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24 Sep 20:44

How Prequel Young Sheldon Is Different from The Big Bang Theory

Even though it serves as a prequel to The Big Bang Theory, CBS' Young Sheldon is a different kind of show for executive producer Chuck Lorre.
24 Sep 14:39

Synthetic muscle breakthrough could lead to 'lifelike' robots

by Saqib Shah
A breakthrough in soft robotics means scientists are now one step closer to creating lifelike machines. Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a 3D printed synthetic tissue that can act as active muscle. The material, which can push, pull...
24 Sep 14:35

Some brave soul volunteered for a completely robotic dental surgery

by Mallory Locklear
A robot just implanted two 3D-printed teeth into a woman's mouth all on its own. The procedure took place recently in China and the researchers who developed it hope it can help the country's dentist shortage problem, reports the South China Morning...
24 Sep 14:25

Hurricane Maria wreaks havoc on Arecibo radio telescope

by Jon Fingas
Puerto Rico is suffering on an unimaginable scale in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Many have been displaced from their homes, and the entire territory may go without electricity and reliable communication for months. And while the human tragedy is cle...
24 Sep 07:39

Why This Mom Can’t Go to the Playground With Her Kids

by lskenazy

In this 9-minute video  you’ll meet Shawna, an Oklahoma mom not allowed to play with her kids on the playground because of a “sex offense” she committed at age 19: She had consensual sex with a boy, 14. That was 15 years ago. She is on the registry for life, and registrants are banned from playgrounds.

This short was made by David Feige, a public defender and documentarian. Below it I have excerpted some of what he wrote about Shawna and another “offender” you’d probably be proud to have as your son. Don’t read it if you can’t stand feeling rage at the way we have taken the decent, human desire to protect our kids and twisted it to justify sadism.

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Feige met Shawn at a group therapy session for sex offenders he was attending to gather information for his documentary, Untouchable. As he writes at The Marshall Project:

Listening to Shawna’s story, it became immediately clear that she was far from the kind of person we imagine when we think about sexual predators. She wasn’t some serial rapist or violent pedophile, but rather a young woman who happened to hook up with the wrong guy on her birthday. And as we continued to work on the film, we consistently found others consigned to the margins of society and slapped with a “sex offender” label that didn’t quite seem to fit.

In a desolate parking lot a few months later, I met Adrian. And while his story ultimately didn’t become part of the film, it stuck with me. Adrian was a junior at North Dakota State majoring in business management, when he travelled to Miami for spring break. There, he met a girl at an 18-and-over club. They flirted and danced, then walked to the beach where they had sex. They spent about five days together, hanging out on and off and occasionally hooking up.

Adrian returned to college after the trip and all seemed well, until seven months later when he got a call from a detective with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As it turns out, the girl had used a fake ID to get into the club. She was actually 15 years old at the time. Her mom filed a complaint when she found out what had happened.

Asked to return to Miami to answer some questions, Adrian took a bus back to Florida. He explained to the detective that everything was consensual, and that he’d assumed the girl must have been 18 or older since she was in the club. Officers recorded his statement, thanked him for his co-operation, handcuffed him and placed him under arrest. Unable to post the $40,000 bond set by a judge, Adrian remained in jail for nearly eight months. It was the first and only time he’d ever been arrested.

In Florida, as in most other states, the fact that the girl was a willing participant was not a defense. Having admitted to the affair and facing some twenty years in prison, Adrian had no choice but to plead guilty to four counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a person under 16. That guilty plea guaranteed he’d spend the rest of his life listed on Florida’s sex offender registry.

Is there any silver lining to these cases? Some evidence that our sex offender laws are at least making children safer?

Study after study has shown that our sex offender registries are utterly ineffective at reducing sexual violence, and that public notification about sex offenders may actually increase recidivism by making reintegration into society nearly impossible. But what Adrian and Shawna’s stories highlight is a more general problem with our approach to sex offenders: In our zeal to protect children and get tough on crime, we have allowed our criminal justice system to run amok — expanding categories and exacting punishments that upon closer inspection few of us would really condone.

Five years after his guilty plea, Adrian had been rejected from more jobs than he could count. Unable to find housing that complied with a Miami ordinance that prevents registrants from living within 2,500 feet of any public or private school, daycare center or playground, Adrian was was forced into homelessness. He slept in a car parked in a lot — one of the few places sex offenders are actually allowed to reside. His college career was over, as was any hope he ever harbored of having a productive life. Then, two years ago, almost a decade after his conviction, Adrian failed to properly register his whereabouts with the police. As a result, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

There are more than 800,000 Americans who are now required to register as sex offenders. And contrary to popular belief, violent serial pedophiles do not fill the ranks of the registered. Rather, a wide swath of sexual thoughts and actions can lead to the lifetime of stigmatization that being on the sex offender registry entails.

Read the rest here. As for what we can do to turn our country away from ineffective, cruel punishment toward policies that actually make kids safer?

My suggestion for today is: Share this video. – L

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Shawna had consensual sex on her 19th birthday with a boy, 14. For this she is on the Sex Offender Registry for life and not allowed on playgrounds.

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24 Sep 07:36

Dad Teaches his Kids to Ride the Bus. Then CPS Tells Him They Can’t Even Go Outside Alone till Age 10

by lskenazy

Adrian Crook, the dad behind the blog 5Kids1Condo, taught his four oldest kids — 7, 8, 9 and 11 — how to ride the city bus to and from school for the past two years in Vancouver.

The result? Fantastic. The kids love it, and became friends with the bus drivers. Once Adrian even received an email from a random bus passenger saying what a pleasure his well-behaved kids were.

BUT (you knew there had to be a BUT) recently someone reported these “unsupervised” kids to the Ministry of Children and Family Development — the Canadian equivalent of Child Protective Services — and the agency opened an inquiry. They came to Adrian’s house and interviewed each child separately. Aware of the stakes, Adrian tried to be cordial. He provided character references. And, adds Adrian:

I even suggested the Ministry shadow the kids on a bus ride, but they declined.

While the Ministry conducted their weeks-long investigation, they had me sign a “Safety Plan” stating that the kids wouldn’t take the bus alone until the investigation was completed.* I returned to spending several hours a day transiting the kids back and forth from school, a reduction in freedom the kids didn’t understand.

Then decision day finally came.

Can you guess? My guess is you can.

It started off in a favourable way, with the supervisor insisting that I’d gone “above and beyond” what any parent should have to do to train their kids to be responsible and conscious transit riders….

Ultimately, however, the Ministry had checked with their lawyers “across the country” and the Attorney General, and determined that children under 10 years old could not be unsupervised in or outside the home, for any amount of time. That included not just the bus, but even trips across the street to our corner store, a route I can survey in its entirety from my living room window.

 

That bizarre and benighted decision was based on a British Columbia case we’ve discussed here, when a judge ruled that no child under 10 can stay home alone. As terrible as that decision was, it didn’t even relate. That was about one 8-year-old, home alone, not four kids together, on the bus.

So what?

The Ministry also said that in other provinces, the legal age to be unsupervised is much higher. In fact, only three provinces have legislated minimum ages at which kids can be left home alone (and BC isn’t one of them): Ontario (16), New Brunswick (12) and Manitoba (12). Only Quebec has a statutory minimum age for being left alone in a vehicle, and that’s 7 years old.

 

Does anyone really think there are no children under 16 being left unsupervised in Ontario?

Of course not. But does anyone really think common sense is what we’re talking about here? The social workers gave every made-up reason for grounding the kids:

 

[They] stated that the comparatively wide-ranging freedoms we enjoyed in our childhood were, “before we knew better” – despite widely available crime statistics that demonstrate our kids live in a safer world today than the one we grew up in. ….

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a firm believer in evidence-based policy-making, so this fear-driven assertion rung hollow for me.

What’s more, the kids already had been taking the bus for two years — safely! So clearly this investigation “safety” plan was only in reaction to the busybody’s call, for that is all it takes:

It’s a “Cover Your Ass” culture, where even if a trivial issue is reported the Ministry cannot condone it, lest they be responsible for future issues. The Ministry has no incentive or ability to dismiss a report or allow a situation to continue – regardless of how many steps a parent has taken to ensure the safety and well-being of their children.

 

Unt so?

Our family’s freedom of mobility has been dramatically restricted for little reason beyond the complaint of an anonymous person.

The dad is running a GoFundMe page to pay for the legal case he hopes to make against the government. In the meantime, he reminds us all that when the state insists that the only acceptable parenting is helicopter parenting, it is committing a serious crime of its own: Robbery. It “robs our children of agency, independence, and responsibility.”

*The Meitiv family in Maryland had to do the same thing.

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Adrian Cooks kids where they are no longer allowed to be without an adult.

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20 Sep 20:52

Netflix's ‘Punisher’ trailer shows us a haunted, murderous antihero

by David Lumb
While the second season of Netflix's Daredevil didn't quite measure up to the first, Jon Bernthal's take on antihero The Punisher was a standout addition. The streaming company wasted little time announcing the haunted criminal-killer would get a sho...
20 Sep 20:52

'Tomb Raider' trailer teases the cinematic reboot of Lara Croft

by Saqib Shah
What's worse: Reboots or video game adaptations? The new Tomb Raider manages to be both, which means it's already facing an uphill battle. The trailer for the wannabe blockbuster is here, with Alicia Vikander picking up the mantle from the original L...
19 Sep 08:22

Tomb Raider Movie - First Poster Released

by Alex Gilyadov

Warner Bros. has unveiled the first poster for its Tomb Raider movie reboot.

The image, which you can view below, is heavily inspired by the 2013 game reboot and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

The Tomb Raider poster featuring her trademark ice axe.

 

Alicia Vikander, who plays Lara Croft in the film, is holding what seems to be a red climbing axe, the same type of weapon players wield in the recent games. She also seems to have picked up a similar wound on her right arm, just like in the 2013 game reboot.

Continue reading…

19 Sep 08:22

Good Omens: First Look at David Tennant's Demon

by Alex Gilyadov

Neil Gaiman has shared the first look at David Tennant and Michael Sheen as a demon and an angel in Good Omens.

The image, via Twitter, features Tennant dressed up as the demon Crowley and Sheen as the fussy angel Aziraphale.

"They are amazing. This is them in the opening scenes, 11 years ago, in St James's Park. David and Michael, demon & angel," Gaiman tweeted. Check out the photo below.

David Tennant as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale. Image via Twitter.

Continue reading…

17 Sep 07:13

Game of Thrones to Film Multiple Season 8 Endings

by Jordan Sirani

In an attempt to combat leaks, HBO will shoot multiple endings for Game of Thrones' series finale.

"I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens," said Casey Bloys, HBO's president of programming (via The Morning Call). "You have to do that on a long show. Because when you're shooting something, people know. So they're going to shoot multiple versions so that there's no real definitive answer until the end."

The move comes after the series suffered multiple leaks last season. Season 7's fourth episode, "Spoils of War," was leaked ahead of its debut by an HBO distribution partner, while hackers uploaded draft scripts for five episodes of the hit series' most-recent season before they aired.

Continue reading…

15 Sep 16:14

Watch SpaceX blow up a lot of rockets while trying to land them

by Steve Dent
During the early days of SpaceX's rocket landing attempts failure was definitely an option, so instead getting depressed, Elon Musk embraced it. Knowing that everyone loves a good (harmless) explosion, he just released a full-on fail highlight reel o...
15 Sep 16:11

UK police are using detection dogs that can sniff out USB drives

by Matt Brian
Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police have begun utilising special FBI-trained sniffer dogs that have been specifically trained to detect hidden storage devices. Police dogs Tweed, a 19-month-old springer spaniel, and Rob, a 20-month-old black Labra...
14 Sep 06:19

Apple 2017: The iPhone X (Ten) Announced

by Ian Cutress
Roumen.ganeff

Some interesting features actually.

The hot button item expected to come from Apple’s announcement today was the set of iPhones being announced. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were the expected models to come to market, but Apple felt that for the 10-year anniversary since the launch of the original iPhone, it should release a new model which ‘breaks the standard for another 10 years’. This new iPhone X device goes all in on some significant features that are novel to the Apple smartphone ecosystem: an edge-to-edge OLED display, a TrueDepth front-facing camera system, removal of TouchID in favor of a new facial recognition system called FaceID, and a few new features surrounding the integrated neural engine inside the A11 SoC.

The iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten) is a visually significant departure from previous Apple smartphones. The 5.8-inch display is called an ‘edge-to-edge’ display in the marketing material, citing minimal bezels and taking up pretty much the full real estate of the phone. Apple also dubs this as a new retina display, specifically a ‘Super Retina’ display, with a 2436x1125 resolution with a pixel density of 458 PPI. The display is Apple’s first foray into OLED technology on a smartphone, as ‘previous versions of OLED were not sufficient’ in previous generations. This means that Apple is promoting features such as HDR10 for high dynamic range, a 1000000:1 contrast ratio, and high color accuracy. That contrast ratio is due to the blacks provided by the OLED display, although it will be interesting to see what the practical limits are. Apple has always been consistent with having superb color accuracy on its smartphones, so we will have to see in our testing if OLED changes things in Apple’s qualification process. Also Apple’s TrueTone technology makes its way from the iPad to the iPhone. This display technology uses data from the ambient light sensor to detect the ambiance of the surroundings and adjust colors (particularly when reading black on white) and adjusting the display to make it easier to read. The display will also support 3D Touch.

With Apple moving to a full-screen technology like this, there is no room for the standard Home button, and with it, TouchID. As a replacement/upgrade, Apple is implementing FaceID: a set of front-facing technologies that will develop a face-map of a user and embed that as the passcode. This functionality is likely derived from Apple’s acquisitions of PrimeSense in 2013 (the IP behind Microsoft Kinect) and FaceShift in 2015. Apple states that the technology uses its embedded neural network engine to speed up facial recognition, but also that algorithms are in place such that the system will work if a user puts on glasses, wears a hat, has different hair, and even in low light. The algorithms will also auto-update as a user grows a beard. A lot of security researchers have questioned this move, while Apple quotes that the possibility for a false positive on TouchID was around 50k-to-1, FaceID should be more similar to a million-to-one. With FaceID, users will be able to unlock the device, as well as use their face to preapprove ApplePay purchases before touching a pay pad.

In order to enable FaceID, Apple implemented a small top area for the main hardware. This includes an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, the front camera, and a dot projector. The hardware will map the face in three dimensions with a 5-second startup (when in sufficient light) to produce a face mesh. One version of the mesh, with the textures as part of the algorithm, will be held in a secure enclave for identification and approval. At this point in time, only one face per device can be registered, marking an initial limitation in the hardware. One of the other features for the technology shown by Apple was the ability to generate a face mesh and map new textures to it, such as new SnapChat ‘masks’, or animated emoji in Message. The hardware will map 50 muscle tracking points, and a user can choose one of twelve animal emoji (fox, cat, dog, pig, unicorn, poop emoji) and record a ten second message where the ‘ani-moji’ will mimic in real-time how the user is moving and speaking in order to send to the other person. Apples plan here is to open the resources up to developers to use in their own applications.

Because the FaceID hardware is essentially an indent into the display, there will be some issues on content that will have to be addressed. On the home screen, Apple has designed the top icons to be inside the two nooks either side of the FaceID hardware, and adjust as needed. As shown by several journalists on the show floor at the launch event, the video will naturally default to fit perfectly without the little nooks, but if a user selects full screen, it will wrap around the FaceID hardware and intrude into the video being watched. Apple usually prides itself in the simplicity in its display support, and this might be a little scratch in that armor.

With no home button, Apple is having to implement new interactions to deal with regular home button actions. To wake the phone from a screen off state, a user can tap on the display (or use FaceID if setup). To get to the home screen, the user can swipe up in any application, although this seems a bit fraught with issues, especially with games where swiping up is a key mechanic of the application. In order to get the list of applications in memory, then swipe up but hold the finger down on the screen. Apple neglected to mention how to put the phone to sleep / screen off mode – there is a button on the side, but that is specifically for Siri. In order to get the notifications menu, swipe down from the top.

Under the hood, Apple is using its new A11 Bionic processor, with significant upgrades over the A10 and A10X. Details were scarce, but this is a TSMC 10nm design featuring six cores: two high-performance cores and four power efficient cores, with all six cores available for use at the same time. Apple is quoting that the high-performance cores are 25% faster than the high-performance cores in A10, while the high-efficiency cores are 70% faster than their counterparts in A10. No speeds are details about the cores were provided, though some initial analysis online from the code base suggests that the larger cores have two levels of private cache, while the smaller cores only have one level of private cache, with a high level of shared cache between both sets before hitting the DRAM. The A11 SoC will come in at 4.3 billion transistors, and features Apple’s second generation performance controller to assist with the 2+4 configuration. Also involved is a new GPU, which Apple states is its own custom design, coming in at ‘three cores’ (whatever that means in this context) and offers 30% higher performance than the graphics in the A10. Apple also stated that it can offer A10 graphics for half the A10 power, and that the GPU can assist in machine learning. We’ve seen discussions on Apple’s Metal 2 compute already appear at WWDC, so this is likely what Apple is talking about. The SoC also features a new ‘Neural Engine’ inside, offering two cores and 600 Giga-Ops per second, although no information as to how this inference hardware operates or at what precision (for example, Huawei’s NPU gives 1.92 TFLOPs of FP16). Apple was very light on A11 details, so we’ll likely revisit this topic later with more details.

For the camera system, Apple is using a vertical dual camera on the rear of the iPhone X, rather than the horizontal cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus. Both of these cameras are new models, both are 12 megapixels, and both come with optical image stabilization. One camera is f/1.8, while the other is f/2.4, with both having larger and faster sensors with deeper pixels than previous iPhones to aid in image focus. Like with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple will use the embedded Neural Engine to assist with photo taking, such as adjusting skin-tone mapping in real-time depending on the environment. The camera also supports dual Quad-LED flash.

The full design is glass on the back and front, using a new technology that Apple is quoting as the most shatter-resistant glass on an iPhone, and the band in the device will be ‘surgical grade stainless steel’ rather than aluminum. The iPhone X will be dust and water resistant, although Apple stopped short of giving it a full IPXX rating. Due to the glass, Apple is equipping the iPhone X with wireless charging capabilities using the Qi standard, and will offer a large ‘Air Power’ pad in 2018 that will allow users to wireless charge the iPhone X, the new Apple Watch Series 3, and the Air Pods all at the same time. Apple did not go into the size of the battery, although it does quote it as having two hours more battery life than the iPhone 7, despite the large OLED display.

Lots of features that we’ve seen discussed in previous Apple launches were glossed over here: changes in the haptic feedback, anything about audio (there’s no 3.5mm jack, if you were wondering), any hard performance metrics, SoC details about the cores and how/if they are different, or frequencies, or how the Neural Engine is laid out, or even how much DRAM is in the device. This is likely due to the fact that even for a two-hour presentation, time was spent detailing the new features more than the underlying hardware. Unlike other smartphone vendors or chip designers, Apple doesn’t do a deeper ‘Tech Day’ on their hardware, which is a shame.

What we do know is that Apple will be offering two storage options, 64GB and 256GB, and two colors in Space Grey and Silver (both of which have a slight pearlescence, according to Apple). The 64GB model will start at $999, and include Ear Pods in the box. The 256 GB model will have some markup, although Apple did not disclose how much. The iPhone X will go up for pre-order on October 27th in around 30 countries, and ship on November 3rd.

Additional: turns out there are a lot more specifications on Apple's product page that just went live. Key features are screen brightness (625 nits), dimensions (143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm, 174 grams), native FLAC support and HDR video playback support. The 256 GB model will start at $1149, putting a $150 mark-up on the higher capacity, and the Lightning-to-3.5mm cables are still included in the box.

Apple iPhone
  iPhone 7 iPhone 7 Plus iPhone 8 iPhone 8 Plus iPhone X
SoC Apple A10 Fusion
2 x 2.3 GHz Hurricane
2 x little cores
Apple A11 Bionic
2 x High-Perf
4 x High Efficiency
GPU 6 Core PowerVR GPU 3-Core Apple Custom 
Display 4.7-inch
1334 x 750
IPS LCD
DCI-P3
5.5-inch
1920 x 1080
IPS LCD
DCI-P3
4.7-inch
1334 x 750
IPS LCD
DCI-P3
5.5-inch
1920 x 1080
IPS LCD
DCI-P3
5.8-inch
2436x1125
OLED
DCI-P3
Size / Mass 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm
138 grams
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
188 grams
138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
148 grams
158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm
202 grams
143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
174 grams
Battery 1960 mAh
(7.55Whr)
2900 mAh
(11.17Whr)
? ? +2hr over iPhone 7
Wireless Charging - - Qi Qi Qi
Rear Cameras 12 MP f/1.8, OIS
Wide Color Gamut
Quad LED True Tone Flash
12 MP, f/1.8, OIS
Wide Color Gamut
Quad LED True Tone Flash
- 12MP ƒ/2.8 Telephoto,
2x Optical
Portrait Mode
- 12 MP f/2.8
Telephoto,
2x Optical
Portrait Mode,
Portrait Lighting
12 MP f/2.4 Telephoto, OIS
2x Optical
Portrait Mode,
Portrait Lighting
Front Camera 7MP ƒ/2.2
Wide Gamut
Retina Flash
7MP ƒ/2.2
Wide Gamut
Retina Flash
7MP f/2.2
Wide Gamut
Retina Flash
Portrait Mode,
Portrait Lighting
Storage 32 / 128 / 256 GB 64 / 256 GB
I/O Apple Lightning connector Apple Lightning connector
WiFi 2.4 / 5GHz 2T2R 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC
BlueTooth 4.2
2.4 / 5GHz 2T2R
802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC
BlueTooth 5.0
Launch Price 32 GB: $649
128 GB: $749
256 GB: $849
32 GB: $769
128 GB: $869
256 GB: $969
64 GB: $699
256 GB: $849
64 GB: $799
256 GB: $949
64 GB: $999
256 GB: $1149

 

 

13 Sep 05:37

'Star Wars: Episode IX' will be directed by J.J. Abrams

by Nathan Ingraham
It's only been a week since Colin Trevorrow left (or was forced out of) the director's seat for Star Wars: Episode IX, but a familiar replacement is already lined up. J.J. Abrams, who you may know from such films as the Star Trek reboot, Super 8 and...
13 Sep 05:35

IKEA's Place app for iOS previews furniture in your home

by Jon Fingas
Now that Apple's augmented reality platform is nearly here, developers are ready to show off what it can do... and one of the first examples will be particularly handy if you're updating your living room. IKEA has unveiled IKEA Place, an iOS app that...
13 Sep 05:34

Apple’s Face ID replaces Touch ID on the iPhone X

by Edgar Alvarez
Apple has just revealed Face ID, a new facial recognition feature that will make its debut on the iPhone X. The technology is powered by what the company calls a TrueDepth camera system, which is made up of a bunch of sensors that detect your face, e...
13 Sep 05:31

Comparing the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

by Kris Naudus
There's always a lot to consider after an iPhone event, and today we're looking at three new phones. The iPhone X is the new flagship, offering up an edge-to-edge screen and TrueDepth front camera for unlocking your device with Face ID. But those who...
12 Sep 05:57

China might shut down the country's bitcoin exchanges

by Jon Fingas
China has never been a fan of digital currencies like bitcoin, and now the country appears bent on a major crackdown. In the wake of China's recent ban on initial coin offerings (where you raise funds for a new cryptocurrency), Wall Street Journal s...
10 Sep 08:52

AMD Threadripper was developed by engineers in their spare time

by Graeme.Burton@incisivemedia.com(Graeme Burton)
AMD Threadripper was developed by engineers in their spare time

High-end CPU was result of a 'skunkworks' project, firm reveals

09 Sep 06:59

Game of Thrones: Gwendoline Christie says Tormund actor creeps her out between takes

by Shirley Li

Step aside, Jon and Daenerys: The only love story that matters in Westeros is the one between the Bear Leerer and the Maiden Fair.

At least, actor Kristofer Hivju believes so. Hivju, who plays Tormund, stays in character between takes on the set of Game of Thrones, Gwendoline Christie revealed during her interview on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Given the flame-haired wildling’s obsession with Christie’s character Brienne of Tarth ever since he saw her at Winterfell in season 6, this can make things a bit… awkward.

“He likes to continue being in character even off set,” she explains, laughing. “He will start chewing a sandwich wildly at me… really kind of making love to that sandwich as he eyeballs me.” And, Christie continues, she had no idea Hivju would play his reaction to her so passionately. “In the script, it simply said, ‘Tormund gives Brienne a look,'” she says. “I was not expecting the power, the magnitude of sort of intense sexual intention to pour out of a man’s eyes and cover me.”

Watch the video above, during which Christie also tells Meyers the story of a strange fan encounter that occurred in a restroom. Looks like the Maid of Tarth can never catch a break, no matter where she goes.

09 Sep 06:58

Black-ish: Your first look at the comedy's musical season premiere

by Tim Stack

To celebrate Fall TV and our huge Fall TV Preview issue — hitting stands on Sept. 15 — EW is bringing you 50 scoops in 50 days, a daily dish on some of your favorite shows. Follow the hashtag #50Scoops50Days on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest, and check EW.com/50-Scoops for all the news and surprises.

ABC’s Black-ish has always been fearless when it comes to storytelling, whether it’s tackling the N-word or racial profiling or the 2016 election. So for its fourth season premiere, creator Kenya Barris naturally decided to do something bold: a musical episode revolving around June 19, 1865, considered to be the last day of slavery.

“I think it’s the most ambitious episode we’ve ever done,” Barris tells EW. “The episode takes place with Dre (Anthony Anderson) at a Columbus Day pageant with his kids and he’s like, ‘This is bulls–t!’ and he starts spiraling. With the help of The Roots and Aloe Blacc, he tries to create an advertising campaign to bring back June 19th and we do a Broadway-level musical with the cast in the parts.”

In the above exclusive image, guest star Aloe Blacc and Dre work on composing a new song for Dre’s campaign.

Black-ish returns for its fourth season Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. on ABC.

09 Sep 06:57

Genius: Antonio Banderas cast as Picasso in season 2

by Chancellor Agard

Genius has found its Pablo Picasso!

Antonio Banderas will play the Spanish painter in the Nat Geo anthology series’ upcoming second season, which will chronicle Picasso’s life and work. As of now, there is no word yet on who will play younger Picasso. Season 2 will follow the model set by season 1, which starred Johnny Flynn and Geoffrey Rush as the young and older Albert Einstein, respectively.

“The life story of Pablo Picasso has long since fascinated me and I have so much respect for this man, who also comes from my birthplace, Málaga,” Banderas said in a statement. “I am thrilled to work with National Geographic, Brian , Ron , Ken , and the rest of the Genius team to tell an authentic story of one of the most innovative painters in the world.”

“Antonio was the natural choice. He, like Picasso, has a no-holds-barred approach to life that will add to the genuineness that we’re looking for,” said Howard. “He has such tremendous range as an actor, who I know will bring this brilliant and unconventional artist to life.”

Grazer added: “From Pancho Villa to Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, Antonio has had such a successful track record in portraying real-life, larger-than-life iconic figures with such honesty and depth. And with Picasso, I’m looking forward to seeing his interpretation of the man behind the artistic greatness.”

The EPs decided to focus on Picasso in the second season because they wanted to make a statement that scientists aren’t the only geniuses. As it did with Einstein in its debut season, Genius will explore the link between the painter’s professional and personal lives, the latter of which was characterized with tumultuous marriages, numerous affairs, and constantly shifting political and personal alliances.

“He was an enigmatic figure, famous, a household name, and yet you don’t really know the story of his life or what inspired him, drove him, troubled him, and how through the turbulence he achieved such artistic greatness in so many different ways and modalities and over so many years,”  said Howard in June when he revealed season 2’s subject. “I think it’s that combination that made him feel like a great choice for our season 2.”

Genius is expected to return in 2018.

08 Sep 22:00

Black Mirror: Season 4 First Look Photos Revealed

by Jonathon Dornbush

Black Mirror: Season 4 will bring six new stories of the anthology series to Netflix, and IGN has your first, exclusive look at two of those episodes.

Netflix has already revealed the names of season 4's upcoming episodes, but for a better look at "USS Callister" and "Arkangel" beyond the season's first teaser, IGN has two sneak peeks of the season.

First, meet the crew of the titular "USS Calister," a Star Trek-esque looking episode starring Friday Night Light's Jesse Plemons, Cristin Milioti (Fargo), Jimmi Simpson (Westworld), Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum), and Billy Magnussen (Aladdin, Ingrid Goes West).

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08 Sep 22:00

A Sequel to Stephen King's IT Is in the Works

by Chris Morgan

Though the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's IT hasn't quite hit theaters yet, New Line is already making plans for a sequel. Adhering to the structure of King's original novel, the plans are for the sequel to follow the same characters as adults.

In the book, King jumps back and forth between the main characters as kids and as adults, although in both eras they are trying to vanquish the evil clown Pennywise, who is played by Bill Skarsgard in this new adaptation. The latest adaptation of IT focuses on the childhood portion of the story, moving the story from the 1950s to the 1980s for a new generation of viewers. The plan for the sequel, which is being called Chapter Two, will set the action in the present with adults.

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08 Sep 21:58

Leto 'Blinded' Himself For Blade Runner 2049

by Lucy O'Brien

Jared Leto rid himself of his sight in order to play Niander Wallace in Blade Runner 2049.

The villainous Wallace happens to be blind, and in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (via ET), Leto revealed he wore special contact lenses that made his eyes look opaque and restricted his sight while on set. This meant he had to be guided around the set during the entire shoot.

"We all heard stories about Jared, how he transforms into the characters," Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve told the WST, "but even this didn’t prepare me for what was to come."

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08 Sep 21:57

Stephen King's IT Scores Huge Opening Night

by Alex Gilyadov

Stephen King's IT has had quite the successful Thursday night showing.

The horror film grossed an impressive $13.5 million on opening night. This is the third-highest Thursday night showing in 2017, coming in behind only Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's $17 million opening and the live-action Beauty and the Beast's $16.3 million gross, the latter of which crossed the $1 billion mark.

IT now has the largest opening for any horror movie, September release, R-rated film, and any Stephen King film adaptation. Paranormal Activity 3 previously held the record for biggest preview night for a horror film, having made $8 million in 2011 ahead of its $52.5 million

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08 Sep 06:29

A huge solar flare temporarily knocked out GPS communications

by Rachel England
On the morning of 6 September the sun let out two pretty sizeable burps of radiation. Both were considered X-class -- the strongest type of solar flare -- with one of them proving to be the most powerful since 2005. If a solar flare is directed at Ea...
05 Sep 07:28

Little Kid is Rightwise Queen of England After Finding Sword

by Lucy O'Brien

A little girl has pulled a 4 foot sword out of the lake where King Arthur was said to have thrown the legendary Excalibur.

Matilda Jones, age 7, was holidaying with her family in Cornwall where she pulled the blade out of Dozmary Pool. According to folklore, Dozmary Pool is where King Arthur threw the sword after the Battle of Camlann, where it was caught by the Lady of the Lake.

Matilda's father Paul told The Star that he had been telling Matilda and her sister the legend of King Arthur on the way to the lake, and initially didn't believe her when she said she'd found a sword while paddling.  "It was a blistering hot day and Matilda asked if we could go for a paddle," he told the publication. "She was only waist deep when she said she could see a sword. I told her not to be silly and it was probably a bit of fencing, but when I looked down I realised it was a sword. It was just there laying flat on the bottom of the lake."

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05 Sep 07:25

This 85-year-old woman's Game of Thrones costume wins Dragon Con

by Derek Lawrence

Alert Cersei Lanniester immediately, because her son’s killer has been spotted in Atlanta.

Thousands of cosplayers and pop culture aficionados flocked south this weekend to attend Dragon Con, where an 85-year-old woman in a wheelchair stole the show.

Dressed in full wardrobe and sitting on her own wheelchair Iron Throne, the world’s coolest grandma perfectly channeled fan favorite Olenna Tyrell, Dame Diana Rigg’s Emmy-nominated character. She even carried a sign that read, “It was me,” referencing Lady Tyrell’s dying confession to the murder of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson).

Following her death by poison in season 7’s “The Queen’s Justice,” GoT co-showrunner D.B. Weiss declared, “She’s probably the only character to win her own death scene.”