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27 May 07:22

Far Cry 5 Will Almost Certainly Be Divisive

by Ryan McCaffrey

Far Cry 5 is almost certainly going to get talked about by the mainstream news media. Whether that idea excites you, annoys you, or something else is up to you. But Far Cry is going places that no big-budget, AAA-level game has gone in recent times, if ever.

You play a sheriff’s deputy caught up in a war between the US Marshal Service and Hope County’s resident cult leader, Joseph – a man who believes he’s been chosen to protect his followers from a government collapse he believes to be imminent – and his family: brothers Jacob and John and their half-sister, Faith. You won’t be alone, of course. Joining you in the battle for Hope County’s soul are potential allies like Pastor Jerome, whose church has come under fire by Joseph’s group; Mary May, whose father was killed by the cult; and Nick Rye, a pilot and soon-to-be father who wants to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who both fought for the US.

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26 May 05:38

T.J. Miller Exits Silicon Valley for Season 5

by Alex Gilyadov

HBO has renewed a pair of its comedies, Veep and Silicon Valley, but one of their stars won't be returning.

Veep will return for a seventh season and Silicon Valley for a fifth in 2018, HBO announced today, but Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller won't be back, with the show's current fourth season set to be his last.

T.J. Miller as Erlich Bachman in Silicon Valley.

HBO confirmed the news of Miller's departure in a statement to Vulture, saying "The producers of Silicon Valley and T.J. Miller have mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season 5. In Erlich Bachman, T.J. has brought to life an unforgettable character, and while his presence on the show will be missed, we appreciate his contribution and look forward to future collaborations."

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24 May 19:50

The Flash: How Season 3 Finale's Draws From the Comics

by Jesse Schedeen

Warning: this article contains spoilers for The Flash's Season 3 finale! Read our review of "Finish Line."

The Flash's Season 3 finale ended with what could wind up being the show's most status quo-altering twist yet, as Barry Allen retreated into the Speed Force to pay his penance for creating the Flashpoint timeline and Savitar. The rest of Team Flash will have to carry on in his absence in Season 4. Depending how far the writers are willing to take this new development, we could be looking at a fourth season driven not by Grant Gustin's Barry Allen, but by Keiynan Lonsdale's Wally West.

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24 May 09:19

Blockstack's decentralized internet browser uses bitcoin tech

by Mariella Moon
Blockchains used to be exclusively associated with bitcoins until other industries saw how useful the digital distributed ledger can be. Walmart used it to identify expired food that needed to be pulled from its shelves, and at least one shipping com...
24 May 05:39

Malicious Subtitles Allow Hackers to Commandeer Devices Running Streaming Software

Researchers from Check Point have discovered a nasty vulnerability in streaming software that allows malicious subtitles to open an attack vector style security breach onto devices running streaming software such as Kodi, VLC, strem.io and Popcorn Time. It is equivalent to clicking "Yes" to installing malicious software from a website without ever seeing the prompt. Check Point researchers note that "We estimate there are approximately 200 million video players and streamers that currently run the vulnerable software, making this one of the most widespread, easily accessed and zero-resistance vulnerability reported in recent years". The vulnerability allows the hacker to have total control of the device. The Check Point researchers describe the attack vector as a seemingly innocent chain of trust where users choose a subtitle thinking that it is nothing more than a text file. Antivirus developers pay little to no attention to the subtitle file formats as different streaming software may have 25 or more subtitle types that it can access. Each of these different formats opens the streaming software, and thus the user's device, to vulnerabilities. Since it is considered just innocent subtitles, little has been done to patch the security holes over the years. It is extremely easy to spread the malicious subtitle files as the most popular subtitles are automatically loaded by many streaming media players. Subtitle repositories such as OpenSubtitles.org rank and index subtitles. The Check Point researchers also noted that it was even easier to manipulate the subtitle rankings on these websites to make sure that the malicious files are ranked highest. I would like to thank TorrentFreak for the original article that I referenced. By conducting attacks through subtitles, hackers can take complete control over any device running them. From this point on, the attacker can do whatever he wants with the victim's machine, whether it is a PC, a smart TV, or a mobile device. The potential damage the attacker can inflict is endless, ranging anywhere from stealing sensitive information, installing ransomware, mass Denial of Service attacks, and much more. Which media players are affected? To date, we tested and found vulnerabilities in four of the most prominent media players: VLC, Kodi, Popcorn Time and Stremio. We have reason to believe similar vulnerabilities exist in other media players as well. We followed the responsible disclosure guidelines and reported all vulnerabilities and exploits to the developers of the vulnerable media players. Some of the issues were already fixed, while others are still under investigation. To allow the developers more time to address the vulnerabilities, we've decided not to publish any further technical details at this point. Discussion
24 May 05:22

The Last Jedi Photos Reveal Captain Phasma Unmasked

by Jonathon Dornbush

A new look at the Star Wars: The Last Jedi's has been revealed via Vanity Fair's new Annie Leibovitz covers, including a first look at Captain Phasma unmasked.

As both a 40th anniversary celebration for Star Wars Episode IV — A New Hope and in anticipation of The Last Jedi's December release, Vanity Fair's newest issue features four Star Wars covers, all photographed by Leibovitz. Check out one below, featuring Gwendoline Christie as Phasma, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, and Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux.

Vanity Fair Star Wars: The Last Jedi Cover, photographed by Annie Leibovitz

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21 May 09:14

BLACK LIGHTNING: First Look at The CW’s New DC Superhero Show

by Clarissa
BLACK LIGHTNING is coming to The CW. It will mark the fifth DC superhero show on the network’s schedule, although it will not be part of the ARROW-verse (and, hence, not part of the annual crossover). In the show, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man with a secret. As the father of two daughters […]
21 May 09:08

IBM makes quantum computing breakthrough with 'fastest' 17-qubit processor

by tom.allen@incisivemedia.com(Tom Allen)
IBM makes quantum computing breakthrough with 'fastest' 17-qubit processor

Prototype is 'at least' twice as powerful as before

21 May 08:59

Is Marvel TV About to Introduce SWORD?

by Jesse Schedeen

Full spoilers for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: Season 4 and speculation about how the show may tie to Marvel's Inhumans continue below.

It's not easy being the Director of SHIELD in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Every time Phil Coulson overcomes one problem, another one rears its head. That was very much the case with the recent Agents of SHIELD: Season 4 finale. Just as Coulson and his team sat down to enjoy some well-deserved R&R, they found themselves kidnapped and dragged to a mysterious space station. As far as cliffhangers go, it was a biggie.

And while at first glance it might seem hard to glean much from this sudden plot twist, we have a theory about where the series is heading in Season 5. We think Agents of SHIELD is gearing up to introduce the organization SWORD to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For more on SHIELD's finale, make sure to check out our Q&A with the showrunners about Season 5 and heading to space.

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20 May 12:39

A new 'Life is Strange' game is in the works

by Nick Summers
The episodic, time-bending teenage drama of Life is Strange is coming back for a second season. Developer Dontnod Entertainment confirmed the news in a brief YouTube video, but said little about the premise or when it will be released. "We've been wo...
20 May 12:34

Facebook adds food ordering so you never have to leave

by Rob LeFebvre
The Facebook additions are coming fast and furious these days, with possible Instagram notifications, a revamped Marketplace, and a new visual style for comments. TechCrunch reports that the latest feature, rolling out to select users today, brings o...
20 May 12:33

Melted permafrost floods entrance to the doomsday seed vault (updated)

by David Lumb
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was designed to be a repository should the worst happen and a disaster decimate crops around the world. But it was recently breached by floodwater from surrounding permafrost that melted after the hottest year on record...
18 May 07:15

MIXHalo uses your headphones to fix terrible concert sound

by Devindra Hardawar
If you've ever been to a concert where everything sounded awful -- perhaps because of the speakers, or the room acoustics -- you'd understand the pitch behind MIXHalo. Developed by Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, it's a way for concert goers to hear...
17 May 21:41

SHIELD Showrunners Talk Season 5 and THAT Cliffhanger

by Terri Schwartz

Full spoilers for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD continue below. Make sure to check out our review of the Season 4 finale, "World's End."

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD wrapped up its fourth season with a strong ending and one heck of a cliffhanger, which promises that the recently announced Season 5 will be out of this world.

To tie up some loose ends with Season 4 and get a sense of what we can expect from next year's SHIELD adventures -- and if there are any plans for this to be a final season -- I got on the phone with showrunner Jed Whedon and executive producer Jeff Bell to ask all the pressing questions.

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17 May 15:32

Building-sized vending machine deposits luxury cars

by Staff writer
Roumen.ganeff

duuude

A vending machine with a twist has been created in Singapore. Traditionally vending machines deposit chocolate, crisps, drinks or sandwiches, but this amazing looking 15-storey vending machine...
17 May 15:21

How Motörhead’s music, plus Lemmy’s weapon expertise, shaped action RPG Victor Vran

by Achim Heidelauf

As one of the ideas behind the game is to journey through the 40 years of Motörhead, we wanted to feature a mix of old and new tracks, as well as a mix of must-have classics like ‘Ace of Spades’ and hidden gems like ‘Jailbait’.

At the time of closing all the contracts with the band and various record labels, ‘Aftershock’ was Motörhead’s most recent masterpiece – a brilliant album that will surely live on! That’s why the three tracks from that album are the newest in the game.

‘Aftershock”s masterpiece ‘Queen of the Damned’ was high on our must-have list from the start. From the very beginning of writing the game’s concept I wanted to bring the Queen to life, as she perfectly represents the battle between Rich and Poor, apart from also being one of my all-time-favourite Motörhead tracks!

Victor Vran

Early concept art for the Pub at the End of Time – with Motörhead classic ‘End of Time’ the natural backing.

What was generally important to us was to get as many instrumental versions as possible. One reason was a drive for even more exclusive fan-fest material that hadn’t been released, but the main reason was that listening to lyrics all the time during gameplay, can get distracting. Now we have the perfect mix – 13 tracks, old & new, plus 12 instrumentals, plus the crazy remixed “Monument of Rock” versions.

The interest of the band in the project was what started it all. We originally intended to license a couple of tracks and that was it. But the more we talked, the more the question was raised “Why not do more than just the music? Let’s do a Motörhead GAME!” It was a close collaboration from the first minute.

The band was also deeply involved in the process of creating the story and which quotes and anecdotes to include. Naturally, they also created the costumes that Victor Vran can wear.

Lemmy was involved the most, due to his major role in the game. And of course, when it came to the weapons – as everybody knows he was an avid collector of swords and knives. So, we got a lot of comments from him about the weapons concepts we created. It was a lot of fun to get Lemmy’s direct feedback which was, of course, never censored… couldn’t be more direct in fact, like “this one is total nonsense! It would f**king break in a few seconds when you use it! Make this part thicker!!”… “This is silly!! Scrap it!”

Because of the trust between band, management and developers we were given access to all the original recordings, even for the songs that go back almost 40 years. That means that we were able to mess around with every separate layer, or stem, of each song. I can’t express how proud I am that we were allowed to use those. Working on them and listening to them is like time travel, like walking right into the Roundhouse Studios sessions, back in the 70s.

TITLE

Bomber and Iron Fist are iconic tracks that need to be in the game. These are transformed in game to special attacks to smash your enemies.

In the game there are many special locations that feature a so-called “Monument of Rock”. When Victor activates such a monument, we are muting whatever track the general soundtrack is playing, and activate the monument’s own individual remix. That may start with just the bass playing, after a successfully defeated monster wave, another instrument gets added – or the vocals. It is always different and it makes the sound experience absolutely unique.

The monster-spawning phases are intertwined with the rhythm of the chosen song, thus making some “Monuments of Rock” escalate faster than others. In the end, when Victor defeats all the monsters, the song is complete and the monument spits out tons of treasures. A very fulfilling feeling which makes you long for the next one.

And here’s the track list for the game. Make sure to crank the volume up good and loud – it’s the only way to listen to Motörhead and to play the loudest video game in the world!:

  1. ‘Motörhead – Motörhead, 1977
  2. ‘Overkill’ – Overkill, 1979
  3. ‘Stay Clean’ – Overkill, 1979
  4. ‘Bomber’- Bomber, 1979
  5. ‘Ace of Spades’- Ace of Spades, 1980
  6. ‘Jail Bait’ – Ace of Spades, 1980
  7. ‘Love Me Like a Reptile’ – Ace of Spades, 1980
  8. ‘We are the Road Crew’- Ace of Spades, 1980
  9. ‘Killed by Death’ – No Remorse, 1984
  10. ‘Iron Fist’ – Iron Fist, 1985
  11. ‘End of Time’ – Aftershock, 2013
  12. ‘Paralyzed’ – Aftershock, 2013
  13. ‘Queen of the Damned’ – Aftershock, 2013

Additionally, there are countless instrumentals and Monument-of-Rock remixes of the tracks in the game as well.

The post How Motörhead’s music, plus Lemmy’s weapon expertise, shaped action RPG Victor Vran appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

14 May 06:51

THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION Cancelled by NBC

by Clarissa
Yesterday NBC renewed THE BLACKLIST for an upcoming fifth season, but today the network pulled the plug on its spinoff, THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION. REDEMPTION starred  Ryan Eggold as his BLACKLIST character Tom Keen and Famke Janssen as Tom’s mother, Scottie, who ran a private military corporation. The show was averaging a 1.2 rating and 6.3 million viewers, […]
14 May 06:50

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE Renewed for Season 5

by Clarissa
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE has officially been renewed for a fifth season. The show stars Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio and Chelsea Peretti as a police force in Brooklyn that is always getting into hilarious hijinks, much to the distress of their straight-laced captain, played by Andre Braugher. It’s won two […]
14 May 06:50

THE GREAT INDOORS Cancelled by CBS

by Clarissa
THE GREAT INDOORS is coming to an end after one season on CBS. THE GREAT INDOORS starred Joel McHale as a renowned adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine who had to learn to adjust to the times when he became the desk-bound boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the publication. […]
14 May 06:50

ELEMENTARY Renewed for Season 6

by Clarissa
ELEMENTARY has officially been renewed for a sixth season by CBS. The series has been on the bubble and wasn’t part of the 18 shows that CBS renewed back in March, but today the ELEMENTARY writers confirmed that the show will be returning for another season. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are THRILLED to announce that […]
14 May 06:45

2 Broke Girls Cancelled by CBS

by Alex Gilyadov

After six seasons, CBS has cancelled the comedy series 2 Broke Girls.

Deadline reports that CBS and Warner Bros. TV, who produced 2 Broke Girls, couldn't come to an agreement over the financials of the aging series. With negotiations down to the wire, there was talk of potentially shortening Season 7 down to 13-18 episodes, but ultimately a deal couldn't be made.

Though 2 Broke Girls started off notably strong in its first 2011-2012 season, its viewership did decline, but it was still a decent performer for CBS - and the network's youngest-skewing comedy.

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14 May 06:38

Florence Nightingale Was Born 197 Years Ago, and Her Infographics Were Better Than Most of the Internet's

by Cara Giaimo
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When someone mentions Florence Nightingale, who was born this week in 1820, one particular image likely comes to mind: A caring presence, head covered by a shawl, holding a lamp as she ministers to patients in the dark. The "Lady with the Lamp," as she was known, still serves as a symbol for nurses everywhere.

But for every hour Nightingale spent burning the midnight oil to help a sick soldier, she likely spent another up late doing something else: working on some of the world's first explicitly persuasive infographics. In addition to caretaking and advocating, Nightingale was a dedicated statistician, constantly gathering information and thinking up new ways to compare and present it.

In August of 1856, Nightingale headed home from her famous stint at Scutari hospital in Crimea, where she had successfully lobbied to improve conditions and to expand the role of nurses. Upon her return to Britain, she was greeted as a hero—the press knew her as "a 'ministering angel'," and luminaries were eager to donate to training funds established in her name.

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But in private, she had two things on her mind: death and statistics. Even if the most recent war had ended, there would be more, she reasoned, and without some kind of permanent reform, Nightingale feared all future wars would look much the same—full of needless deaths, even off the battlefield. "Oh, my poor men who endured so patiently," she wrote to a friend in late 1856, thinking back on the soldiers she had treated who hadn't made it. "I feel I have been such a bad mother to you, to come home and leave you lying in your Crimean graves, 73 percent in eight regiments during six months from disease alone."

Nightingale had always had an affinity for math—as a child, she filled notebooks with tables of data about the fruits and vegetables in her garden, and according to one of her contemporaries, Francis Galton, she believed that statistics were the most effective way to "understand God's thoughts."

Her months in the war hospitals of Crimea provided her with plenty of opportunities to gather information, something that, in her view, those in charge had been fairly lax about. "The Army Medical Statistics… do not appear hitherto to have contemplated the necessity of [tabulating the sick at a given time]," she later wrote. "It cannot be ascertained correctly even for the Crimean Army."

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When she returned, sheafs of stats in tow, it was to a Britain gripped by its own numerical fervor. In 1834, scientists there founded the London Statistical Society, which aimed at "procuring, arranging and publishing facts," in order "to illustrate the condition and prospects of society." Three years later, the country set up a General Register Office to record births, deaths, and marriages. Soon, journalists and politicians were comparing sets of numbers in order to demonstrate particular correlations—between education and crime, say, or relationship status and longevity.

When, in February of 1857, the Secretary of War reached out to Nightingale and asked her to "communicate her opinions" about hospital treatments in Crimea, she saw her chance. Rather than drawing up some brief notes, she quickly began work on what would become Notes on Matters Affecting Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration in the British Army, an 850-page report that combines stories and observations with tables, graphs, and charts.

The report took her two years of near-constant work: peers, she wrote, accused her of "making my pillow of Blue-books." It also taught her something surprising—far more Crimean War soldiers had died from preventable diseases than from anything else, including combat. What's more, after a sanitary commission was sent to Crimea to clean up the hospital, death rates plummeted. These conclusions—and the data that supported them—were "like light shining in a dark place," wrote her mentor and collaborator, the epidemiologist William Farr.

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With such a massive tome on offer, though, Nightingale feared that this most vital conclusion might be overlooked. So she developed a series of charts meant to make it even clearer to the reader. Her most famous graph, displayed at the top of this article, shows the number of soldier deaths per month from various causes. Each pie slice represents a different month, from April 1854 through March 1856, and each color stands for a different cause of death. It takes just a quick glance to achieve the two main takeaways: that disease, colored blue, killed far more soldiers than either "wounds" (red) or "other" (black), and that it was reduced greatly in 1855.

Nightingale called this chart type—which she seems to have invented— "the coxcomb," due to its shape and color. Although she wasn't the first person to present statistics in chart form—that honor goes to William Playfair of Scotland, who published a book of infographics in 1786—"she may have been the first to use them for persuading people of the need for change," writes the historian Hugh Small.

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After she completed her report, Nightingale worked hard to turn its conclusions into common knowledge, privately distributing it to influential people and writing several more reports, many of which included coxcombs. When she received pushback from Army doctors, who thought sanitary measures a waste of money, she even leaked some of her charts to the press.

Eventually, Nightingale defeated said critics, and her findings won out. By the 1880s, sanitation standards in the British Army had greatly improved—soldiers were given the space and time to wash their clothing, bedding, and selves more regularly, among other reforms—and these gains had spilled over into the general population as well. As the statistician Jil Matheson told the Guardian in 2010, "the 'Lady with the Lamp' was also a lady with powerful ideas"—and it's those ideas that truly helped Britain shine.

12 May 11:11

Gotham Renewed for Season 4

by Alex Osborn

FOX has renewed Gotham for a fourth season.

The network shared the news in a post on the show's official Twitter account, saying "Are you ready to return to Gotham? Retweet if you're excited for Season 4!"

gothams4 Gotham Season 4 announcement promo, via Twitter

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12 May 11:10

American Gods Renewed for Season 2 by Starz

by Alex Gilyadov

Following its debut on April 30, Starz has renewed its critically-acclaimed series American Gods for a second season.

According to the network's announcement, the premiere of American Gods garnered over five million multiplatform viewers and placed number one on Nielsen Social Ratings for all scripted broadcast and cable television series.

"Bryan Fuller, Michael Green and Neil Gaiman have evolved the art form of television narratively, structurally and graphically with American Gods, and we're thrilled to be working again with these artists as they continue to build the worlds and wars of the gods," said Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming for Starz.

Based on Neil Gaiman's award-winning novel of the same name, American Gods tells the story of a war brewing between the Old Gods and the New. The Old Gods have mythological roots around the world and find themselves seduced by the New Gods' technology and money.

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12 May 06:49

Microsoft will offer 3 flavors of Linux in the Windows Store

by Andrew Tarantola
Microsoft made headlines at last year's Build developer conference when it announced that it would build support for the Bash shell and Ubuntu Linux binaries directly into Windows 10. Doing so enables devs to run command-line tools while building app...
12 May 06:48

Netflix's next original is basically a French 'Black Mirror'

by Matt Brian
One of the great things about Netflix's global expansion is that it allows audiences to enjoy new movies and TV shows that have been produced in other countries. French subscribers, for example, saw their first local original -- Marseille -- debut ar...
12 May 06:47

Ticketmaster shows you the view from any seat in the house

by Rob LeFebvre
When you buy a ticket to a concert or sports event, you want to make sure your view is a good one. The days of peering at a line drawing of a venue's seating plan to figure that out could soon be a thing of the past. Ticketmaster confirmed to Engadge...
12 May 06:43

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, AGENTS OF SHIELD and AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE Renewed at ABC

by Clarissa
Two freshman series — DESIGNATED SURVIVOR and AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE — were both renewed by the network. DESIGNATED SURVIVOR stars Kiefer Sutherland as a Cabinet member who became President after the assassination of the former President and the entire House of Representatives. Meanwhile, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, starring Katy Mixon, has averaged a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and […]
12 May 06:43

BLACK-ISH Renewed for Season 4

by Clarissa
BLACK-ISH is the latest ABC series to garner a season renewal from ABC. The show, starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, received a Best Actress Golden Globe Award for Ross, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series and a TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Stacy Traub, who served as executive producer/showrunner […]
12 May 06:41

THE BLACKLIST Renewed for Season 5

by Clarissa
NBC has renewed THE BLACKLIST for a fifth season. The series has averaged averaged 5.4 million weekly viewers and a 1.0 demo rating this season, which is down 20%+ since season 3, but NBC has renewed it for a 22 episode fifth season regardless. The series stars James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington, one of […]