was a good-sized Midwestern city with a population of about 175,000 in 1995.) But Pollard’s image as a hick-savant wasn’t entirely media-created—he played his own role in cultivating it.

Consciously or not, Pollard integrated GBV’s “regular guy” image into the songs and iconography of Alien Lanes like never before. On the back cover there’s a photo of GBV’s ever-shifting lineup at the time of the album’s creation, seated on a couch in what appears to be a basement. Pollard is in the middle, staring upward and looking dapper in red, white, and blue Chuck Taylors. To Pollard’s right is guitarist Tobin Sprout, the George Harrison to Pollard’s Lennon/McCartney, and bassist James Greer, a Spin writer who profiled the band and then didn’t want to leave. (Greer exited the group soon after, though he later became GBV’s biographer. Greg Demos is commonly referred to as the “classic lineup” bassist, and he’s also listed in the liner notes.) To Pollard’s left is drummer Kevin Fennell, Pollard’s former brother-in-law, and lead guitarist Mitch Mitchell, a chain-smoking Keith Richards-type who first played with Pollard in a late-’70s metal band called Anacrusis.

“When you saw them live, it was just so fucking powerful; it rocked so hard, it was physically powerful,” Matador co-owner Gerard Cosloy tells Greer in Guided by Voices: A Brief History. “I was expecting something way more low-key, like the records.” Alien Lanes seems like an attempt to rectify any “low-key” misconceptions, with songs like the caterwauling “Striped White Jets” and Who-like “My Son Cool” approximating the arena rock of Pollard’s youth. But while portions of Alien Lanes were recorded live, most of the tracks were assembled via Pollard’s usual recording methods. 

For the propulsive power-pop number “Game of Pricks”—which sounds like a bootleg of an imaginary, amphetamine-fueled Beatles gig from 1965—Pollard met with Fennell and Sprout in Fennell’s basement. After running the through the song a couple of times, Pollard laid down guitar and drum parts with Fennell, and then overdubbed bass and vocals. Sprout’s job was to operate the Tascam recorder—he turned the bass knobs all the way down and the treble all the way up, per Pollard’s request—and make sure the inexpensive Radio Shack microphones scattered about the room were turned on. Once Sprout performed a quick mix, “Game of Pricks” was finished in about 30 minutes.

While he entertained an offer from Warner Bros. before opting to sign with Matador, Pollard wasn’t yet interested in making a slick, radio-friendly record. (That would happen later with 1999’s Do the Collapse, when it was probably too late for GBV to make any real commercial impact.) In A Brief History, Greer writes that Pollard expressed his desire for “a wall full of gold records” while meeting with Warner Bros. But Pollard was also insecure about the viability of his songs and paranoid about the record industry. He wanted a large audience, but GBV’s flash of indie-fame also made him squirm. “I couldn’t hide anymore,” Pollard told Marc Woodworth in 2006. “I was full of second guessing.”

“Echos Myron” sums up the jovial mood of Bee Thousand: “We’re finally here/And shit yeah, it’s cool!” But on Alien Lanes, the good vibes were replaced by nostalgia for lost innocence and crippling anxiety about what lies ahead. Dark warnings permeate the songs: “Don’t let anyone find out/Or expose your feelings” (“Striped White Jets”); “Try to be nice and look what it gets you” (“Closer You Are”); “Temptation creeps to you like rapists in the night” (“(I Wanna Be a) Dumbcharger”); “You could never be strong/You can only be free” (“Game of Pricks”). The most disturbing track on Alien Lanes is “Always Crush Me,” a nightmarishly mechanical piano ballad that reimagines Gilbert and Sullivan as a John Cale deep cut. “Always crush me/Picture my amazement/When it doesn’t always pain me/And I will reproduce faster,” Pollard yelps over clipped keyboard plunks, obliquely referencing GBV's newfound commercialism. 

Elsewhere on Alien Lanes, Pollard goes out of his way to deface his most beautiful songs, whether it’s overdubbing an obnoxious snoring sound on the sparkling “Ex-Supermodel” or warping the tempo, like a Walkman operating on dying batteries, on “Chicken Blows.” What was Pollard afraid of? Whatever the answer, Alien Lanes sold worse than Bee Thousand and was generally considered inferior. “I met Kim Deal when we did Bee Thousand. She really loved that record, but Alien Lanes she wasn’t crazy about,” Pollard told Mojo in 2002. “She thought it was too much, too bombastic, but that’s what I like about it.”

“Pop for perverts,” was Robert Christgau’s assessment of GBV in 1994. The legendary Village Voice music critic dismissed them as “pomo smarty-pants too prudish and/or alienated to take their pleasure without a touch of pain to remind them that they're still alive.” I humbly submit that Christgau just didn’t understand the Midwest.

Pollard’s genius was creating a band framework in which he could become anything he wanted—specifically, a hotshot 22-year-old British rock star from 1969—while remaining exactly who he was outside of it. Alien Lanes is the sound of a man reconciling his dreams (which had come true, more or less) with his reality (which had splintered, though he tried for a while to maintain his band and his marriage). The omnipresent hiss on Alien Lanes was necessary because it was Pollard’s way of signaling to the people back home that he wasn’t getting too full of himself, a reflexive impulse bred into every middle-American.

The trebly bombast and pronounced discursiveness of Alien Lanes was read as typical indie caginess in 1995, but 21 years later, it’s this tension between Pollard’s big-time rock classicism and self-defeating sonic fuckery that’s aged best. In retrospect, Alien Lanes can be viewed as a nexus point in rock history, representing the end of an era when the record business believed that a band like this could make a million dollars, and the beginning of our current era in which rock is essentially folk music, where it’s kept alive not out of financial imperative, but because rock can act as a safe space for people who have consciously decided to ignore financial imperatives and exist outside of mainstream culture.

In my view, Alien Lanes is the greatest post-modern classic rock album ever made, because it exemplifies the songwriting and posture of classic rock while also implicitly commenting on rock’s cultural decline. This was already underway in 1995, the year after Kurt Cobain died, when the top-selling rock artists were Hootie and the Blowfish, Alanis Morissette, and Live. It was this world that Guided by Voices was tasked with taking over, though when you listen to Alien Lanes, all you hear is Pollard’s ambivalence. 

In “Motor Away,” which lives at the heart of Alien Lanes both sequentially (it’s the 15th track) and spiritually, Pollard sings about the liberation of blasting down an open road in order to “belittle every little voice” in your crummy town that ever doubted your ability to escape, while also acknowledging that those people might be right. “You can’t lie to yourself that it’s the chance of a lifetime,” he sings, which is all the more remarkable for the surging, life-affirming music that surrounds it. 

The point of “Motor Away” isn’t to give up hope because the destination might not end up being what you envision, but rather to enjoy the thrill ride that takes you there. On Alien Lanes, the journey is what matters—the act of creation, the party in the garage, that magical sensation of being carried to the lake, even if the lake turns out to be dry. In the meantime, do not fret. The bus will get you there yet. The club is open.

03 Oct 14:08

The IT Crowd Manual (2014)

30 Sep 14:57

Netflix Picks Up Duncan Jones’ “Mute”?

by Garth Franklin

It looks as though Netflix has picked up the rights to “Moon” and “Warcraft” director Duncan Jones’ sci-fi noir film “Mute” according to the film’s leading man Alexander Skarsgard.

Appearing as a guest on this week’s Empire Podcast, the “True Blood” and “Legend of Tarzan” actor says the plan is for a day-and-date theatrical run and Netflix release:

“I think they’ll do what they did with Beasts Of No Nation, where they do a theatrical simultaneously to a Netflix release. I’ve just got back from Dublin where Duncan showed me all the renderings and the visuals of it and I’m very, very excited about it.”

The story is set in a dystopian Berlin three decades in the future. Skarsgard plays Leo Beiler, a mute bartender who has to track down his missing girlfriend. It is currently shooting Berlin.

The post Netflix Picks Up Duncan Jones’ “Mute”? appeared first on Dark Horizons.

30 Sep 14:29

Wow, Finally: A Line Of Beard Jewelry For Men


send to Brad...

beard-jewelry-1.jpg Because being the hipsterest hipster is a goal some guys actually strive to achieve, this is the line of beard accessories designed by Krato Milano Jewelry (currently a barely funded Kickstarter campaign). They're little $35 skulls, crystals and ship's anchors that clip into your beard. Alternatively, hot glue a tiny arrow or sparrow pin to a paper clip and wear that. Get creative! Just kidding, wear the exact same thing everyone else is. Personally, you know what I like to wear in my beard? "From the looks of it, about a quarter of a cheeseburger and some French onion soup." Haha, yeah, I eat like an animal. You know why? "Because you're an animal?" No, because I like to PRETEND I'm an animal and see how dates will react. "And -- how do they react?" They always excuse themselves to the restroom, where I assume they've all died. Keep going for several more shots and their Kickstarter video, complete with hair flipping and mustache twirling.
29 Sep 17:34

25 haunted house reactions that will make you shriek with laughter

by Chloe Bryan

It's haunted house season, and we are very glad we're not seeing whatever these people are seeing.

So far this year, dozens of people have already chickened out before completing the famously terrifying Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Ontario. And judging by these faces, we do not blame them. 

Lean into the schadenfreude, people.

Image: nightmares fear factory

Image: nightmares fear factory






More about Photos, Halloween, and Watercooler
29 Sep 17:33

The New Raspberry Pi OS Is Here, and It Looks Great

by Thorin Klosowski

The Raspberry Pi’s main operating system, Raspbian, just got a brand new look from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Dubbed PIXEL, it’s a skin for Raspbian that modernizes the interface, adds some new programs, and makes it much more pleasant to use. Let’s take a closer look at your Pi’s new appearance.


28 Sep 14:21

Spotify's Daily Mix Playlists Combine Old Favorites and New Artists Into One Playlist

by Thorin Klosowski

Over the past couple of years, Spotify has introduced its Discover Weekly playlist that aims to find new music and its Release Radar playlist that seeks out new albums from your favorite artists. Today, it’s mashing up the two ideas with a Daily Mix that combines artists you’ve listened to with new stuff.


28 Sep 13:59

Introducing PIXEL

by Simon Long

Update – bug fixes

Some users have reported problems with the main menu crashing since installing the PIXEL update. This has been traced to a bug in the icon handling code for the menu which has now been fixed.

Some users reported issues with syncing their Google accounts in Chromium. This has been traced to a set of outdated Google API keys included in the version of the browser shipped in this image. This has now been fixed with an updated Chromium build.

We recommend everyone install these fixes, whether you updated an existing image or you downloaded a new image.

To get all the fixes, open a terminal and enter:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

You will need to reboot for the fixes to take effect.

If you still experience problems with any of these after applying the fixes, please let us know in the comments below or on the forums.

Original post starts here…

It was just over two years ago when I walked into Pi Towers for the first time. I only had the vaguest idea of what I was going to be doing, but on the first day Eben and I sat down and played with the Raspbian desktop for half an hour, then he asked me “do you think you can make it better?”


Bear in mind that at this point I’d barely ever used Linux or Xwindows, never mind made any changes to them, so when I answered “hmmm – I think so”, it was with rather more confidence than I actually felt. It was obvious that there was a lot that could be done in terms of making it a better experience for the user, and I spent many years working in user interface design in previous jobs. But I had no idea where to start in terms of changing Raspbian. I clearly had a bit of a learning curve in front of me…

Well, that was two years ago, and I’ve learnt an awful lot since then. It’s actually surprisingly easy to hack about with the LXDE desktop once you get your head around what all the bits do, and since then I’ve been slowly chipping away at the bits that I felt would most benefit from tweaking. Stuff has slowly been becoming more and more like my original concept for the desktop; with the latest changes, I think the desktop has reached the point where it’s a complete product in its own right and should have its own name. So today, we’re announcing the release of the PIXEL desktop, which will ship with the Foundation’s Raspbian image from now on.



One of the things I said (at least partly in jest) to my colleagues in those first few weeks was that I’d quite like to rename the desktop environment once it was a bit more Pi-specific, and I had the name “pixel” in my mind about two weeks in. It was a nice reminder of my days learning to program in BASIC on the Sinclair ZX81; nowadays, everything from your TV to your phone has pixels on it, but back then it was a uniquely “computer-y” word and concept. I also like crosswords and word games, and once it occurred to me that “pixel” could be made up from the initials of words like Pi and Xwindows, the name stuck in my head and never quite went away. So PIXEL it is, which now officially stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight”.

What’s new?

The latest set of changes are almost entirely to do with the appearance of the desktop; there are some functional changes and a few new applications, about which more below, but this is mostly about making things look nicer.

The first thing you’ll notice on rebooting is that the trail of cryptic boot messages has (mostly) gone, replaced by a splash screen. One feature which has frequently been requested is an obvious version number for our Raspbian image, and this can now be seen at the bottom-right of the splash image. We’ll update this whenever we release a new version of the image, so it should hopefully be slightly easier to know exactly what version you’re running in future.


I should mention that the code for the splash screen has been carefully written and tested, and should not slow down the Pi’s boot process; the time to go from powering on to the desktop appearing is identical, whether the splash is shown or not.

Desktop pictures

Once the desktop appears, the first thing you’ll notice is the rather stunning background image. We’re very fortunate in that Greg Annandale, one of the Foundation’s developers, is also a very talented (and very well-travelled) photographer, and he has kindly allowed us to use some of his work as desktop pictures for PIXEL. There are 16 images to choose from; you can find them in /usr/share/pixel-wallpaper/, and you can use the Appearance Settings application to choose which one you prefer. Do have a look through them, as Greg’s work is well worth seeing! If you’re curious, the EXIF data in each image will tell you where it was taken.





You’ll also notice that the icons on the taskbar, menu, and file manager have had a makeover. Sam Alder and Alex Carter, the guys responsible for all the cartoons and graphics you see on our website, have been sweating blood over these for the last few months, with Eben providing a watchful eye to make sure every pixel was exactly the right colour! We wanted something that looked businesslike enough to be appropriate for those people who use the Pi desktop for serious work, but with just a touch of playfulness, and Sam and Alex did a great job. (Some of the icons you don’t see immediately are even nicer; it’s almost worth installing some education or engineering applications just so those categories appear in the menu…)


Speaking of icons, the default is now not to show icons in individual application menus. These always made menus look a bit crowded, and didn’t really offer any improvement in usability, not least because it wasn’t always that obvious what the icon was supposed to represent… The menus look cleaner and more readable as a result, since the lack of visual clutter now makes them easier to use.

Finally on the subject of icons, in the past if your Pi was working particularly hard, you might have noticed some yellow and red squares appearing in the top-right corner of the screen, which were indications of overtemperature or undervoltage. These have now been replaced with some new symbols that make it a bit more obvious what’s actually happening; there’s a lightning bolt for undervoltage, and a thermometer for overtemperature.


If you open a window, you’ll see that the window frame design has now changed significantly. The old window design always looked a bit dated compared to what Apple and Microsoft are now shipping, so I was keen to update it. Windows now have a subtle curve on the corners, a cleaner title bar with new close / minimise / maximise icons, and a much thinner frame. One reason the frame was quite thick on the old windows was so that the grab handles for resizing were big enough to find with the mouse. To avoid this problem, the grab handles now extend slightly outside the window; if you hold the mouse pointer just outside the window which has focus, you’ll see the pointer change to show the handle.



Steve Jobs said that one thing he was insistent on about the Macintosh was that its typography was good, and it’s true that using the right fonts makes a big difference. We’ve been using the Roboto font in the desktop for the last couple of years; it’s a nice-looking modern font, and it hasn’t changed for this release. However, we have made it look better in PIXEL by including the Infinality font rendering package. This is a library of tweaks and customisations that optimises how fonts are mapped to pixels on the screen; the effect is quite subtle, but it does give a noticeable improvement in some places.


Most people have their Pi set up to automatically log in when the desktop starts, as this is the default setting for a new install. For those who prefer to log in manually each time, the login screen has been redesigned to visually match the rest of the desktop; you now see the login box (known as the “greeter”) over your chosen desktop design, with a seamless transition from greeter to desktop.


Wireless power switching

One request we have had in the past is to be able to shut off WiFi and/or Bluetooth completely, particularly on Pi 3. There are now options in the WiFi and Bluetooth menus to turn off the relevant devices. These work on the Pi 3’s onboard wireless hardware; they should also work on most external WiFi and Bluetooth dongles.

You can also now disconnect from an associated wireless access point by clicking on its entry in the WiFi menu.

New applications

There are a couple of new applications now included in the image.

RealVNC have ported their VNC server and viewer applications to Pi, and they are now integrated with the system. To enable the server, select the option on the Interfaces tab in Raspberry Pi Configuration; you’ll see the VNC menu appear on the taskbar, and you can then log in to your Pi and control it remotely from a VNC viewer.

The RealVNC viewer is also included – you can find it from the Internet section of the Applications menu – and it allows you to control other RealVNC clients, including other Pis. Have a look here on RealVNC’s site for more information.


Please note that if you already use xrdp to remotely access your Pi, this conflicts with the RealVNC server, so you shouldn’t install both at once. If you’re updating an existing image, don’t run the sudo apt-get install realvnc-vnc-server line in the instructions below. If you want to use xrdp on a clean image, first uninstall the RealVNC server with sudo apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server before installing xrdp. (If the above paragraph means nothing to you, then you probably aren’t using xrdp, so you don’t have to worry about any of it!)

Also included is the new SenseHAT emulator, which was described in a blog post a couple of weeks ago; have a look here for all the details.



There are updates for a number of the built-in applications; these are mostly tweaks and bug fixes, but there have been improvements made to Scratch and Node-RED.

One more thing…

We’ve been shipping the Epiphany web browser for the last couple of years, but it’s now starting to show its age. So for this release (and with many thanks to Gustav Hansen from the forums for his invaluable help with this), we’re including an initial release of Chromium for the Pi. This uses the Pi’s hardware to accelerate playback of streaming video content.


We’ve preinstalled a couple of extensions; the uBlock Origin adblocker should hopefully keep intrusive adverts from slowing down your browsing experience, and the h264ify extension forces YouTube to serve videos in a format which can be accelerated by the Pi’s hardware.

Chromium is a much more demanding piece of software than Epiphany, but it runs well on Pi 2 and Pi 3; it can struggle slightly on the Pi 1 and Pi Zero, but it’s still usable. (Epiphany is still installed in case you find it useful; launch it from the command line by typing “epiphany-browser”.)

How do I get it?

The Raspbian + PIXEL image is available from the Downloads page on our website now. Note that the uncompressed image is over 4GB in size, and some older unzippers will fail to decompress it properly. If you have problems, use 7-Zip on Windows and The Unarchiver on Mac – both are free applications which have been tested to decompress the file correctly.

To update an existing Jessie image, type the following at the command line:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu
sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer

and then reboot.

If you don’t use xrdp and would like to use the RealVNC server to remotely access your Pi, type the following:

sudo apt-get install -y realvnc-vnc-server

As always, your feedback on the new release is very welcome; feel free to let us know what you think in the comments or on the forums.

The post Introducing PIXEL appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

26 Sep 14:13

Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’ Is a Sexy, Stylish, and Hilariously Perverse Thriller [Fantastic Rest Review]

by Jacob Hall

the handmaiden review

Park Chan-wook has spent much of his career being compared to the great Alfred Hitchock and The Handmaiden isn’t going to stop that. But there’s something to be said for a modern filmmaker being constantly placed side-by-side with one of the greatest directors of all time and there’s something more to be said when that director was known for his range and his willingness to take risks. Yes, Park’s films are Hitchockian in that they’re technically precise thrillers, but they’re also Hitchcockian because they muddle elements of horror and black comedy into the mix. And with The Handmaiden, Park proves that he can also match Mr. Hitchock in another category – he too is gloriously perverted.

That is high praise, of course. The Handmaiden is a film about shaping narratives, about the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we choose the divulge to others (and often, about when and why the truth comes to light). It’s the kind of psychological thriller where the words coming out of everyone’s mouths have to be second-guessed, where sorting out the narrative tangles requires active and gleeful participation on the part of the viewer. And so much of this is couched in the most human and most hidden subject possible: sex, and lots of it. When The Handmaiden isn’t being the sexiest movie released in the year 2016, it’s being the least sexy movie released in the year 2016.

Through Park’s lens, sex lurks behind every decision and half-truth and scheme. The portrayal of sexuality in The Handmaiden is genuinely sensual, but it can also be deeply disturbing and frequently hilarious. Sex is wonderful and frightening and funny. It elevates and it depraves. It opens you up or it boxes you in a corner. It’s why anyone does anything.

Set in Korea in the 1930s, The Handmaiden starts with a small handful of lies and grows from there. Kim Tae-ri plays Sook-hee, the new handmaiden to a wealthy Japanese heiress named Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee). But Sook-hee isn’t there to serve – she’s there as the inside woman for an ambitious criminal named Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), who plans to pose as a count and woo Hideko away from her cruel adoptive uncle (Cho Jin-woong) before he takes her hand in marriage. One her fortune has been secured, Fujiwara will toss his new wife in an insane asylum, pay Sook-hee her cut, and everyone will walk away a little richer.

And oh, if only it were that simple. Because Fujiwara doesn’t count on Sook-hee and Lady Hideko falling for one another. And no one counted on there being another half dozen motivations and desires lurking under the surface. The Handmaiden‘s straightforward first act is the distraction – the real magic trick is happening elsewhere. Park gleefully distracts the audience with disarming comedy and romance, allowing Hideko and Sook-hee to legitimately meet cute and letting their courtship be awkward and sensuous in equal measure. When the rug gets pulled (and it gets pulled hard), you’re surprised without being surprised. This is a Park Chan-wook film, after all. The masterful filmmaker responsible for Oldboy and Stoker is so very exceptional when it comes to exploring the twisted motivations of mad men and the psychological fallout of violence and abuse.

It certainly helps that Park’s cast is so very game. Kim Tae-ri and Kim Min-hee are the stars of this show and the camera never lets you forget that both are beautiful women whether they’re clothed or not. However, their performances are more than a few explicit sex scenes. They are two women living in a patriarchal society, struggling under the thumb of dominating men who see them as tools and bargaining chips. They’re as funny as they are sexy, often reacting to the absurd machinations of the increasingly twisted plot as one would to a comedic farce – how the hell did we get this deep and how do we get out of this? As criminal overlord and uncle, Ha Jung-woon and Cho Jin-woong are frightening until they’re not, slowly exposing how their seemingly unbreakable masculinity masks men who are petty and broken and not nearly as wily as they think they are.

Park shoots his twisted, feminist psychological thriller with an active eye. His camera doesn’t observe as much as it participates and reacts. It follows and pursues. It gives characters space when they need it and closes in for that close-up when they have nowhere to go. Simply watching a Park film is a joy unto itself. Here is a legit master of his medium who knows how to ensure his movie is as fun to watch as possible.

And perhaps that is the highest compliment you can pay The Handmaiden. It’s thoughtful and intense and perverted and sensual and funny and impeccably crafted, but it goes down so easy. Park Chan-wook has delivered another buffet of delights. Come hungry.

/Film Rating: 9.0 out of 10

The post Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’ Is a Sexy, Stylish, and Hilariously Perverse Thriller [Fantastic Rest Review] appeared first on /Film.

20 Sep 01:19

Home Geekonomics: Batman Utility Belt Essentials

by Jenn Fujikawa

Home Geekonomics is a series that features the best in geeky home decor, food and DIY. Each week will focus on a specific fandom and highlight the best of geek for your home and everyday life.

home geekonomics

As decreed by DC Comics, September 17 is Batman Day! Fans around the world will virtually come together to celebrate The Caped Crusader. As we gear up for the event we wonder what essentials Batman might keep in his utility belt. Sure you’ve got your standard Batarangs and grappling hooks, but what about duct tape? Surely that’s a daily necessity around Gotham. Let’s take a look at some of Batman‘s other tools…

Batman Multi-tool Keychain from Box Lunch Gifts
Even if you event the Batcave via waterfall, which seems like a terrible security door, you’ll still need a set of keys for something around Wayne Manor. When it comes to Bat-tools, nothing is as it seems and this isn’t your average keychain—it’s a bottle opener, crosshead screwdriver, and flathead all in one. Bat-tastic!

Batman Letter Opener from Think Geek
Even Batman gets mail (although most of it is just hate-mail from the Riddler because there’s nothing funnier than sending snail mail instead of email in this digital age). This letter opener will help Batsy get through all that junk mail.

Batman Travel Cup from Hot Topic
Hydration is important when you’re on the run. Sure the overly excessive branding may seem like a bit much but Batman has never been one to be subtle when it comes to logos. The straw is key to this cup, because how else are you going to sip from under the cowl?

Mini Batsignal from Think Geek
What do you do when you need to summon the Bat but you only have that awful Gotham cell service? Never fear, now Batman can leave you one of these teeny tiny batsignals. Just under 3-inches it’s an easy way to get help in your time of need.

Batman Duct Tape by Scotch
Forget all those other gizmos—this is the ultimate tool. Duct tape can hoist you up the tallest building in a single bound! Wait, wrong…nevermind. Still, Batman undoubtedly will be able to get himself out of any jam with a good old roll of duct tape, guaranteed.

How are you celebrating Batman Day? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: Box Lunch Gifts, Think Geek, Hot Topic
19 Sep 15:16

Louis C.K.: Hilarious (2010)

15 Sep 13:59

There's a very NSFW 'My Little Pony' feature in iOS 10's Messages app

by Johnny Lieu

Kris you are so topical

Having fun with Messages on iOS 10? It's a pretty fun time.

Yet the eagle-eyed folks at Deadspin have noticed something in Apple's update that's raring to ruin your childhood, if it hasn't been ruined by something already. 

It's an animated 'My Little Pony' character bending over, pulling its underwear down and it's all kinds of nope.

The animated image is easily found in the default GIF library of the Messages app, where it will show up when you search the word "butt." Try searching other rude words like "boobs" or "ass" however, and it's clear Apple have blocked these terms — no results show up.  Read more...

More about Porn, Iphone, Messages, Ios 10, and My Little Pony
14 Sep 18:46

Today in You Are Old: Shaq's son vs. Ron Artest's son in high school hoops

by Sam Laird

This year's Basketball Hall of Fame class — featuring Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson — made us feel ancient last Friday night. 

But guess what? Turns out we're super ancient! Like, dusty-ass-old-book-on-a-mahogany-shelf ancient. 

Shareef O'Neal, son of Shaquille, recently played a high school basketball game against Ron Artest III. The latter's father is the NBA star formerly known as Ron Artest, who currently uses the name Metta World Peace. 

Anyway. Shareef — whose budding game we recently spotlighted — and Artest III are young and good at basketball. The rest of us are old and decrepit. Here are four minutes of highlights.  Read more...

More about Watercooler, Nba, Sports, and Entertainment
14 Sep 17:03

Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner Has Written a Novel

by David Canfield

Matthew Weiner has lined up his next post–Mad Men gig. The Emmy-winning writer’s debut novel, Heather, the Totality, has been acquired by Little, Brown and Company with a planned release date of fall 2017. Described as “a dark fable set in contemporary Manhattan,” the book will track the lives of three individuals whose worlds collide in pursuit of a child.

Weiner helmed the period drama Mad Men for each of its seven seasons, receiving writing credit on a majority of the series’ episodes and winning seven Emmys. Near the end of its run, he wrote and directed his first film, Are You Here, which was hit with negative reviews upon its release and performed poorly at the box office; more recently, he directed the penultimate episode of Season 4 of Orange Is the New Black. Heather, the Totality will mark Weiner’s first major effort since Mad Men ended its run in 2015.

“As someone to whom literature has always been essential, the only thing better than the experience of writing Heather, the Totality is having it published by Little, Brown and Company,” Weiner said in a statement. “I can't imagine a more exciting way to begin this part of my writing life.” He also told the New York Times that the idea came to him while overhearing a conversation in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, saying, “You don’t know if an idea is going to be a TV show or a movie or a play or prose or a poem … It was a little story where I was like, I wonder what that is, maybe I’ll use it some time.”