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14 Nov 15:22

How Yoda May Fit Into The Mandalorian

Hopefully, by now, you've finally gotten to watch the first episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+, which has a mindblowing ending. But how does this ending fit into the grand scheme of things when it comes to the Star Wars universe? We have an idea, and it's all connected to Yoda.

Warning: Spoilers for the first episode of The Mandalorian ahead.

As a whole, Star Wars is all about lineage. The people who birthed you and those who raised you shaped who you are now, and that can be said about real life as well. So the revelation that the Mando (whose name is Din Jarron) finds a 50-year-old alien baby--which is the same species as Yoda--raises a lot of questions. We all assumed Yoda was the last of his species, so where did this baby come from and who are its parents?

The most well-known of this alien species is Yoda, who passed on in Return of the Jedi at the ripe young age of 900. However, another one of this unnamed species was introduced in the Star Wars universe years ago, in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

Back in 1999, Star Wars fans were introduced to the Jedi High Council, and one of its members was Yaddle, a female of Yoda's alien species. The two served on the council together during this time. Yaddle only appeared in Phantom Menace, but her story didn't end there.

After the Battle of Naboo, Yaddle left the Jedi High Council, where she was replaced by Shaak Ti. This was revealed in the book Ultimate Star Wars. Years later, approximately a decade before the Battle of Yavin, Yaddle was killed at The Battle of Fortress Vader by Lord Vader himself, in a comic book series from Marvel Comics.

So The Mandalorian takes place 10 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), and 20 years after the death of Yaddle. Considering she's the only female of this species we've seen in current canon, and she worked with Yoda on the Jedi High Council, it's not too out-there to speculate that Yoda and Yaddle are the parents of the baby in The Mandalorian.

Since this infant is actually 50 years old, that puts its birth around 40 BBY, eight years prior to the events of The Phantom Menace. Yoda and Yaddle were presumably on the Jedi High Council together during this time. So maybe part of Yaddle's decision to leave it was so she could raise their eight-year-old child. And after Anakin killed all the younglings, she could have gone into hiding, before joining other Jedi to try and take down Darth Vader at his battle on Mustafar.

Where the baby went after that is a mystery. Maybe Yoda took it to Degobah with him and had it hidden away while he was training Luke Skywalker. However, this is all conjecture. We don't know the lineage of the Yoda-like baby at this time. All we know is its age and that there were two others of this species in current Star Wars canon, but considering how many of the characters in the Star Wars movies and TV series are connected, this is a good bet. Yoda and Yaddle could very well be the parents to this child.

In his review of The Mandalorian, GameSpot's Chris E. Hayner said, "The Mandalorian has made a statement about what a live-action Star Wars TV show looks like. Now, with the remaining seven episodes in Season 1, it needs to make a statement about how a Star Wars plot should unfold over a longer form of storytelling."

We'll more than likely learn more about the Yoda baby in upcoming episodes of The Mandalorian. New episodes air every Friday, with Episode 2 landing on November 15.

14 Nov 15:09

Eat Like The Mandalorian While Watching The Star Wars Series On Disney+

Nowhere in the first episode of The Mandalorian does the main character eat or drink anything. We get to see where he goes to the bathroom, but the Disney+ series doesn't let us know what his favorite foods are. Well, there's a new cookbook, based on the theme park Galaxy's Edge, that gives us deeper insight into the world of Mandalore and it's food.

You've probably watched the first episode of The Mandalorian already, but have you done so while eating food? If you really want to roleplay while enjoying the Disney+ series, why not cook yourself something inspired by the fine warrior people of Mandalore? Insight Editions newest cookbook--available now--has plenty of meals and drinks you can make for yourself at home, all inspired by the stories and cuisine from Galaxy's Edge. Insight Editions gave us a look at Spicy Mandalorian Stew if you want to cook it up for yourself.

No Caption Provided

The cookbook features the contributions of best-selling author Chelsea Monroe Cassel and Eisner and Harvey award nominiee Marc Sumerak. The Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Cookbook is now available in stores and online for $35, and you can check it out here. If you're interested in more pieces about cookbooks with licenses attached, you should really watch me cook some recipes from the Overwatch and WWE cookbooks.

14 Nov 15:09

John Carmack Is Stepping Down From Oculus, Transitioning To Consulting Role

John Carmack, the video game legend known for his work on id Software games like Quake, Doom, and Wolfenstein, is leaving his job at Oculus. He announced on Facebook that, as of this week, he will transition to become a "consulting CTO" with Oculus instead of working at the company full time.

"I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time," Carmack said.

Going forward, Carmack will spend more of his time working on "artificial general intelligence." He said it's something he's wanted to pursue for some time already, and he wants to go after it known "before I get too old."

"I think it is possible, enormously valuable, and that I have a non-negligible chance of making a difference there, so by a Pascal's Mugging sort of logic, I should be working on it," Carmack said. "For the time being at least, I am going to be going about it Victorian Gentleman Scientist style, pursuing my inquiries from home, and drafting my son into the work."

Carmack had served as full-time CTO at Oculus since 2013. Prior to that, he worked at the Texas-based game developer id Software, which is owned by Bethesda parent company ZeniMax.

Carmack's time at Oculus wasn't always smooth. ZeniMax sued Carmack (and others), claiming that Oculus stole virtual reality technology from ZeniMax. Oculus was ordered to pay ZeniMax $500 million in the case, though it was later knocked down to $250 million. Carmack sued ZeniMax on claims that the company did not pay him what he was due for its purchase of id. This matter has also since been resolved.

It is not clear at this stage if Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, will look for a permanent replacement for Carmack in the CTO role. Oculus is a very different company these days, as all six of the company's founders have now left.

The latest Oculus product is Oculus Quest, a standalone virtual reality headset that doesn't require a computer. In addition to working on the hardware itself, Oculus funds the development of VR games through its Oculus Studios division. Oculus also operated a studio that made animated VR movies, but Facebook closed the company in May 2017.

13 Nov 13:16

Disney Plus Gives Us Our First Look At New MCU Phase 4 Characters

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Hawkeye are on their way.


Disney+ surprised fans last night by arriving several hours early--great news for anyone who happened to be up late on a Monday night ready to peruse the service's hundreds upon hundreds of offerings from the first episode of the new Star Wars show, The Mandalorian, to full seasons of classic Marvel cartoons. But among the expected releases was a strange new MCU documentary that had been kept strangely quiet until release: Marvel Studios Expanding The Universe is a 12-minute look at the future of the upcoming Marvel shows on Disney+, teasing what they will mean for Phase 4.

For the most part, the documentary includes footage gathered up from this year's San Diego Comic-Con panel and the Disney+ presentation at Disney's D23 Expo, but there are some extra interviews sprinkled into the mix as well as some first look shots of brand-new, never-before-seen concept art, including 16 new shots from the upcoming animated show What If…? And new concept art for new and familiar MCU characters for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Hawkeye.


A new Bucky Barnes.


This look was originally teased on a poster released at D23 Expo, but here we see a much clearer and straightforward shot of Bucky's new costume, complete with his classic short hair making a long-awaited return.


Sam's still the Falcon?


Interestingly, the art shared for Sam Wilson did not include a new Captain America costume, but instead a brand new Falcon uniform that skews slightly closer to his comic book counterpart.


Sharon Carter is back.


Announced at D23 earlier this year, Emily Van Camp will be returning to the MCU to play Sharon Carter AKA Agent 13. This is our first look at her new uniform--and, really, the first time she's worn a proper tactical uniform in the MCU. Notably, the SHIELD logo is nowhere to be seen.


Meet John Walker.


Also announced at D23 was the addition of a brand new character for the MCU: John Walker AKA USAgent, who will be played by Wyatt Russel. Here we finally get a look at his very clearly Captain America-inspired costume.


Zemo's big debut.


Daniel Bruhl made a surprise "appearance" during the MCU panel at San Diego Comic-Con via a prerecorded video to announce that Baron Zemo would be returning for The Falcon & The Winter Soldier. There was a brief shot of him putting on his iconic purple ski-mask. Here, we finally get a clearer look at the entire costume.


Meet Kate Bishop.


The Falcon & The Winter Soldier wasn't the only Disney+ show to get the first-look treatment. We were given concept art of Kate Bishop who will be joining the MCU in the upcoming show Hawkeye. Here she is training with Clint and Lucky the Pizza Dog.


Hawkeyes.


The final piece of art shared was a look at Kate and Clint in costume, with Kate looking like she stepped directly out of a comic book.


13 Nov 13:08

The Mandalorian Episode 1: 41 Star Wars Easter Eggs, References, And Other Things You Might Miss

The Mandalorian spoilers ahead!


With the long-awaited launch of Disney+, the even-longer-awaited The Mandalorian--the first ever live-action Star Wars TV show--is here. And it's more than just space poops and twist endings--there are about a bajillion references and Easter eggs for Star Wars fans to obsess over in the Mandalorian. And this is just the first episode.

How much you enjoy the Mandalorian's premiere may depend on how much time you spend reading Star Wars wikis as a hobby--or how closely you pore over the gallery below. We've broken down everything you need to know to get the most out of this episode, from Mandalorian customs to the names of obscure alien races glimpsed in the background.

There are still seven more episodes of The Mandalorian left, and we'll be giving each the same in-depth treatment. Until the next one arrives on November 15, check out our Episode 1 review and Everything We Know About The Mandalorian on our sister site CNET--and for more on Disney+, try all the Star Wars movies and shows and all the Marvel movies and shows currently available on the platform.


1. Don't Call Him A Squid Head


One of the thugs in the opening scene is a Quarren, an alien race native to the planet Mon Cala, from whence Admiral Ackbar's race (the Mon Calamari) also hail. They first appeared in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Whatever you do, don't call a Quarren a Squid Head, as it's a derogatory nickname.


2. Huttese


The thugs in the opening bar scene are speaking Huttese, the language of the Hutts, i.e. Jabba the Hutt. The language pops up again in this episode during the scene with Greef Carga (Carl Weathers).


3. Crying Over Spilled Space Milk


The lead thug insists that the Mando spilled his drink, but you can actually see it spill earlier in the scene, when they're roughing up the Mythrol.


4. Beskar Steel


Mando's armor is made of Beskar Steel, also just called Beskar, or Mandalorian Ore. It's a super-tough metal used by Mandalorian blacksmiths, as we see later in the episode.


5. An Empty Cup


If you watch carefully during the opening fight scene, it's clear that the cup the bartender slides down toward the Mando is 100% bereft of liquid (there's no splash--no splash at all!). Maybe the barkeep knew that the Mando was going to use it to smash someone's head in, and he wanted to avoid the mess.


6. The Fledgling Mythrol


The first time we see the Mandalorian, he's picking up a bounty on a blue-skinned alien played by Saturday Night Live alum Horatio Sanz. It's later revealed that his species is the Mythrol, a new addition to Star Wars canon.


7. Bounty Pucks


The "bounty pucks" that the Mando's bounty hunters guild uses to track commissions are an invention for the show--they've never been referenced in Star Wars before.


8. A Kubaz Ferryman


The ferryman who Mando asks for passage to the yards is of the Kubaz species (as first seen in A New Hope). He speaks Kubazian, which sounds like whirring sounds.


9. A Familiar Ride


The first ferry that appears is a familiar Landspeeder with an R2 droid, which most Star Wars protagonists wouldn't turn down. Why the Mando insists on a ride with "no droids" will hopefully be explained at some point in the series. Of course, he ends up working with IG-11 at the episode's climax, which probably isn't easy for him--though he also winds up destroying that droid.


10. Brian Posehn


You might recognize the ice ferry driver who warns the Mando and the Mythrol not to dally on the ice and then is immediately eaten by a giant ice monster as comedian Brian Posehn.


11. The Ravinak


Speaking of which, that ice monster--the Ravinak--is a brand new addition to the Star Wars universe, invented for this scene.


12. Dank Farrik


The Fledgling Mythrol exclaims "Dank Farrik" (trust us, we checked the subtitles) when they escape the Ravinak, much like one would say "thank god." Since we know nothing about him or his race at this point, we can assume that's pretty much what he's saying.


13. The Razor Crest


The Mandalorian's ship is called the Razor Crest. It's a converted pre-Empire gunship.


14. Space Toilet


Where do the creatures of the Star Wars universe go to pee and poo? Well, on the Razor Crest, we get to see where The Mandalorian does his "duties." It's called a Vacc Tube, and that's where they do their business. But where does it all go from there? Well, it all goes into the Gray Hold, and for some reason, pilots sometimes dump them on planets--according to the landspeeder driver that escorts The Mandalorian to his ship. Why wouldn't you dump them in space? Guess there are gross ***holes even in a galaxy far, far away.


15. Happy Life Day


Early on in the episode, The Mandalorian's bounty mention he was hoping to be free to celebrate Life Day, possibly with his family. That particular holiday was first introduced in the Star Wars Holiday Special, otherwise known as the best thing that's ever happened to the franchise. Want to know more? We've got you covered.


16. Carbonite Capers


The Mandalorian has several marks frozen in carbonite on his ship. When Darth Vader had Han Solo frozen at the end of Empire Strikes Back, he was testing it out to make sure the process wouldn't kill Luke. Since this show is set after the original trilogy, it makes sense that the carbonite technology would be in wider use by now.


17. Nice Dissolves


There are multiple cheesy wipe transitions between scenes in this episode--a tradition that's been upheld since the original films.


18. Name That Droid


In the marketplace the Mando walks through, you can spot a familiar droid off to the left. It appears to be an R5 droid, similar to the R5-D4 in A New Hope (the droid with the "bad motivator").


19. Trandoshans


You can spot some Trandoshans here. These aliens, from the planet Trandosha, were introduced in Empire Strikes Back with the bounty hunter Bossk.


20. A Friendly Game


You can glimpse some aliens playing the card game Sabacc in the cantina here--possibly the variant Corellian Spike, as seen in the movie Solo, though it's difficult to tell.


21. Imperial credits are no good here


When turning in his bounties, the Mandalorian is annoyed to learn Greef Carga wants to pay him in Imperial credits. Post-Return of the Jedi, he's simply not interested in accepting this outdated form of payment. Instead, he accepts half payment in the form of Calamari Flan, which we can only assume is a type of money from the planet Mon Cala.


22. Jawas


Even casual Star Wars fans should recognize these Jawas, diminutive aliens that have been around since A New Hope.


23. Don't Be a Gatekeeper


The cute little bugger that guards the entrance to the Client's hideout is a TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droid, a type of security droid that was first seen in Return of the Jedi.


24. GNK droid


The iconic GNK droid--also known as the trash can droid, for obvious reasons--guides the Mando into the Client's lair. These first appeared in A New Hope.


25. Imperial Loyalists and dirty Stormtroopers


The events in The Mandalorian take place after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi. While the Galactic Empire is no more, there are still pockets holding onto the past, like Werner Herzog's character, who is surrounded by Stormtroopers. Because credits aren't rolling into this former ruling class like it used to, these Stormtroopers probably don't have the cash to fix or even clean up their armor, so it appears dirty, worn, and broken.


26. The Best in the Parsec


According to the Client, Greef Carga claims Mando is "the best in the parsec," when it comes to bounty hunting. As previously established in the franchise, a parsec is a unit of distance equal to about 3.26 light years. Han Solo proclaimed that with the Millennium Falcon, he made the Kessel Run--an 18-parsec course--in a mere 12 parsecs. There would be a lot of math to figure out exactly what that means, but it's safe to say a parsec is a very large distance to cover.


27. A Camtono of Pure Beskar


The Client offers to pay Mando in pure Beskar, should he retrieve his bounty alive. More specifically, he promised a camtono of the substance. What is that, you ask? A camtono is a fancy Star Wars way of saying lock box. As noted by io9, a camtono was briefly seen in The Empire Strikes Back.


28. New Technology


The episode features several pieces of new Star Wars technology, mostly related to the Bounty Hunters Guild to which the Mandalorian belongs. In addition to the bounty pucks, the Mando mentions uses "chain codes" and "tracking fobs" to hunt down commissions.


29. A Period of Disarray


The Client refers to things returning to their "natural order" after this "period of disarray." Being an apparent Imperial loyalist, the brief "period" to which he refers is clearly the fall of the Empire as portrayed in the original Star Wars trilogy. Little does he know how right he is though, since it will be just a small handful of years until the First Order rises from the Empire's ashes.


30. Cruel BBQ


The creature roasting on the spit here--and the one watching forlornly from a cage nearby--is a Kowakian monkey-lizard. The first Kowakian glimpsed in the series, named Salacious Crumb, appeared in Return of the Jedi.


31. Is That Boba Fett?


Maybe, maybe not. Before The Mandalorian meets the Mandore Blacksmith, he passes by a guard that sure does look a whole lot like Boba Fett. The infamous bounty hunter supposedly died in the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi. There's no way of truly knowing at this point in time whether or not that Mandalorian is in fact one of Star Wars' most popular characters--even though Boba isn't truly a Mandalorian. However, we do know his job, and that's guarding the entrance. And aside from the fact, it appears he's doing that, his helmet is green, and in Mandalorian warrior culture, the color of your helmet means a lot. Green is the symbol of duty. He has a duty to guard that door and everyone inside.


32. The Mythosaur Skull


The Mandalorian insignia visible above the metalsmith's door is the skull of the Mythosaur, giant creatures that used to live on the planet Mandalore until the Mandalorians battled them to extinction. They're referenced again later in this episode, when Nick Nolte's character, the Ugnaught Kuiil, encourages the Mando by reminding him that his ancestors once rode the mighty Mythosaur.


33. Mandalorian Lore


There are several obscure references to Mandalorian history and customs in this scene, from mention of the "great purge" to the metalsmith asking the Mando whether his "signet" has been revealed yet. To be honest, we have little idea what any of this means.


34. A Significant Pauldron


The metalsmith makes the Mando a silver pauldron from the Beskar ore he gives her. There's significance to Mandalorian armor colors--and the silver pauldron, if we read it as more of a shiny grey, relates to mourning. No doubt we'll find out why as we learn more about the character's backstory. Fun fact: The green of Boba Fett's iconic armor represents duty.


35. The Mandalorian's Painful Past


Speaking of colors, the titular character of the show sure does have a lot going on with his costume, and that's because pieces of his armor represent different moments in his life. His helmet is silver or gray, which means mourning the loss of a loved one, and his chestplate looks like it was once red, honoring his parents. If in fact it was orange, that means he's just like Iggy Pop and has a lust for life.


36. What the Blurrg?


After landing on a planet to track a bounty, Mando is almost immediately attacked by a pair of Blurggs, which are giant warthog-looking creatures with scarily sharp teeth. While this is the first time they've appeared in live-action, fans have seen them before. They were originally introduced in The Clone Wars, before also popping up in Star Wars Rebels.


37. The Ugnaughts


Nick Nolte's character, Kuiil, is of an alien race called an Ugnaught. Natives of the planet Gentes, they're considered the working class of the galaxy. They first appeared in Empire Strikes Back.


38. IG-11, A Bounty Droid


The IG-11 bounty hunter droid, voiced by the fantastic Taika Waititi, is not the first IG-class droid we've met in Star Wars history. The most notable previously was IG-88, who appeared in Empire Strikes Back.


39. Niktos


The aliens that the Mando and IG-11 fight in the climactic battle scene are Niktos, from the planet Kintan. They first appeared in Return of the Jedi.


40. Rodians


While Mando and Greef Carga discuss further bounties, it's revealed that among the species inhabiting that bar is a Rodian. These green-skilled creatures first appeared in A New Hope and have since popped up throughout the franchise.


41. That looks a lot like Yoda


What a twist ending that was. After blasting his way through an army of mercenaries, Mando comes across a pod housing a tiny alien that looks like it's from whatever species Yoda--or Yaddle for you prequels fans--hails from. Not much is known about this species, but given this is just the first episode of The Mandalorian, it looks like that's about to change. We have a lot more to say about this particular twist, which you should check out.


13 Nov 08:57

Elon Musk: Berlin 'gigafactory' will build Teslas starting with the Model Y

by Richard Lawler
After launching manufacturing facilities in the US and China, Tesla's next location is apparently in Europe. Reuters and CNBC report that while speaking at an awards ceremony in Germany, Elon Musk announced the company's 'Gigafactory 4' will be locat...
12 Nov 11:15

Zombie Apocalypse Gear Guide 2019

submitted by Mags Tan

Halloween—that most wonderful time of the year when gearheads, preppers, and EDCers alike congregate to discuss, plan, and actually purchase their ultimate zombie apocalypse loadout. But while it’s fun to talk about, an element of practicality and utility is always a good idea for all your gear, no matter which apocalypse you’re trying to survive. We’ve put together some of our favorite doomsday gear below to help give you ideas and prepare for the inevitable zombie outbreak.


ESEE Junglas

The ESEE Junglas is an agile multi-use chopper, great for both bushcraft and busting through a horde of undead. Made of coated high carbon 1095 steel, its sizable 10.38" full tang blade and hammer pommel in the back make it an excellent survival knife. Removable Micarta handles make it easy to clean or replace with cordage, and a Kydex sheath lets you strap it in to keep it close at hand.

Check It Out


Fenix PD35 Tac

Throwing out 1,000 lumens on Turbo, the Fenix PD35 offers a ton of output in a compact package. On its lowest Eco mode you have 8 lumens to keep the light going for 140 hours (enough time to find your way to the next safe zone), and the durable aero-grade aluminum body can take a beating. This version also comes in an all-new Zed Splatter Cerakote finish for an extra festive zombie-killing flair.

Check It Out


Fiskars IsoCore Maul

Fiskar’s rugged and powerful storm-breaking maul has an axe face for splitting logs and a flat driving face for pounding wedges into the ground at camp (among other things...). Its patented IsoCore shock system reduces vibration on hands, so you can keep hacking away at firewood or zombie faces, your choice.

Check It Out


Lifestraw Go Water Bottle

Water everywhere, and not a drop to drink? Lifestraw’s Go Water Bottle puts an end to your thirst and keeps you alive with its built-in hollow fiber membrane filter that removes bacteria, odor, and aftertaste without the use of chemicals. The 23-ounce bottle is leak-proof and made of BPA-free Tritan for the safest hydration.

Check It Out


ESEE Izula

Named for the ferocious bullet ant, the ESEE Izula packs a mean punch in a pocketable package. Skeletonized 1095 carbon steel construction and a flat ground blade make it a valuable lightweight addition to any survival kit. The Venom Green powder coat finish also makes it easy to find if dropped among foliage.

Check It Out


Titan SurvivorCord

Few items have more uses than high-quality paracord, so having it in a zombie apocalypse loadout is a no-brainer. Titan's hi-vis SurivorCord can be used to make tourniquets, tripwires, stone throwing slings, fishing lines, and snare traps, just to name a few. This cord made of waxed jute tinder is also designed to quickly start fires in a pinch.

Check It Out


Adventure Medical Kits

No survivalist would dream of striking out into the wild without a first aid kit. Having one at the ready lets you patch small injuries and stem bleeding for more serious wounds. Make sure to check out a med kit for your canine companion as well!

Check It Out


Leatherman Raptor

Crafted with the right balance of multipurpose tools for emergency response, the Leatherman Raptor is a robust pair of shears that can be used in many situations. And with an oxygen tank wrench and a carbide glass breaker, having the Raptor within reach can likely mean the difference between life or death.

Check It Out


Gorilla Tape Hi-Vis Duct Tape

That old proverb about how duct tape fixes everything is not an exaggeration; Gorilla Duct Tape is thick and tough, sticks even on rough surfaces, and can withstand the harsh elements. This reflective version is especially great for repairing gear and keeping them visible in low light conditions, or even marking trails through the woods when you need to play a hasty retreat.

Check It Out


Imalent MS18

The MS18 is a portable floodlight that's the brightest flashlight money can currently buy. 18 (count ‘em) Cree XHP70.2 LEDs pump out an eyeball-searing max of 100,000 lumens over a distance of 1,350 meters, with a strobe mode that you can quickly access at a moment’s notice in case danger gets too close. If you need one flashlight to cover your camp with the brightest output possible, this is the portable sun to have in your kit.

Check It Out


Leatherman Skeletool

When it comes to gear few companies get it like Leatherman. The Skeletool is one of their more popular multi-tools and it’s not hard to see why. This plier-based multi-tool packs a punch with a partially serrated blade, wire cutter, and bit driver in a body that weighs only 5 ounces. Throw in a combo carabiner/bottle opener and this is one tool that you’ll be glad to carry through any outbreak and beyond.

Check It Out

How are you planning for the zombie apocalypse? What’s life-or-death gear is in your kit? Sound off in the comments below!

12 Nov 11:03

Sharp & NHK Develop Rollable 30-Inch 4Kp60 OLED Screen: 100 Grams and 0.5 mm Thick

by Anton Shilov

Sharp and NHK have co-developed a new rollable 30-inch OLED display, with a design emphasis on keeping the screen thin and light. The prototype monitor will be showcased at a trade show in mid-November, but the company isn't yet talking about mass production.

The experimental 30-inch OLED display offers a 3840×2160 resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate, all in a package that is just 0.5 mm thick and weighs 100 grams. The developers say that the screen can be rolled up into a 4 cm diameter cylinder, with the idea of being able to integrate the display into various appliances like furniture. Meanwhile, the technology itself could simplify production of foldable electronics, such as smartphones and tablets.

The flexible 30-inch OLED display is produced by Sharp at one of its factories in Japan using vapor deposition method. The screen uses a film substrate and IGZO thin film transistors to drive OLED elements that use separate RGB subpixels. Meanwhile, NHK’s image processing technologies were used to improve brightness uniformity as well as sharpness of moving objects.

Sharp and NHK will demonstrate their prototype rollable 30-inch OLED display at Intel's BEE 2019 trade show, which will take place in Chiba, Japan, from November 13 to November 15.

Sharp and NHK are not the only companies to develop a rollable OLED screen. Earlier this year LG demonstrated such a TV at CES 2019 and even started to sell its rollable Signature TVs in South Korea.

Related Reading:

Sources of information and images: Sharp, CNET Japan, PC Watch, StereoSoundOnline

12 Nov 10:10

‘The Good Place’ to air 90-minute series finale, with Seth Meyers-hosted post-show

by Dan Snierson

The Good Place will say good-bye for eternity on Jan. 30.

And that farewell will be considerable. NBC announced on Friday that it will send off the Mike Schur-created afterlife comedy with an extended series finale as well as a Seth Meyers-hosted post-show with the cast, which includes Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper, D’Arcy Carden, and Manny Jacinto. The festivities start at 8:30 p.m. and will last for 90 minutes.

It was revealed earlier this year that the Emmy nominated critical darling would wrap up its loopy, ethics-infused adventure after its fourth season. What to possibly expect in that final chapter of this expectation-defying series? “It’s completion of our journeys in a way that I find satisfying, hopeful, and goes beyond our conventional understanding of storytelling,” Harper told EW this summer, while Bell hinted, “You will finally see what we owe to each other.”

In other news about Schur creations, NBC announced that Brooklyn Nine-Nine would return for its seventh season on Feb. 6 with a one-hour premiere at 8 p.m ET the following week, it will air in its regular 8:30 p.m. time slot.

America’s Got Talent: The Champions and Manifest will return to NBC’s schedule on Jan. 6; Ellen’s Game of Games and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist hit the air on Jan. 7, and Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector premieres on Jan. 10. Indebted debuts Feb. 6, Good Girls returns on Feb. 16, and The Voice is back on Feb. 24.

Related content:

Kristen Bell on The Good Place goodbye: ‘You will finally see what we owe to each other’ The Good Place creator on how — and why — the show changed its ultimate message Inside the final season of The Good Place
12 Nov 08:25

The EU just approved a vaccine to prevent Ebola

by Christine Fisher
Today, the European Union granted an Ebola vaccine "conditional marketing authorization." The vaccine, developed by the pharmaceutical giant Merck, is known as Ervebo. It's the first human Ebola vaccine to be approved by the EU.
11 Nov 15:27

New York investigates claims of sexism in Apple Card credit limits (updated)

by Jon Fingas
The bank behind Apple Card is facing legal scrutiny over accusations of inequality. New York's Department of Financial Services has launched an investigation into Goldman Sachs' practices after Basecamp founder David Heinemeier Hansson accused Apple...
11 Nov 15:04

Watch a herd of MIT's Mini Cheetah robots frolic in the fall leaves

by Jon Fingas
MIT wants to show that its Mini Cheetah robots aren't just solitary creatures. The school's Biomimetics department has posted a video of nine of the bots frolicking in the fall leaves, showing just what these pet-sized quadrupeds can do. The remote-c...
06 Nov 22:19

Marvel's The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Production Has Begun For Disney+

We're a week away from Disney+ launching, and the streaming service is getting a lot of original content. Star Wars' The Mandalorian launches on day one, and coming in 2020 is the MCU series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and the stars of the series announced it's now in production.

Taking over the Marvel Studios Instagram, stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan both made the announcement that the new series has begun production for a new story for IG. Both actors had access to the account so they both posted numerous videos before announcing the show has begun production. You can see a screenshot of this below.

No Caption Provided

From what we saw from the set, there's a truck with "Party Time Ice" written on it and something blurred-out to the left. We're guessing that's just to block out the phone number for the company that supplies said ice you party with.

The series stars Mackie and Stan in their roles from other MCU movies, and it looks like this show will reintroduce the world to Helmut Zemo--who appeared in Captain America: Civil War. Daniel Brühl will reprise his role, and his character will be getting a new look for the film, which was revealed at 2019's Comic-Con.

This team-up series isn't the only MCU show coming to Disney Plus in the near future. There are plenty of others planned including Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Loki, Moon Knight, and more to add to the already growing list of Disney+ originals already planned for the service.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will arrive on Disney Plus in 2020.

06 Nov 13:00

The Mandalorian: Meet Ming-Na Wen's Star Wars Assassin

by Jesse Schedeen

Ming-Na Wen's Star Wars character has finally been revealed. The Agents of SHIELD actress will be appearing in The Mandalorian: Season 1 as an assassin named Fennec Shand.

The reveal comes from Vanity Fair, which notes Shand will encounter the titular bounty hunter roughly midway through the first season. Vanity Fair also debuted a brief new trailer for the series, which includes a scene where Shand tells Pedro Pascal's character, "Your name will be legendary."

Continue reading…

05 Nov 08:49

Lasers can silently issue 'voice commands' to your smart speakers

by Mariella Moon
Laser pointers can apparently trick smart speakers, phones and tablets into following voice commands to open doors or make purchases, even from hundreds of feet away. Researchers from Tokyo and the University of Michigan have revealed that they were...
02 Nov 19:13

Terminator: Dark Fate - 19 Easter Eggs And References You Might Have Missed

Terminator: Dark Fate is in theaters now.


Terminator: Dark Fate may ignore every movie in the series after the second one, but that still leaves it plenty of material for Easter eggs, references, and callbacks. Terminator and T2: Judgment Day are most fans' favorites anyway.

The new movie brings Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger together again for the first time since the 1991 classic, and watching them side by side again is a thrill. At the same time, Terminator creator James Cameron is back on the franchise as well, and the actors say it was great to have him back.

As a direct sequel to Terminator 2, Dark Fate has plenty of little nuggets for fans. Here are the ones we caught.


1. "Like a strobe light burning through my eyes"


Dark Fate opens with a direct callback to T2. The footage of Sarah Connor in the institution, as well as the voice lines here, are both from Judgment Day.


2. Classic Imagery


The movie's opening is filled with plenty of classic imagery from the Terminator franchise, from the human skulls in the dirt to the machines' flying ships from the future that no longer exists thanks to the events of T2.


3. Hablas Espanol?


During the early scene set on the beach, John Connor can be heard speaking Spanish. It was revealed in T2, during the scene in which they obtain supplies from Enrique, that John understands the language, at the very least.


4. Performance Capture


The beach cabana scene may seem like it's mostly CG, but director Tim Miller recently revealed to GameSpot that all three actors--including Ed Furlong, in addition to Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger--did performance capture.


5. Familiar Arrivals


Even in the new timeline, people who travel back in time arrive naked. Just like the T-800 before her, Grace acquires her clothes and ride from one of the first people she encounters in the past. And the Rev-9 arrives in the classic Terminator pose. Some things never change.


6. Machines Are Coming To Replace Us


In Mexico, machines are replacing workers in the auto factory in which Dani and her brother work. To be honest, this is a much more realistic take on how robots will eventually defeat us than Skynet.


7. Physical Contact


Grace tells Dani that Gabriel Luna's Rev-9 needs "physical contact" with someone to replicate them, which means Dani's father is likely already dead. If this was a requirement for the T-1000 in Terminator 2, it was never stated, so it may be a new limitation in Dark Fate's Legion timeline.


8. "Come With Me"


"Come with me or you're dead in the next 30 seconds" is the new "Come with me if you want to live," a classic and oft-repeated line.


9. "I'll be back."


Another dialogue reference is Sarah Connor's "I'll be back." The big difference here, of course, is that Grace and Dani use the opportunity of her temporary absence to steal her truck.


10. Tentacle Terminators


The Terminators with tentacles glimpses in the future scenes are new to this movie, a product of the changed timeline in which Legion takes over instead of Skynet.


11. America's Most Wanted


Sarah Connor has been a fugitive for decades, ever since the events of T2. She even has her own episode of American's Most Wanted, a true crime show that aired regularly from 1988 to 2012.


12. A Bag of Chips


Carl may be skeptical, but apparently Sarah Connor's trick to block her phone's GPS signal by enclosing it in a bag of potato chips really works.


13. Wax On, Wax Off


Grace cutting a fly in half calls to mind the iconic scene from Karate Kid in which Mr. Miyagi plucks a fly out of the air with a pair of chopsticks.


14. Border Controversy


The scenes in which Dani, Sarah, and Grace attempt to illegally cross the border between Mexico and the US are charged with political commentary. In particular, the line insisting that the immigrants being held there are "detainees" and not "prisoners" seems like a pointed reference.


15. A Timeless Slogan


Carl's slogan for his drapery business is "We Never Leave You Hanging"--i.e. another way of saying "I'll be back."


16. "I Won't Be Back"


This, of course, is yet another reference to the famous line. They really packed 'em in, huh?


17. The Sunglasses


Before they head off, Carl reaches for the T-800's iconic sunglasses, but opts to leave his eyes exposed to UV light and other harmful forces. This symbolizes him leaving the past behind, or something.


18. "F*** Fate."


This is the newest iteration of the famous Terminator franchise line "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves." Like many things in this movie, it's been updated for 2019, now with 100% more swearing.


19. Ashes to Ashes


When Carl is burning toward the end of the movie, his transformation into ash looks a lot like the effect used in the flash-forward to Judgment Day from T2.


01 Nov 15:29

Superman and Lois Lane to Headline New Arrowverse Spinoff

by Jesse Schedeen

Supergirl may soon be getting a spinoff series on The CW. A new Superman & Lois series focused on Tyler Hoechlin's Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch's Lois Lane is in active development, IGN has confirmed.

The new series will build on recent and upcoming developments in Supergirl and focus on the pressures Lois and Clark face in balancing their professional lives, superhero responsibilities, and the complexities of raising a child. That child will be introduced in the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, a twist that also explains why the couple have been spending so much time off-world in recent seasons of Supergirl.

Hoechlin as Superman and Tulloch as Lois Lane. Hoechlin as Superman and Tulloch as Lois Lane.

Continue reading…

01 Nov 15:28

Check Out Jensen Ackles' Amazing Batman Halloween Costume

by Jesse Schedeen

Update 2: Sorry, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Cox, but you have some serious competition from Jensen Ackles as Batman!

jensen_ackles_as_batman

Check out even more shots of the Supernatural star as the Dark Knight on his Instagram.

Update 1: Charlie Cox and Tom Hiddleston may have just won Halloween. The two actors blew minds when they showed up backstage at a Broadway performance of Betrayal dressed as each other's Marvel character.

Continue reading…

28 Oct 14:02

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro: Should you go Pro?

by Adam Speight
Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Which new Shield TV should you buy? Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Nvidia has just revealed the new (2019 edition) Nvidia Shield TV and Nvidia Shield TV Pro and both are extremely interesting propositions in the current TV streaming and gaming landscape. But, which one is best for you?

Both devices flaunt new features such as support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, while also boasting the likes of AI Upscaling to give 1080p content a 4K shine. Nvidia’s cloud-streaming GeForce Now service is also available on both the standard and Pro editions of the Shield TV, so what actually is the difference?

Most noticeable is the exciting redesign for the standard edition, while the Pro model retains that edgy gaming console vibe. Looks aren’t everything and there are far more factors which will determine which one of these new and fresh devices best suit your needs. Let’s take a look…

Related: Nvidia Shield TV 2019 review

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro – Price

The Nvidia Shield TV costs £149 and includes the Shield Remote. The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is priced at £199 and also includes the Shield Remote.

The Nvidia Shield TV’s price may already be a tough sell for those looking to get a streaming device with meatier hardware than the likes of a Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV. However, you are getting premium features such as Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support for the price, as well as being able to stream games via the cloud thanks to GeForce Now. 

If you’re big into gaming, it may be worth shelling out the extra £50 for the Nvidia Shield TV Pro, which has superior RAM and two USB ports for peripherals.  

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro – Design

While the Nvidia Shield TV Pro keeps to the traditional design of the streaming device line, the new Nvidia Shield TV looks completely different. Both devices do come with a redesigned Shield Remote which is a lot more stylish than its previous iteration.

The Nvidia Shield TV is more reminiscent of a streaming stick – but not quite. The design is tubular and most closely resembles small battery packs like those made by Anker. It’s definitely a far more space-saving from, designed specifically to hide from view behind the television. 

The Pro edition looks more like a mini gaming console, and is expected to be proudly placed in your display cabinet for all to see. It’s definitely got a form that will appeal to gamers, which makes sense since it has the added performance punch to play more intensive video games locally.

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro – Specs

Both the Nvidia Shield TV and Nvidia Shield TV Pro features the Tegra X1+ chip along with support for 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and AI Upscaling.

The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is slightly better specs though, with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage to the regular Shield TV’s 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The enhanced specs mean the Pro should run notably smoother when playing games locally, while also dealing with basic tasks better.

The Nvidia Shield TV Pro also comes with two USB 3.0 ports – a must-have for hardcore gamers who don’t want to be limited by Bluetooth for connecting a gaming keyboard and mouse. Speaking of gamers…

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro – Games

So what do the specs mean for gamers looking to buy one of these new 2019 devices? The beefier specs of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro mean that it can run – what Nvidia calls – “Advanced Android Games”. These include: the Half Life 2 series, Borderlands 2, Resident Evil 5 and more.

The standard Shield TV can still run standard Android games locally, but its library is limited. Some highlight picks include Super Meat Boy and This War of Mine.

Performance may not be a huge deal if you are looking to do plenty of cloud streaming though. You’ll be able to use GeForce Now on whatever model you buy, providing access to hundreds and hundreds of games as long as you have a decent enough internet connection. 

Related: Nvidia GeForce Now

Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Verdict

The two Shield TV devices cater to different audiences.

If you are in the Shield TV game for a premium streaming device that you want to slide seamlessly into your home setup, stick to the regular model. With less RAM and a more low-profile design, it’s perfect for those who just want a streaming box and anyone who’s happy to rely on cloud streaming for AAA gaming. 

The Nvidia Shield TV Pro costs £50 more, but you get a more glamorous design in return. Ports for wired peripherals also comes in handy, whether you’re playing locally or via GeForce Now. Overall, the Pro is very much targeted at serious gamers. 

The post Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro: Should you go Pro? appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

25 Oct 12:17

Banks around the world are removing support for the Galaxy S10 and Note10 from their apps

UK bank Nationwide Building Society has disabled the fingerprint login option in its app for owners of Samsung Galaxy S10 phones. Another, NatWest, has completely removed support for S10 phones. This is in response to a vulnerability in the ultrasonic fingerprint reader used on those phones. Samsung posted an official response, but the issue may be more serious than initially thought. Good morning Robert, We've removed the app from the Play Store for customers with Samsung S10 devices. This is due to reports that there are security concerns regarding these devices. We hope to have our...

25 Oct 09:02

Marvel's Cloak and Dagger Canceled After Season 2

by Jesse Schedeen

Another Marvel TV series bites the dust, as Freeform has officially canceled Marvel's Cloak and Dagger.

Deadline broke the news, which comes five months after the live-action superhero series wrapped its second season. That lengthy gap already had fans speculating as to the show's future (or lack thereof). But as Deadline reports, the final nail in the coffin came this week as the cast's options ran out and the actors were released to pursue other projects.

“We are so proud of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger and the trailblazing stories this series told,” Freeform said in a statement to Deadline. “We are also grateful to our incredible talent Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph for bringing these beloved characters to life, and showrunner Joe Pokaski for his vision. We’d like to thank our partners at Marvel Television for a wonderful two seasons and are we are hopeful that we can find another project together.”

Continue reading…

23 Oct 11:31

NBC is making a sitcom based on esports

by Rachel England
The world of esports has exploded in recent times -- there are eye-watering sums of money involved, not to mention no end of gossip and drama -- so it was only a matter of time before it got its own TV show. According to Variety, NBC has picked up a...
22 Oct 06:22

Bloodshot Movie Explained: Who Is the Vin Diesel Superhero?

by Jesse Schedeen

Because Hollywood can never have too many superhero characters, superhuman assassin Bloodshot is headed to the big screen in 2020. Vin Diesel is bringing the popular hero to life, as he makes the jump from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Valiant's first stab at building a cinematic universe. (Watch the Bloodshot trailer with Vin Diesel.)

But who is Bloodshot, and why is his movie debut such a big deal? Read on for everything you need to know about the character and how the movie is drawing from the comics.

These are the topics we'll be covering here:

21 Oct 21:43

The Flash boss teases the fallout of the Monitor's grim 'Crisis' prophecy

by Chancellor Agard

This article contains spoilers from the season 6 premiere of The Flash, “Into the Void.”

What do you do when you learn the exact day you’re going to die? Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) will have to figure that out this fall on The Flash.

In the superhero drama’s season 6 premiere, the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) revealed that the Flash is indeed destined to die on Dec. 10, 2019, in the coming crisis, as foretold on the updated future newspaper. Of course, Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) believe they can fight it, but the Monitor assures them it’s inevitable. How they handle this news will fuel the season as it heads toward the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.

“The countdown begins next week. What kind of urgency does that give them? An extreme one,” showrunner Eric Wallace told reporters at a recent screening of the premiere. “It turns the dial up to 10, and it makes you think, ‘Is every moment together our last? What can we do? Should we fight this? Is it inevitable?’ These are all the things that they’re grappling with for these next seven episodes, because 8 ends and it’s ‘Crisis’ time, and it’s time to go off to literally cosmic war. So the relationship is strained, but it’s also going to bring them closer together than ever before because that’s what tragedy does.”

This isn’t the first time Barry and Iris have received this kind of news. In season 3, the team fought to change the timeline after Barry witnessed Savitar kill Iris in the future. You can expect the couple to respond differently now that the shoe is on the other foot.

“It’s not the same because of what they learn next week, and that’s the great part of the story,” Wallace said. “The Monitor showing up and kind of making a cosmic pronouncement drives you to extremes in order to fight against or accept the coming crisis. And every episode this season, , 3, 4, 5, and 6 especially, are all about ‘Do I accept death or do I fight it?’” He added that Barry will turn to Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp), Earth-3’s Flash, for help.

Barry’s shortened life expectancy creates an interesting parallel with Dr. Ramsey Rosso (Sendhil Ramamurthy), the big bad of the season’s first seven episodes. Toward the end of the opener, Ramsey learned he was dying from a rare form of cancer and tried to use dark matter to cure it, which transformed him into the DC Comics villain Bloodwork.

“For the first time in the show’s history, we have a villain and a protagonist who are going through the same thing,” said Wallace. “It’s the reason Bloodwork was chosen as a villain this season. It was very deliberate, because they’re going to learn about halfway through this season, ‘Maybe we’re not so different,’ and what does that mean?”

He added: “‘Crisis’ is about grief and about death and about the end of all worlds. So you have Bloodwork a villain who was facing his own end of his own world. So from his point of view, ‘Who cares about crisis? I might die before.’”

Bloodwork is “even more concerned about the immediacy of his own life and how to live past that,” Wallace said. “Now, does that mean he could perhaps live past ‘Crisis?’ the real question that towards the end of the season, obviously, he has to grapple with.”

The season 6 premiere set up many other things to come in the season. Below, Wallace breaks down the rest of the premiere and shares a few more teases about what’s to come.

On how Barry’s death relates to Oliver’s final season journey on Arrow:
At this point in time, Barry has no idea that Arrow’s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is working for the Monitor — but he will eventually. “It’s so great because I can’t tell you when it happens, but I will tell you that is a scene that happened and is a moment and it is coming, and let’s just say people might get pissed off a little bit,” Wallace said.

On Killer Frost’s new lease on life:
With Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) agreeing to let Killer Frost take the wheel more often and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) by her side as a life coach, Caitlin’s icy persona will try to build a life for herself this season. “It has been a pure delight writing Killer Frost this season because she’s much more in the forefront than Caitlin is because that life coach stuff starts next week, in 602,” said Wallace. “It’s led to these hilarious situations because basically, we talk of her as a teenager who finally got the keys to the car but doesn’t know how to drive…. So everything is new through her eyes, which means she’s going to make some mistakes, which is great. That’s going to lead to some more tears. But then at the end, she’s going to grow into something that didn’t exist before. You know, maybe you do lose that killer?”

He continued: “Both the result of where she goes in ‘Graphic Novel #1’ and where she ends up emotionally gives her the strength to face what lies in ‘Graphic Novel #2.’”

On why the season 6 version of Harrison Wells is his favorite one yet:
“He’s cool. He’s suave. It’s just what Tom said at Comic-Con. This is a man of adventure. This is a man who can kind of get in a fight and hold his own. We haven’t seen a Wells like that, but there’s this completely unexpected side to him, which I will not spoil,” Wallace said. “He has a secret that will be slowly dripped out in ‘Graphic Novel #1,’ but which will really mess with his mind, literally — that’s a spoiler right there — in ‘Graphic Novel #2,’ and it’s going to lead him to an emotional place that’s similar territory to one of the other Wellses, which I don’t want to give the spoiler away, but it takes it in a completely opposite direction…. It’ll be very apparent, I think by episode 6, what the hint is and what his secret is.”

On the rapid growth of Iris’ newspaper:
“If we know from 518 that she becomes a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and that she has an empire, we need to start building those seeds. We need to do it now. So we have very urgently done that this season,” said Wallace, teasing that we’ll meet her first staffer in episode 2. “It’s very much about seeing her take charge of what we refer to as Team Citizen, and they will appear and they will be getting into trouble, especially in the back half of our show because now we have a new way to bring in meta story lines: her investigations. It doesn’t always have to be a bank robber anymore. So it’s been a blessing from the story gods.”

On Cisco and Camilla’s relationship:
“As far as their relationship ups and downs and highs and lows, they won’t be having kind of drama . They’re doing great,” said Wallace. “And that’s one of the themes of season arc that plays over all 22 episodes. Can you be happy being human? Can you be happy not being a meta? Can you be happy not saving the world every week?”

On Keiynan Lonsdale’s eventual return as Kid Flash:
Although nothing is locked in yet, Wallace is hoping to “get Kid Flash for a couple because the story’s so good. And the little tease is Kid Flash will now meet a classic villain from the classic days from classic comic books, and maybe he’ll have to save the Flash’s behind, which is what I want to see because maybe he’s not a kid in anymore. It’s time to grow up.”

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

Related content:

The Flash boss promises to reveal ‘new sides’ to Barry and Iris in season 6 The Flash reveals first look at ‘angry,’ ‘unpredictable’ new Wells in season 6 trailer The Flash star Grant Gustin previews how ‘Crisis’ will affect season 6
21 Oct 14:11

Arrow: Green Arrow and the Canaries Spinoff Confirmed

by Matt Fowler

Last month, we reported that an Arrow spinoff series showcasing crime-fighting team The Canaries was in development - featuring Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak’s daughter Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) teaming up with Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy).

Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim sent out a tweet on the day of Arrow's final season premiere confirming the spinoff, revealing its name, and sharing a cool poster from artists Emanuela Lupacchino, Dave McCaig, and Brett Breeding!

Continue reading…

21 Oct 13:45

Qantas completes record 19-hour flight to test limits of air travel

by Jon Fingas
Qantas just broke a record for air travel, and it may have helped science in the process. The Australian airline has completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York City to Sydney as part of a project researching the effects of very lon...
21 Oct 13:45

Next-gen hearing implants could overcome inner ear damage

by Jon Fingas
Many hearing implants won't help people with inner ear damage or auditory nerve problems, but the brainstem implants that do frequently do an incomplete job. Soon, however, there might be a far better solution. Researchers have designed a conformab...
21 Oct 06:18

The beginner’s guide to ‘Watchmen’: What you need to know going into the HBO show

by Christian Holub

HBO’s Watchmen TV show, an adaptation/extrapolation of the iconic graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, premieres this Sunday. Despite the fact that Watchmen is one of the most well-known comics ever made (it is famously the only comic book included on TIME’s list of 100 great novels, among other honors), it is fair to expect that many people watching the show will be unfamiliar with the source material. The show itself certainly expects that. Taking place 30 years after the events of the comic, and populated with almost entirely different characters, Watchmen can be viewed by any fan of showrunner Damon Lindelof’s previous TV work (Lost, The Leftovers) without having to do any homework. 

But the Watchmen show does contain several references, both visual and thematic, to the original comic. In case you’re a newcomer to the franchise, EW put together a list of highlights that might help you understand some of the references. 

What happened at the end of Watchmen?

Since the show opens 30 years after the events of Watchmen proper, it’s worth noting where we last left off in this world. Written and published in the mid-’80s, Watchmen was concerned with many of that zeitgeist’s issues — first and foremost the threat of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction. Over the course of the book, the United States and Soviet Union inch closer and closer to making the Cold War very, very hot. Nuclear disaster is eventually prevented thanks to the mad plans of Ozymandias, a.k.a Adrian Veidt. Veidt creates a giant tentacled monster to destroy New York City in a way that looks like an alien invasion. That convinces the Cold War superpowers to stand down and work together rather than destroy each other. In other words, he saved the world! Though keep an eye out for strange aftereffects of the faux-alien squid in the show…

Who are the people to know?

We just mentioned Ozymandias, a.k.a Adrian Veidt. Even before he saved the world by destroying New York, Ozymandias was one of the richest and smartest people in the entire world. 

Then there’s Rorschach, the vigilante detective whose stark black-and-white morality was reflected in his signature mask. Rorschach did not survive Watchmen because he refused to keep Veidt’s secret. In order to maintain the illusion that the New York-destroying monster was an alien threat, Dr. Manhattan killed Rorschach before he could spread the word about what it really was. Even so, Rorschach sent his diary (which contained the full story) to the offices of his favorite right-wing newspaper; the last panel of Watchmen finds the editors deciding whether to publish it, sight unseen. Whether they did or not, it’s quite possible that Rorschach’s legacy could provide a strange influence to denizens of that world in decades to come. 

Dr. Manhattan was the only Watchmen superhero with actual superpowers. Originally the son of a watchmaker, he was pushed into a career in atomic science. One day, he accidentally got locked in an experimental chamber that atomized him completely. But when he reformed, he was capable of manipulating matter at an atomic level. He is nearly omnipotent, and likes to spend time on Mars. He was last seen departing Earth at the end of Watchmen, but he could always come back. 

There are three other main superheroes from Watchmen: Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and The Comedian. Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are both the second to use those code names; their predecessors fought crime alongside the Comedian in the World War II-era group known as the Minutemen. During that time, the Comedian tried to rape the first Silk Spectre. Years later, however, they made up and had a daughter named Laurie. Laurie took over as Silk Spectre, but knowledge of her real father was hidden and repressed from her until the events of Watchmen. 

The first Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, was a cop by day and a superhero by night. His successor in the role, Dan Dreiberg, was an actual mechanical whiz who built a flying and fully armed Owlship. 

After his time in the Minutemen, the Comedian became a rare “government-sponsored superhero,” carrying out black ops missions and assassinations during the Cold War. His murder sets off the events of Watchmen.      

What’s different in this timeline?

One of the most fun aspects of Watchmen is its depiction of an alternate history for the 20th century. Thanks to the work of the Comedian and Dr. Manhattan, America actually won the Vietnam War in this timeline. That success greatly bolstered the political career of President Richard Nixon, who retained the presidency for years afterward. Despite the fact that Watchmen is a bit of a commentary on Reagan-era politics and culture, Nixon is the president during it. And hey, the Comedian covertly assassinating Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein helped a lot with that, too. 

But nobody lives forever. As Watchmen draws to a close, there are visible headlines that a former actor with the initials R.R. is planning to run for president…but it’s Robert Redford, not Ronald Reagan.

Watchmen premieres this Sunday on HBO. If you want to know even more about the original comic, check out EW’s oral history from 2005 by Jeff Jensen, himself a writer on the new show. 

Related content:

Damon Lindelof gives his first deep-dive interview for HBO’s Watchmen Tick tock! HBO’s Watchmen teaser trailer counts down to a reckoning Dave Gibbons on the Harvey Hall of Fame and the continuing legacy of Watchmen
19 Oct 21:34

Stephen Amell reflects on his Arrow journey: 'I f—ing care a lot about it'

by Chancellor Agard

Stephen Amell‘s time under the hood is coming to an end. On Tuesday, Arrow returns for its eighth and final season, which takes his Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow, on the road as he tries to prevent the destruction of the multiverse in the forthcoming crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Ahead of the final season premiere, EW is sharing the chat we had with Amell in July for our August Arrowverse cover story (please note that some of these quotes have appeared previously on EW.com).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you realize you were ready to hang up the hood and end your run on the show?
STEPHEN AMELL: So, we were most of the way through season 6 and I called up Greg , and I go, “I’m contracted through season 7, but I’d like to be the end.” And he’s like, “Okay, take a second to think about this, and I’ll call you back in a week, and we’ll see.” And he called me back in a week, and he goes, “How are you feeling?” And I go, “Okay, it’s time.” And he convinced me, because he’s way smarter than I am, to come back for a limited run this year, and I think that it’s really given the show an opportunity to go out on its own terms. I’m scared. I’m legitimately frightened about the end of it, and I’m very emotional and melancholy, but it’s time. 

What about the ending has you frightened?
I’m 38 years old, and I got this job when I was 30. I’d never had a job for more than a year. The fact that I’ve done this for the better part of a decade, and I’m not going to do it anymore, is a little frightening. But then I remember that I was able to move to L.A. in 2010 because my grandfather lent me $15,000 and I had no citizenship, I had nothing. So try to put your level of being frightened into a relative capacity.

Was there a specific moment in season 6 that led to this decision?
No, no, no, no, no. There wasn’t a specific a moment when it came to the creative direction of the show. I’ve always loved it. There have been seasons that I’ve liked less than others. But it was just time to move on. My daughter is turning six in October, and she goes to school in L.A., and my wife and I want to raise her in Los Angeles. When it came time to do Arrow, I didn’t really have any choice. They offered me the job, and if they had said to me, “Yeah, you can have the job, but you have to pay us $5,000 per episode just for you to be in the show.” I would have been like, “Yeah, okay. Sure, I’ll do that.” So it’s more about having time and opportunity now.

From talking to the producers, I know you were the first person to audition for this role. What do you remember about that experience?
So I went to a hockey game with my cousin Robbie on a Saturday night, and he goes, “Have you gotten an audition for Arrow yet?” And I go, “No, what’s Arrow?” He goes, “It’s based on the Green Arrow.” He goes, “Well, I read the pilot, and I pictured you the entire time that I was reading it.” He’s like, “I’ve got an audition, but I actually don’t want to go, because you are going to get cast in this role.” I went in , and David Nutter was there, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg. Greg was in his office, because he was like, “If you find someone interesting, let me know.” And I went in, read, and Dave Nutter looked at me, and he goes, “Can you go outside for a couple minutes?” And I go, “Yeah, for sure.” And I came back into the room, and there are 11 more people there, and they just had me read again….I got the job the following Tuesday morning.

In reading the pilot script, what did you initially connect with that made you want to do the show?
Have you ever worn a superhero suit?

Apart from on Halloween? No.
Well, it’s f—ing awesome.

Yes, that’s true.
And that was it. Hung got canceled, and I needed a job, and I thought the script was great. And Greg Berlanti at that point in time wasn’t Greg Berlanti, but David Nutter was David Nutter. And he’s one of the most kind, generous, thoughtful men that I’ve ever met. And he believed in me, and I believed in him. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

When it premiered, Arrow stood out from other superhero shows that had recently been on the air. Did it feel like you all were doing something new in season 1, or were you just focused on trying to get it done?
Just trying to get the work done. The first season was very, very difficult for me. Everything was going great. They wanted my character to be very stoic and disaffected, right? And then the show came out and got a great rating and was a smash hit, and then all of a sudden I had an acting coach, because all of a sudden now that the show was a hit, people wanted to have an opinion. We were on our own for the first nine, 10 episodes. That was very, very tough.

At the end of the first season, once I realized I was done, I flew back from Vancouver and I did The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Carol Burnett was the first guest. We went for dinner afterwards with my buddy and my wife, and he goes, “You’re done, man. You’re done with season 1.” And I go, “Yeah, I am.” And I got sick really bad. I got walking pneumonia. I was sick until the fourth episode of season 2.

Wait, seriously? How did you work? 
I faked it until I made it.

What was it like adjusting to the physical demands of the role?
I loved it. I loved all of it. Doing a lot of the stuff that I did in the pilot was proof of concept for the series. I had to do it. In episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, I had to do it period, because photographically when you do stunts, they were able to film me doing it. They were able to shoot on my face, and if we didn’t continue on in that manner, something would have been missing.

Do you remember when you realized the show was a hit?
People think that the height of the show is when it’s premiering, when my torso is 90 ft. tall on Sunset Boulevard. That’s not it. It actually compounds over the years, and people become really, really big fans because of the amount of content that you’re pushing up, right? I didn’t realize that the show was a giant hit until 2017, when I was on an island called Panarea, which was off the coast of Lipari, which is off the coast of Sicily. It’s so small, there aren’t even cars — golf carts, that’s it. We walked into this restaurant that looked closed, and this woman walks out. We’re like, “Are you guys open?” And she goes, “Si, Arrow.” I’m like, are you f—ing kidding me?

At what point did you start to feel ownership of the character?
Well, I got it during episode 6, and then I got an acting coach after episode 9. That threw it off a little bit. Right around the midway point of the second season. If a director wants something from me specifically, I’m happy to give it to them, but they better come prepared because I know everything about the show. They’re like, “Well, we want to Oliver to do this,” and I’ll be like, “Well, there’s a problem with that. In episode 306…” And if they’re prepared and they have a good reason, then I’ll do what they want.

There are some actors who don’t have that much knowledge about their shows. Did this come naturally to you, or did you actively work to become an expert on the show?
I just care a lot. Arrow was the most important thing in my entire life by a wide margin. And then I got married, and it became the co-most important thing in my entire life. Then my wife and I had , and Arrow dropped to number three. But I f—ing care a lot about it. I really, really do. I think about it all the time.

For the first five seasons, we aired on Wednesday nights. On Wednesdays, whenever a new episode was airing, I don’t care about ratings that much, but I would have a recurring dream that I was naked in bed, but the entire crew was waiting for me to get up, and they were all in my bedroom. This happened every f—ing time. I don’t want to call it a nightmare, but it wasn’t a nice dream. This happened because I really care. It extends beyond personal satisfaction. It extends to just other people, cast, and crew getting the opportunity to do something like this. This is not common. You know what I mean? We’re going into our eighth season. This just doesn’t happen.

I asked Beth Schwartz this when she took over as showrunner, but I’m curious to hear your answer, too. In your opinion, when do you think Arrow is at its best? Like, this is the platonic ideal of an Arrow episode?
523. I was mad that more people didn’t die when the island blew up. Episode 220 when Susanna Thompson as Moira died, I love that episode. Episode 116, when Tommy finds out that I’m the Green Arrow. Episode 214 when I confront Laurel about drinking. Nick Copus directed that episode, and he went handheld. I’m very, very proud of that scene. I love 309. But when is it at its best?

It’s at its best in season 2 when Sara reappears. I’m thinking as I read the script, “Okay, cool, she’s coming back and the big reveal is going to happen when her dad Quentin gets to see her again. That’s probably not going to happen for a couple of episodes.” Nope, act three. That’s when Arrow is at its best. Greg used to say all the time, “You have a hit TV show until you don’t, so don’t save s—t.”

One of the show’s biggest surprises was, of course, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity
Yeah, you can’t plan. They cast a girl in episode 3 that all of a sudden became the linchpin.

The Olicity of it all is such a big part of why people love the show. What do you think has drawn them to it?
Have you seen Emily act? That’s what makes it work. She’s supremely talented and awesome and carved out a space that no one anticipated. I don’t know that show works if we don’t randomly find her.

How are you feeling about entering this final season, at least as of now, without her?
Not great. I think Arrow as you know it effectively ended in 722. It’s a different show in season 8. It’s like we’re playing our greatest hits. The premiere is the pilot. It’s almost like episode 1 is an ode to season 1. Episode 2 is an ode to season 3.

How’d you feel when you started getting the scripts for Arrow’s final season?
It was weird, actually, because Beth just had her first kiddo, and so the writers’ room, instead of taking a break after the season ended, worked through. Her assistant sent me episode 801 two weeks after we wrapped. I didn’t read it for four weeks because I needed some time to reset. I’m so excited about them. I just hope that we get to do all the things that we want to do. Don’t leave anything in the quiver.

Arrow started out as this grounded and realistic show, but now we have Oliver running around with the Monitor. How does it feel to get to this point where it’s like there aren’t anymore rules?
It’s fantastic, because I’m going to get to work with actors this year that I’ve never worked with before, that if we were grounded I’d never get to work with. I’m pumped we’re going to get to do that this year.

What is the most important thing you’ll take away from this experience?
I started the show dating a girl and I’m walking away from the show as a husband and as a father, and a way better actor. I don’t mean for that to sound ostentatious, but I’ve got reps now. I’m very proud of how hard I’ve worked at being a good actor. That’s not to say I’m not going to be s—t in something sometime. But I feel like walking away from the show, for me, there’s no room that I can’t go into, and there’s no scenario where I will be intimidated because I’ve worked nonstop for eight years. And I love it.

The biggest thing I’ll take away from doing the show is my kiddo really admires what I do. She comes to the set all the time, and I know that won’t last forever, but she sits there in video village, and she wears her cans, and she calls action every once in a while. Honestly, that’s the coolest thing.

What has it been like to watch Arrow give way to an entire universe?
It’s been amazing. I’m so proud of Grant and Melissa , and I really like that Caity has grown into the leader that she has. I’m pumped for Ruby . It’s great you do a show and it births other shows.

When I spoke to Marc, he said he woke up that morning and wrote the final scene. Do you know how the show’s going to end?
I do. He told me today, and I cried. I cried as he was telling me. There are a lot of hurdles to get over to make that final scene.

Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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19 Oct 09:10

Devs Behind Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, Cyberpunk 2077, And Avengers Talk About Crunch

Apex Legends developer Respawn's new Star Wars game, Jedi Fallen Order, is coming up on its release in November. The time before release can be when developers push extra hard in what is known as a "crunch" period.

The game's director, Stig Asmussen, has now shared his perspective on the practice of crunch and how the Jedi Fallen Order team worked to try to make sure its developers did not burn out. His comments came not long after top developers at CD Projekt Red (Cyberpunk 2077) and Crystal Dynamics (The Avengers) also spoke out about crunch, and you can see their thoughts further down the page.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Asmussen said Respawn never enforced crunch periods on Jedi Fallen Order--and that's a change. For some of his past games (Asmussen was the game director for God of War III), he said he was part of teams that were forced to work extra long hours.

"Basically everybody said, 'You've gotta work these hours," and we realised that wasn't a fair and sustainable approach [for Fallen Order]."

For Fallen Order, Asmussen said individual developers could decide what hours they wanted to work. "We left it up to the team," he said. "It's like, 'Look, everybody I think carries their own responsibilities and their own tasks, and takes them very seriously, so why treat people like children, and say you have to be here at a certain time?'"

For those who want to work extra hours, "It's your choice," Asmussen said. Those who stay late were given "support," including meals after hours, he added. On top of that, Asmussen said some of the project leads worked extra hours to show their team members that they are acting as a unit.

"We're not going to tell you there are certain hours we're going to be crunching at. You can make your own schedule, and the leads made a commitment to put in extra effort and extra hours as well to show that we're all in it together," Asmussen said.

"We understand your life outside of work is far more important than what you're doing in the office, and we try to respect that." -- Asmussen

Even if Respawn did not enforce crunch or have their employees stick to strict schedules, some developers might feel pressured to work beyond what is normal to finish a project and demonstrate their commitment to colleagues and bosses. Eurogamer asked Asmussen if Respawn keeps a close eye on developers to ensure they are working in a healthy and safe manner, and the director responded emphatically.

"Absolutely," Asmussen replied. "I know there are several times over the course of development where I told people to go home. You get so close to it you lose perspective, and not only that, you risk people burning out. At Respawn it's a really big deal [that] we understand your life outside of work is far more important than what you're doing in the office, and we try to respect that."

Unlike the movie and TV industries, video game industry workers are largely non-unionized. People who work on movie and TV sets can typically only work a set number of hours based on their union contracts, but this kind of setup is considered to be rare in gaming. Over the years, various video game developers have been accused of demanding lengthy crunch periods, and the stories of burnout are prevalent.

Just recently, CD Projekt Red commented on the the vibe at the studio now with Cyberpunk 2077 entering the end of its production period ahead of its April 2020 release date. CD Projekt Red's John Mamais, who heads up the company's Krakow office, said everyone is "working really hard right now" to hit the deadline for Cyberpunk 2077. He said the team is excited by the positive reactions at industry events--like PAX Aus most recently--but that in turn creates pressure, and some developers feel like they are in a "vice."

"You're in a vice, in a way, which takes its toll on the team." -- CDPR Krakow's John Mamais on how developers might feel

"I guess the vibe in the office is there's always a level of excitement there based on results that we get from going to conferences like this [PAX Aus] and seeing people really excited about the game. So that keeps the hype up but it also puts some pressure on, so that's kind of the vibe," he said. "You're in a vice, in a way, which takes its toll on the team but there is ... a healthy, extrinsic kind of pressure to make [the team] really excel."

Mamais added that working at CD Projekt Red is not for everyone--some have come in and found the experience too challenging. CD Projekt Red is trying to put practices in place to "keep the work under control," Mamais said, though he acknowledged "it's not always possible to do that."

"There are a lot of people who come into the industry that are fresh; they don't really understand what it takes to do it," he said. "So we get a lot of new guys coming in, and they go, 'Oh god, this is like too much.' But then we have other guys come in from Rockstar Games, and they're like, 'This is not even crunch!' We're doing the best we can to keep the work under control. But sometimes when you're doing some big-ass game like this, it's not always possible to do that. It takes really hard work to make it really awesome."

In October 2014, before the launch of CD Projekt Red's acclaimed RPG The Witcher 3, the studio was accused of "crunching for over a year" in a bid to overcome development challenges.

Also at PAX Aus, Crystal Dynamics boss Scot Amos told GameSpot that the studio has a "family first" mentality for the ongoing development of The Avengers. "One of the things that I tell my team all the time: If you have a kid's birthday, then go take care of your kid's birthday, like what, what are you crazy?" he said.

Amos said he is aware of the "horror stories" about crunch in video games, but for Crystal Dynamics, he wants to have his team work in a "smart, balanced way."

"We've actually changed everything from structures of how we do certain workdays with no meetings, go and get stuff done days which are very focused, 'Hey, come in, and get your stuff done, we don't want to interrupt you,' we'll provide meals free, whatever it is," he added.

For more on these stories, check out GameSpot's extended coverage below.