Matthew V. Wood Jr., 43 (left), and his son, Kimani Johnson, 18. (Photos/Baltimore City Police Department Handout)Police say a father and son shot and killed by two Baltimore police officers were planning a “mass shooting” in East Baltimore.Matthew V. Wood Jr., 43, and his son, Kimani Johnson, 18, were preparing what could have been a mass shooting, according to police commissioner Kevin Davis.“We could have had a mass shooting on our hands where several innocent lives could have easily been taken,” said Davis at a press conference on April, 1.Police identified the policemen that fired the 56 shots as Officer Norman Jones and Sergeant Joseph Wiczulis. Police indicate that no shots were apparently fired by either Wood or Johnson.Wood and Johnson are both from northeast Baltimore, and each has a history of gun charges.Wood was sentenced to probation for three months after pleading guilty to illegally possessing a firearm in October and Johnson was free on a $100,000 bail awaiting trial on charges of possessing a firearm as a minor and possession with intent to distribute a controlled or dangerous substance, among other charges, according to court records.Wood and Johnson were reportedly affiliated with the Black Guerrilla Family gang.Johnson graduated from Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School last year, a representative for the school confirmed, and would have turned 19 April 4.
By Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFRODonna Walton, the epitome of beauty, charm, and grace, is mobilizing generations who refuse to be defined by anatomy or physical realities. At the age of 18, Walton was a dancer and a sophomore in college with big dreams of making it to Hollywood. Even when she was diagnosed with cancer in 1975 she said, “I kept on stepping.”That is, until she had a medical emergency in 1976. “My leg cracked on that bus in January of 1976,” Walton said. “I had to get an amputation and that’s where my journey began. I responded to my cancer with defiance, resilience, courage, faith and ego.”Dr. Donna Walton, Founder of The Divas With Disabilities Project. (Photo by Paul Morse)Walton suffered a life-threatening form of bone cancer that resulted in the amputation of one of her legs. But she became stronger, turning a moment into movement as the founder of The Divas With Disabilities Project, (DWD) which brings together women of color with disabilities throughout the world.“Together, we reject and dispel imagery that perpetuates stereotypes historically portrayed by mass media,” Walton said. “Our mission shapes the perception of what “disability” looks like by highlighting women of color through various media platforms.“My journey began 42 years ago. It’s not about what happens to you, it’s how you deal with the challenges. I knew it wasn’t all about me. I know it was God guiding my ship.”Despite losing her leg to cancer in 1976, Walton earned a bachelor’s degree from American University, a master’s degree from Syracuse and her doctorate from George Washington University. She went into education where she encourages the physically challenged and able-bodied to stand up for themselves and live the life they dreamed of having.“I don’t want to impact change, I want people’s lives to be transformed,” Walton said. “Why is my story so different? It is not the story it’s the messenger. People recover from illness all the time but what makes my story unique is that it happened during a time when cancer was death sentence and there few examples.”Walton said her motto is simple: “What’s a leg got to do with it?”Walton’s book is entitled “Shattered Dreams Broken Pieces,” and she will be signing copies from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 12 at Union Market in Northeast, Washington, D.C. “The most defining moment for me was when I realized that I was not my disability,” Walton said. “On page 84 of my book there is poem that says, ‘Don’t put [me] in a box.’”“I am more so much more than you can imagine. Don’t limit me by your limited expectation,” Walton said. “I always thought I was the baddest thing on this planet. I didn’t want to be ignored.”While she has taught students from elementary school to college, she still has a passion for the stage and airwaves. “I want to still find that performer in me,” Walton said “Cathy Hughes gave me my first opportunity and today I am an author, speaker, and advocate.”
Popular on Variety The limited-commercials tier of CBS All Access, CBS’s subscription VOD and live TV service, is now available on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels.Members of the Prime membership program in the U.S. can subscribe to CBS All Access’ limited-ads option for $5.99 per month after a 7-day free trial. That comes after Amazon added the CBS All Access commercial-free plan ($9.99 monthly) this past January.Both versions of CBS’s direct-to-consumer streaming service provide on-demand access to nearly 10,000 episodes of original series and current and past shows from the network. In addition, subscribers have access to to local CBS TV stations — which carry the same commercials in live programming as the over-the-air broadcasts. In the $5.99-per-month plan, select on-demand shows also will carry commercial interruptions. Launched in the fall of 2014, CBS All Access has an estimated 2.5 million subscribers. The network predicts that All Access will have 4 million subs by next year and 8 million by 2022.Original series on CBS All Access include “Star Trek: Discovery,” “The Good Fight,” “Strange Angel” and “No Activity.” Upcoming originals include a reboot of “The Twilight Zone,” “One Dollar” and “Tell Me a Story.”The streaming service includes current and past seasons of CBS primetime series including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon,” “NCIS,” “Scorpion,” “The Good Wife” and “Hawaii Five-0.”In the U.S., Prime costs $99 per year or $12.99 per month. Prime members who subscribe to CBS All Access can watch the service across more than 600 devices on the Prime Video app for connected TVs, game consoles, and set-top boxes (including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV), mobile devices and online. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 As January 31st wound down in India, there was still no sign of the blowout party that Spotify had planned to celebrate its long-anticipated launch in the country, which multiple sources told Variety was scheduled to take place today. That launch was postponed within the past few days, according to a source close to the situation, with a new date slated for either February or March.A rep for the company declined requests for comment.Some sources say the delay was because the streaming giant has not yet locked down deals for the country with the three major-label groups — Sony, Universal and Warner — although this was not confirmed at press time, and it’s possible that Spotify could have launched in the country without them. Those companies are not as big in India as they are in many other countries, and the announcement earlier this month that Spotify has inked a content deal with T-Series, the country’s leading music and film company, ensures that it will be rolling out with plenty of popular content. However, Spotify’s launch in India hinges on additional deals that are yet to be finalized. While the app will be available in English, the company hopes to expand into different regional music markets in India, a country with 1.33 billion people and dozens of dialects — music in five languages is expected to be available on the initial launch. While the partnership with T-series covers a wide range of commercial Hindi music, including Bollywood soundtracks, the main regional music dominating India includes Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali, which likely means connections with labels specializing in those languages.Just before Spotify’s public listing last March, the company announced that it had opened an office in Mumbai and hired 300 people, but it faces a steep challenge in India. As Variety reported in November, it will launch with an extended free trial period that sources say will be significantly longer than the 30 days of full-access that was offered in Vietnam and South Africa in 2018. While a Financial Times report earlier this month said that the length of the free-trial period was a major cause of the holdup, a source tells Variety that the sticking point is actually the royalty Spotify initially offered for the free-trial period, which is said to be dramatically lower than the local services are paying.Even if the licensing is secured, more obstacles remain. In addition to the fierce competition from local streamers like Saavn and Gaana (which sources say Spotify had considered purchasing in the past), Spotify could be staring down a potentially slow conversion from free to premium, and large sections of the country have broadband difficulties; although Internet access is inexpensive in India, infrastructure is still developing in many areas. However, Spotify faced similar challenges in Indonesia and Africa, and launched in those territories anyway. Popular on Variety
Popular on Variety Group Nine Media, the Discovery-back digital media publisher, says it has a slate of over 50 original shows premiering in 2019. But it won’t be showcasing them at the Digital Content NewFronts marketing confabs this year.Instead, Group Nine will take the show on the road with a series of presentations across the U.S. showcasing its four brands: Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker. The “Nine-Fronts” roadshow will kick off in April. The initial phase of the series will hit New York, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and Boston. The company hasn’t set a schedule of dates or venues yet.Group Nine participated in the New York run of NewFronts in 2018 and 2017. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which manages the NewFronts, has not officially announced dates for the 2019 session. Unlike the TV industry’s upfronts — aimed at selling ad inventory ahead of the fall television season — digital-media players don’t have a finite bucket of advertising avails or a specific time of year when they launch new content.The advertising opportunities developed by Group Nine “aren’t limited to a season or a cultural event,” Christa Carone, president of Group Nine, said in a statement. “With a social-first, mobile-first mindset, we’re always connecting with our audiences in the moment and providing partners with the contextual relevance to do the same.”Given the cost of holding NewFronts presentations — which deliver promotional value, but don’t necessarily result in hard-revenue deals — IAB has faced a simmering pushback from companies over the last few years. In 2018, the trade group truncated the original New York series to one week (instead of two) and added a two-day L.A. event in October, in part to cater to companies that wanted to reach West Coast marketers.According to Group Nine, the company’s brands collectively reach 75% of U.S. consumers 18-34. The company claims to be the No. 1 content publisher on mobile in the U.S. and that its brands generate over 5 billion monthly video views.Privately held Group Nine was formed in 2016 with a $100 million investment from Discovery, combining three startups backed by Lerer Hippeau Ventures — Thrillist, NowThis Media and the Dodo — with Seeker (formerly Discovery Digital Networks). It subsequently raised a $40 million follow-on round from Discovery, Axel Springer and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 YouTube’s decision to pull ads from channels purveying anti-vaccination conspiracies and false information came after BuzzFeed News reported that the platform’s video-recommendation algorithm frequently pulled up anti-vax videos after users conducted vaccination-related searches.Advertisers whose spots had appeared in anti-vaccination YouTube videos — apparently without their knowledge — include Vitacost, Retail Me Not, Brilliant Earth, CWCBExpo, XTIVIA and SolarWinds, per the BuzzFeed report. YouTube, under fire for facilitating the spread of conspiracy theories and other misinformation, said it will no longer serve ads on channels that espouse anti-vaccination rhetoric. The Google-owned video giant cited its advertising policy that bans “dangerous and harmful” content from eligibility in its monetization program.“We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies,” YouTube said in a statement. “We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads.”YouTube didn’t specify which anti-vax channels — or how many — were subject to the demonetization action. According to BuzzFeed, which first reported the news, affected channels included VAXXED TV, LarryCook333 and iHealthTube. The issue hits two ongoing pain points for YouTube: Its role in amplifying conspiracy-mongers and concerns among marketers about the “brand safety” of the platform. In a separate controversy, marketers including AT&T, Disney, Hasbro and Epic Games this past week suspended all ad spending on YouTube after a secret ring of child predators was discovered to be posting coded sexual comments on videos of young girls.Anti-vaccination proponents who falsely suggest that vaccines are somehow unsafe for kids remain rife on YouTube and other platforms. There’s overwhelming scientific and medical evidence that childhood vaccinations are both safe and effective at curbing disease outbreaks.In January, YouTube announced a change to its content-recommendations system aimed at reducing the recommendation of “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.” That includes videos promoting bogus miracle cures for serious illnesses, claiming the Earth is flat, or making “blatantly false claims” about historical events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to YouTube. The algorithm changes initially will affect recommendations for a very small set of videos in the U.S., with plans to expand internationally. While YouTube repeatedly claims that objectionable material like conspiracy videos represent well under 1% of its overall content, that would still represent millions of videos.On another front, YouTube last year began displaying links to Wikipedia articles on conspiracy videos. For example, many anti-vaccination videos on YouTube now point viewers to Wikipedia’s “Vaccine hesitancy” article.Of course, YouTube isn’t the only internet company accused of providing a megaphone for crackpot ideas. Separately, Pinterest recently implemented a change to simply block all vaccination-related searches on its image and video-sharing platform, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.Last week, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), sent a letter to Google and Facebook requesting details on how the companies planned to combat the spread of information discouraging parents from vaccinating their children. “I was pleased to see YouTube’s recent announcement that it will no longer recommend videos that violate its community guidelines, such as conspiracy theories or medically inaccurate videos, and encourage further action to be taken related to vaccine misinformation,” he said in a statement.
#FacebookDown and #InstagramDown? Don’t let us down Twitter! pic.twitter.com/7sD93wVm4R— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) March 13, 2019 Facebook???? Instagram???? Atleast the Soulja App isn’t down 🤷🏾♂️— Soulja Boy (@souljaboy) March 13, 2019 Asked for additional info, a Facebook rep in an email sent just before 7 p.m. ET referred to the two tweets and declined further comment. The company is mulling the possibility of issuing refunds to advertisers because of the downtime, Bloomberg reported.[UPDATE, 3/14, 12:45 p.m. ET: Facebook said it has resolved the issues. See: Facebook Apologizes for Outages, Says It Has Resolved ‘Server Configuration’ Error That Led to Access Problems]Problems reported by users included the apps’ not loading content or allowing them to share posts, while some said they were unable to log in. Some were shown a message saying Facebook was down for maintenance.According to website DownDetector.com, user reports of problems accessing Facebook’s apps began to spike around noon ET on Wednesday (March 13) and had not been fully resolved more than four hours later. The issues for Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger appear to be mostly affecting users in the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil, while many WhatsApp error reports have come from Mexico and South America as well as Europe, according to the site.Outages for large internet platforms like Facebook or YouTube aren’t unusual, but in the past they have typically restored service within an hour or two.According to performance-monitoring firm Netscout, the issue appeared to be related to an accidental Border Gateway Protocol “routing leak” from a European internet service provider to a major transit ISP; the BGP error then cascaded across other service providers and downstream customers of the transit ISP. (Netscout did not identify the ISPs in question.) However, another monitoring vendor, ThousandEyes — which tracks performance and downtime based on client-side measurement — said it was not seeing any BGP changes affecting connectivity, packet loss or latency for Facebook; ThousandEyes said the problems appeared to be internal to Facebook’s systems rather than a network or internet-delivery issue.As Facebook’s outages dragged on, Twitter lit up with complaints and comments — and, of course, memes and jokes. “Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are down. But I hear MySpace is rocking right now,” actor George Takei snarked. instagram and facebook are down but Denny’s is always open— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) March 13, 2019 Apps for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp were down for some users around the world for several hours Wednesday, with unidentified technical problems causing widespread disruptions.Facebook took to Twitter to update users on the situation. The company acknowledged the problems in a tweet at 1:49 p.m. ET, saying, “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”Facebook said in a follow-up Twitter post at 3:03 p.m. ET, “We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.” That’s a reference to a distributed denial-of-service brute-force attack, in which networks are overloaded with bogus traffic designed to disrupt service. Popular on Variety Facebook users coming to twitter to check why it’s not working #FacebookDown pic.twitter.com/ltvKXcRttk— ً (@hobishaengbok) March 13, 2019 ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Related Nvidia and Red Hat are the latest high-profile companies to join the Academy Software Foundation, a consortium that aims to help Hollywood with the adoption and development of open source tools. The foundation has also taken two additional open source projects, OpenEXR and OpenCue, under its wings.In addition to Nvidia and Red Hat, the Academy Software Foundation also accepted ftrack, a company that has developed software for collaborative media review, as a new member.“Open source technologies have been a source of innovation for the motion picture and broader media industry for many years, and Red Hat has been proud to collaborate with many of the leaders in this space to both enable their adoption of open source and to progress technologies in a way that has enabled this innovation,” said Red Hat chief technology officer Chris Wright in a statement. “We’re happy to join the Academy Software Foundation to expand this work and drive open standards that deliver sustainable interoperability.” “We’re looking forward to working with the Academy Software Foundation to help shape the future of this creative industry,” added Nvidia director of media & entertainment partnerships John Ison.The Academy Software Foundation was founded last summer by the Linux Foundation and the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences. Existing members of the group include Dreamworks Animation, Epic, Sony Pictures, the Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. and others.Some of the open source projects overseen by the foundation include OpenVDB and OpenColorIO, with the latter being a color management tool used for the production of movies like “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Hotel Transylvania 3,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”OpenEXR, one of the two new projects announced Wednesday, was originally developed by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as a high-dynamic range file format. It was first used for movies like “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Men in Black II,” and more recently was deployed to create “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther,” among other films.OpenCue, the other new project, is an open source render manager developed by Google Cloud in partnership with Sony Pictures Imageworks. Sony Pictures Has Open-Sourced Software Used to Make ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ Popular on Variety Netflix, Amazon Web Services Join Hollywood Open Source Group
This is one cosmic collaboration — and possibly written in the stars?Vans revealed their NASA-inspired collection Friday to celebrate the agency’s 60 years of space exploration and innovation.Photo Credit: VansThe Space Voyager line, now available on Vans’ website, features sneakers (including takes on the Old Skool, Classic Slip-On, and Sk8-Hi styles), t-shirts, jackets, and bags. Young, aspiring moonwalkers can also get in the action with kid-sized, galaxy-inspired slip-on sneakers.AdChoices广告Photo Credit: VansVans is almost as old as NASA. The shoe company, known for its links to skateboarding and skateboarding culture, was founded in 1966. It has launched previous collaborations with Disney and Marvel.See the Full Collection HereMore on Geek.com:Best Geeky Sneakers of 2018Versace Designer Teases Apple-Inspired Sneakers7 Sneakers Your Favorite DC Superhero Would Wear Stay on target Nike x ‘Stranger Things’ Is Back With an Upside Down-Inspire…Here’s a Closer Look at the Nike Kyrie 5 SpongeBob Pack
Buy This Comic: MAN-EATERS #1Buy This Comic: Twisted Romance Stay on target “Five years from now: the security of the internet has been totally destroyed. Secrets are no longer sent over the web, they’re entrusted to armed couriers called “Ledger Men,” like human punching-bag Jack McGinnis. He’s got a gun in one hand and a briefcase handcuffed to the other. Danger lurks around every corner, and Jack has to watch his back—because he had a part in the cyber attack that changed the world. Get in on the ground floor of this new ongoing series and thrill as we slam Jack’s fist into the faces of spies, mercenaries, fascists, and eventually less punchable adversaries like a very grumpy artificial intelligence. “ANALOG #1(W): Gerry Duggan (A): David O’ Sullivan (C): Jordie Bellaire (L): Joe SabinoInformation is something we seek to expose or try our hardest to keep private. What if your secrets were open to everyone and anyone to see? What if your secrets could only be trusted by one man? Someone who carries the job to keep your secrets under his protection at all costs? This is the story of Analog #1. This new series from Image comes mixes a little bit of that ultra nice James Bond flair combined with the future that we may not be able to handle.via Image ComicsGerry Duggan’s creates a haunting yet incredibly rooted narrative of what our future could look like without virtual privacy at our disposal. We’re in a time and era where we share ourselves with people more than ever. Social media has helped and hurt many people in so a lot of ways. Duggan imagines a world where all of what we do erases the questions of what we do in the dark. Your thoughts, actions, etc. are all in the open. It’s a scary thought, but in Analog #1, it’s almost so naturally executed by Duggan. You almost feel like you’re apart of this world even though you don’t want to be. That’s one of the fantastic things about Analog #1. You’re engrossed in the secrets of Jack, but when there are no secrets… it’s almost fascinating to know that this one person has so many.On the subject of Jack, he’s the perfect everyman that we’re following in this dangerous journey. Jack doesn’t care about the secrets he guards and has to keep hidden. He doesn’t care about the people who hire him and what they might be holding. Jack legit goes about his day, accepting who he is now and he looks at what he could have done to cause this future, it eats him up.This is the fascinating thing about the comic. The involvement of Jack in this entire scheme of things makes you hold on to figure out what he did. It almost reminds me of when Widow and Hawkeye in the movie talk about Budapest. Before you raise an eyebrow, hear me out. Analog does this in wanting to find out just what did in Palo Alto. It’s spoken so much. You look around to the future he’s in and a little in his past, and you find yourself saying, “What did you do?”via Image ComicsDavid O’ Sullivan follows this narrative with gritty and tough as nails art that creates a dark and heavy feel to the comic. One thing I adore about O’Sullivan’s art is his heavy use of the inks after his pencils. I’m a sucker for inking, but this particular comic shine because of his inks. O’Sullivan develops in the darkness that merely goes in any crime, noir or thriller comic. He brings a specific type of noir feel with the characters. He shadows them in this darkness, and the looming sense of dread comes out of his art.O’ Sullivan’s art and inks are amped by Jordie Bellaire’s colors that truly bring everything together. Bellaire can create such an intricate and well-balanced mood to any book that she’s attached to and she does a killer job in Analog #1. Her colors bring the story into a different atmosphere within the time and the place, depending on where Jack is at the time. Bellaire knows how to make those opening shots a little bit colder. She knows how to warm flashbacks, places of the “old world” and scenes with father and son. Her colors bring the world of the Ledger Man and the world around him together in complete harmony.via Image ComicsJoe Sabino’s lettering is the perfect element to round out this remarkable comic. Sabino’s lettering places outstandingly from start to finish, but the one thing that immediately captures you is the voiceover of Jack. You can almost read this in a rough and gruff “memo to self” voice. Sabino lets us get inside of Jack’s head through his lettering and Duggan’s script. This makes for an even wilder ride and more in-depth characterization.I’m hyped to see what more this creative team has us its sleeves for Analog #1. Will we find out what happened to Jack in Palo Alto? What happens to him and Oppenheimer? What else is in this future when everyone has nothing to hide? Analog #1 won’t be hidden for long, but its definitely worth the exposure for readers to enjoy. Analog #1 will be available in on Comixology and your local comic book shop April 4th. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
You’ve most likely been grounded a couple times in your life, or at least punished in such a way where you were prevented access to your favorite forms of entertainment. As punishment for not finding a job in favor of playing his favorite Chinese online games, Xiao Feng’s father sought out and hired in-game assassins to grief his son to the point where he wouldn’t want to play anyway.Though the 23-year-old was still allowed access to his games, his father’s hope was that actually playing them would leave such a bad taste in his mouth that he would finally get proactive and seek out employment. Each in-game assassin Mr. Feng hired was of a higher level and stronger than his son’s character, so his son wouldn’t have much of a chance of fending them off and continuing to play like normal.Xiao had bad grades in school due to video games taking up too much of his time, but he managed to land a job at a software development company. However, he was only able to hold it down for three months, claiming the job just wasn’t for him.Mr. Feng didn’t want to ruin his son’s leisure time, but couldn’t think of a better option to get him off the computer and searching for a job. Xiao told his father that he wasn’t actually addicted to video games, and is simply taking his time looking for the perfect job. For some reason, his father was relieved by that answer. So, next time your parents or significant other tells you to put down the controller or to close Steam and do some chores, just tell them that you’re waiting for a chore that better suits your needs, then keep on leveling.via Kotaku
Update: It is now being stated that production hasn’t ended completely. Instead, just the Neo Geo X Gold bundle will no longer be produced. The handheld will continue to be manufactured going forward.The Neo Geo X started out life last year as a rumor and some screenshots that looked more like an iPhone rip-off than a handheld games machine. But the handheld turned out to be a real product, and one that would ship with 20 Neo Geo games preinstalled. The only problem being, the price of purchasing one is particularly high at $200.SNK left us waiting until December for the Neo Geo X to finally launch, but just a month later and the writing already seems to be on the wall for the machine.Reports coming out of Japan suggest the initial production run of the handheld has completed and there is no intention of doing a second one. For the moment that’s only the case for Japan, but surely if it isn’t doing well in Japan it’s not going to be selling great numbers elsewhere.Apparently SNK will continue to release new games for the system, but if no more are produced that isn’t going to continue for very long.If you still want a Neo Geo X I’d suggest you go out and buy one as soon as possible. Chances are stock is going to dry up very quickly, and if no more are produced it could form a bit of a collector’s item, especially if you manage to get the replica console and joystick the Neo Geo X Gold ships with.The official site has a Where to buy page showing you where the handheld is being sold. A quick check shows that Amazon is shipping them for $199.99 and have stock.via Siliconera
Steve Ballmer may be the CEO of Microsoft, but when Xbox One chief Don Mattrick decided to leave for Zynga, it was Ballmer who stepped into that role. We all knew it was a temporary fix as Ballmer is a business guy, not someone you want pushing games hardware. And after just 10 days in the role, he has stepped down to make way for Julie Larson-Green.Larson-Green is a self-taught programmer with a Master’s degree in Computer Science who joined Microsoft in 1993 as program manager for Visual C++. She’s since worked on the user interface for multiple versions of Office and Internet Explorer, oversaw the Windows 7 launch, and is used to managing over a thousand people in her different roles. There’s no games experience in her past, though.Her new role is heading up the Devices and Studios Engineering Group, which replaces the Interactive Entertainment Business. It’s basically all hardware controlled from a single department, and therefore means she’s in charge of everything Xbox hardware-related. Larson-Green will also control content, too, including games, music, and video. The only area of the Xbox One she won’t oversee is the operating system.It remains to be seen if Larson-Green will become the new face of Xbox One or not. As she is responsible so much she may (and it makes sense to) give that role to another person. And as I’ve said before, Microsoft really needs someone with a good track record of gaming experience in that role–someone gamers can relate to.
Stay on target MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Assassin’s Creed is a series of popular video games (or rather, a series of video games that were popular for a couple of years – a couple of years ago) set in various meticulously recreated historical periods and chronicling the centuries long battle between the world-domination scheming Templars and their nemesis The Assassins. The “gimmick” of the games, however, is that despite this, they’re technically set in the present: The historical periods we’re seeing are actually the visions of various protagonists who are hooked up to a machine called The Animus that lets one relive the genetic memories of their ancestors… who without fail tend to have been Assassins, because nobody was going to play Accounts Receivable Manager’s Creed.Ostensibly, this gimmick is meant to be Assassin’s Creed’s in-game explanation for why time-jumps, invisible boundaries, pop-ins and other “video-gamey stuff” is happening in Rennaissance Italy (or The Crusades, or Colonial New England, or wherever,) but in practice it’s also an interesting example of a narrative conceit that really only works in the context of a game: Unlike in a passive viewing scenario, it doesn’t really matter that what we’re seeing is “just a simulation” of something that already happened – and thus doesn’t really possess any real tension – because we’re playing it and still have to trigger the proper sequence of events. Clever and functional!But in a movie? Yeah, that was always going to be the problem: The actual plot is telling us that all the Assassin stuff doesn’t actually matter because it’s just a video feed of a wonky sci-fi flashback device, but the Assassins are all anyone really cares about – that’s why they get the fancy hoodies and the parkour and the elaborate martial arts business. So instead, the Assassin’s Creed movie decides to relegate the Assassins themselves to the B-story and focus on the present-day… which anyone who’s played an Assassin’s Creed game can tell you is always the most tedious fucking part. What could go wrong?Well, everything – but yet also nothing. We’ve pretty much known for over a year that the Assassin’s Creed movie was going to be a pile of ass because otherwise why would they dump something fairly expensive (and full of fairly well-regarded movie stars) to die at the holiday box office against all the family-friendly blockbusters, after all. But what’s shocking is just how empty it is. The action is barely passable, the look of everything is hopelessly generic, the story is stripped bare and totally uninvolving, there isn’t a single memorable or remotely interesting thing going on in it.The only noteworthy thing I was able to take away is that it’s ugly as all hell – every scene looks like it’s been processed through a different hideously-unpleasant Instagram filter. The present-day “laboratory” scenes are bathed in a blue-gray sheen that evokes nothing so much as pretentious cologne commercials. The Assassin flashbacks are a muddy brown mess where a constant haze of smoke and grit works to obscure shockingly weak CGI and a paucity of things actually going on. A drawn-out finale involving the modern-day Templars looks like a direct rip from the same basic faux-Illuminati nonsense from the last James Bond movie, only somehow more boring.In case you were wondering, we aren’t following any of the known protagonists from any of the various games – after all, that might have been interesting. Instead, we’ve got Michael Fassbender trying to chomp his way through the scenery in a nothing role as a death row inmate. He gets grabbed up by the Templars because he’s the last known descendant of an Assassin from Inquisition-era Spain who was the last person known to possess the magic McGuffin (“The Apple of Eden” – no, really) the bad guys are looking for. Jeremy Irons is the Templar running the program at Abstergo Inc.; Marion Cotillard is the scientist running the Animus, Michael K. Williams, Brendan Gleeson and Charlotte Rampling are… also in this, for some reason (well, okay, Gleeson is playing Fassbender’s estranged father, but I couldn’t explain who Williams and a handful of fellow Animus lab-rats are or what they’re meant to be doing.)It’s pretty obvious that the studio knew they had a bomb on their hands for awhile because it shows every sign of having been cut to shreds in the vain hope that it’ll at least be fast-paced enough to function as a disposable second choice for action fans. There are dozens of characters in both time periods, but we barely learn their names and their motivations remains murky outside of who’s a Templar, who’s an Assassin and… that’s kind of it, I guess. The Inquisition-era scenes feature a female Assassin played by newcomer Ariane Labed who has the most screen presence of anybody (and looks more dynamic in her action beats than Fassbender) but I’d be at a loss to tell you her character’s name or the nature of her eventually plot-necessary connection to the hero. The sheer level of apathy the film inspires is really something to behold.I mean, let’s be clear: This might have at least been mildly enjoyable. The plot is a bunch of nonsense, but it has all the same basic components as those DaVinci Code movies and those are usually entertaining on their own dopey merits. So taking that and adding a bunch of parkour ninja stuff with a dash of National Treasure should be a slam dunk for at least some dumb fun at least if they aren’t going to bother to try and be good. But what puts the final nail in Assassin’s Creed is that it’s so incredibly self-serious: It doesn’t just fail to see the inherent humor in its ridiculous premise, nobody in the cast ever seems to be fully awake. They’re as bored by this as we are, blandly mouthing expositional dialogue without a sign of life. All except Fassbender, who for some reason digs into this bullshit like he thinks he’s about to morph into Daniel Day-Lewis any second now (a particularly contrived sequence lets him get dragged around-mid breakdown while belting out a manic cover of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” so yeah – one of those.)I wish I could even muster some righteous anger here, but the plain fact is Assassin’s Creed is a nothing movie that isn’t even good at being disposable… which maybe makes it the perfect piece of shit to close out a genuinely miserable year on this planet. Don’t take the leap.
Stay on target The Fast & Furious franchise peels out in a new direction this week with Hobbs & Shaw, the first spin-off in the series. Stepping away from the traditional ensemble cast, the new flick focuses on the uneasy partnership between DSS agent Luke Hobbs and assassin Deckard Shaw as they hunt down a MI6 operative who has lost his marbles and is on the trail of a bioweapon that could wipe the Earth clean of humanity. While the F&F series is famous for big car action, it also has plenty of characters that could anchor their own movies. Here are our picks for 11 Fast & Furious spin-offs we’d buy tickets to see.Letty OrtizFor a testosterone-soaked series about big crashes and bigger explosions, F&F has more than its share of strong female protagonists. One who has gone through a lot is Letty Ortiz, played by Michelle Rodriguez since the first film. One of the biggest holes in her story is her amnesiac period between the fifth and seventh films, where she wound up working for Owen Shaw’s crime syndicate. That’s a great prompt for a story that could see Letty front and center in her own movie, as things she did in the past and has no memory of could come back and haunt her, forcing her to deal with her actions in a way that would hopefully involve lots of stunt driving and maybe an introspective flashback or two.Tej ParkerLudacris’s mechanic character has been a mainstay of the series since the second film, but one thing has always stuck out like a sore thumb. When we first meet Tej, he claims that he can’t race anymore because of a leg injury. That makes sense, sure, but later on in the series he drives like a maniac and does a bunch of other stuff that would seem to belie that claim. So what’s the truth? A flashback flick that took us back to before he got set up with his garage would be dope, exploring how he learned all of his l33t hacker skills and made millions of dollars in the process. Not sure who could play a young Luda but I’m sure there’s plenty of talent out there.Han Seoul-OhHan’s fridging as a method of motivating Dom to seek revenge has always been one of the most annoying things about the series. He was a character with so much potential that we barely got to see. There are plenty of unexplored moments in Han’s life, especially his early days in street racing before he met Dom Toretto. Even more interesting is the fan theory that Han from the F&F movies is the same Han from Justin Lin’s earlier Better Luck Tomorrow, which implies a whole cinematic universe about to burst wide open. Fans love the character and it seems like a no-brainer to get him back on the screen in a way outside of flashbacks and funerals.Roman PierceTyrese Gibson’s character typically serves as comic relief in the Fast & Furious universe, but we think he could anchor his own adventure that answers a commonly-asked question: what exactly does this guy do in between movies? It seems like he’s always ready to come and help out whenever Dom makes the call, but what is Roman’s private life like? We can’t imagine that he’s able to turn his faucet of a mouth off when he’s off the job, so we’d love to see a flick where Roman’s mouth ends up getting him in deep and he doesn’t have his buddies to back him up and help him out of it. It’d be a fun vehicle, no pun intended, for Tyrese’s sizable charisma.Mr. NobodyHere’s another one where a little time jump would be ideal. We first meet Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody in Furious 7 when he makes a deal with Dom to retrieve the God’s Eye surveillance software in exchange for a lead on Deckard Shaw. He takes a bullet in that flick but recovers for the next one, but what we really want to see is how he got to where he is – let’s set a prequel in the 1970s, have a new young actor in the role and let him take all of those classic American muscle cars to the streets in their original form. Make it half Steve McQueen, half James Bond and you’ve got a recipe for a truly kick-ass flick. Weird bit of trivia: before they cast Russell, other names on the list for Mr. Nobody were Halle Berry and Taylor Lautner. They made the right choice.Tego & RicoTego Leo and Rico Santos are two of the series’ most durable supporting characters, having shown up in numerous movies starting with Fast & Furious. Played by Puerto Rican singer/actors Tego Calderón and Don Omar, they have proven themselves to be dependable backup on multiple occasions, but they never get a shot at center stage. We’d love to see a spin-off starring these two friends as they try to step out from under Dom’s shadow and run a heist for themselves, only to find out that it’s a lot more complicated than it looks. Their chemistry could definitely carry a brisk 90 minutes.Magdalene ShawThe Shaw family have been dependable antagonists – and allies – to the F&F crew over multiple movies. But in The Fate of the Furious, we were introduced to the matriarch of the clan, the imposing Magdalene. Played by the great Dame Helen Mirren, Magdalene Shaw not only makes badass babies, but also can hold her own in a scrap. Apparently in Hobbs & Shaw she’s back both in the present day and in flashback scenes where she’s played by Stella Stocker. A solo Mama Shaw film could run with either of those women in the lead – while we’d love to learn more about her past, a Fast & Furious movie with Helen Mirren in the lead is an irresistible fantasy.Orange JuliusBear with me here, because this one’s kind of a stretch. The mainline Fast & Furious movies typically concern themselves with the winners, right? Dom and Brian and their crew are the best, the fastest, the heroes. But what about the other street racers? Case in point: Orange Julius, as played by Amaury Nolasco in 2 Fast 2 Furious. This dude obviously has a whole gimmick: he dresses in orange, his car is orange – but we see him in that flick’s opening race where he wimps out at the bridge jump and then he’s never seen again. What was this guy’s deal? Let’s get back to the street and give the runners-up a time to shine as we do a side story that gets the franchise closer to its roots.KaraBad guy henchpeople usually don’t last long in the Fast & Furious world, but one notable exception who managed to survive a run-in with Dom’s crew is the mysterious Kara, a brutal female hand-to-hand fighter played by Ronda Rousey in Furious 7. She threw down with Letty during that movie’s heist of the God’s Eye in Abu Dhabi. Sure, she didn’t get a ton of character development beyond “woman who likes to hit people in the face,” but Rousey’s recent stint in pro wrestling showed that she has some talents that haven’t been fully tapped in the UFC and with the right script and director she could handle a solid bodyguard action flick.Sean BoswellTokyo Drift is very much the black sheep of the franchise, given that it dispensed with almost the entire cast of regulars to jump across the pond to Japan (and also goof up the timeline, as it takes place after the next few movies until Fast 7). Protagonist Sean Boswell, who was sent to Japan to stay out of juvie but would up the newly crowned Drift King, has showed up in cameos but never anchored any action. We’d love to see what Sean’s life was like after the events of Tokyo Drift as he held on to his throne and contended with the Japanese underworld. Yakuza violence and street racing sounds like a can’t-miss combo.More on Geek.com:9 Things Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Should Fight Next11 Marvel Characters That Deserve Their Own Streaming Shows11 ‘Harry Potter’ Characters Who Deserve Their Own Movie Vintage Shelf: Spike Lee Brings the Heat in ‘Do The Right Thing…Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This Week
Stay on target Fancy that: Amazon Alexa will soon sound more natural to Brits.The company introduced special words and phrases that the voice-controlled digital assistant can use to converse with UK customers.Last week’s launch of SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language) support for speechcons means developers can now build Alexa skills that pronounce common terms in a more homegrown style.The aim, it seems, is to create a sort of persona for Alexa—one that reacts as your grandparents might. From the looks of the speechcons library, Amazon is starting with some old-fashioned sayings; terms that, as an American living in Britain, I’ve never heard used by anyone under the age of 65.Thanks to speechcons, the disembodied voice box can articulate distinctly British exclamations “ace,” “Bob’s your uncle,” “Cheers,” and “oh my giddy aunt” as any native would. (That is, with a charming accent and affable manner.)Speechcons can be triggered using the “say-as” SSML tag (via Amazon)Simply wrap the expression in a “
The drama surrounding No Man’s Sky continues today as the studio behind the ill-received game tweeted that the game “was a mistake.” This tweet was taken down shortly after it was posted. The Hello Games account has since been set to private.The tweet was apparently posted by Hello Games’ Shawn Murray, who has become somewhat of a pariah in the gaming industry after his supposed lies about No Man’s Sky. In an email sent to Polygon, Murray said that the tweet was from him, but that someone from the team took it down. Murray went on to say that the team “have not been coping well.”Murray hasn’t responded to any follow-up emails, texts, or phone calls, but he did tweet the following messages from his Twitter account — an account that hasn’t been active since August 18.Server hacked. We’re binging Mr Robot Episodes as quickly as we can looking for answers. Ep05 is a cracker— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) October 28, 2016 If anything was a mistake, it was using Linked In without 2FA.— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) October 28, 2016According to Forbes, they have spoken to Murray via email as well and he tells them that the tweet was put out by a “disgruntled employee. Murray has told Mashable the same thing. Murray says that Hello Games is “currently trying to solve the issue internally.”So was it Murray, a hacker, or a disgruntled employee who posted this tweet? As with everything surrounding No Man’s Sky, it is hard to say exactly what is going on. Stay tuned for any updates as I’m sure that this situation is far from over.
Stay on target Like washing sheets and replacing sponges, you probably don’t scrub the toilet as often as you should.It’s hard to motivate yourself to do anything involving rubber gloves, a toilet brush, and disinfectant. By why scrub when you can outsource?Enter SpinX—your hands-free solution to the dirtiest chore in the house.AdChoices广告Created by entrepreneurial couple—and parents of four—Hila and Ariel Ben-Amram, the automatic toilet-cleaning robot uses a rotating brush, water jets, and compressed air to clean and dry the bowl and seat in 90 seconds.Press to clean (via SpinX)The high-tech gadget replaces your existing lid and seat, and is designed to fit most round or elongated (but not square) toilets; it also comes with a removable cover that hides the robot’s innards when not in use.“When I was pregnant with twins, taking care of two toddlers, it occurred to me while I was cleaning the communal toilet one evening that nobody has invented a self-cleaning toilet product before,” Hila said in a statement. “We live in an age of new technology, and to still be performing a trivial task that hasn’t evolved in over 100 years confused me.”Plenty of people seem to agree: In just two days, the SpinX Kickstarter campaign surpassed its $50,000 goal, thanks to 57 early-bird backers.The device is hidden behind a toilet lid cover (via SpinX)There is still plenty of time to snag your own toilet-cleaning robot—complete with replacement brush, a pack of soap tablets, and a charging base—for $200.Got more than one commode that needs a purge? SpinX comes in packs of two ($389), three ($589), or four ($769).Built to withstand up to 330 lbs of weight, the device promises to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria; its built-in battery lasts for up to 30 cleanings, and detaches for easy charging.“I created SpinX to save people the effort and inconvenience of carrying out a job they hate to do,” Hila Ben-Amram said, “while striving to reach new levels of cleaning and hygiene that benefits all who are tired of getting their hands dirty.” Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch Fits in Your PocketRugged BlackBerry Clone With QWERTY Keyboard Hits Kickstarter Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Stay on target The Secret Service is warning U.S. financial institutions of “jackpotting” attacks hitting ATM operators across the country.As its name suggests, the hack allows thieves to force bundles of cash out of automated teller machines on demand.But while the complicated crime has long plagued banks in Europe and Asia, U.S. operators were left unscathed—until now.AdChoices广告The raids, also known as “logical attacks,” require physical access to a cash machine, where muggers can use malware or specialized electronics (or probably a combination of both) to control ATM operations.And once you’ve gained control of ATM operations, what else is there to do but get rich quick?Diebold Nixdorf Inc. and NCR Corp., two of the world’s largest automated teller machine makers, did not immediately respond to Geek’s request for comment.But, according to KrebsOnSecurity, NCR on Jan. 26 sent an advisory to customers regarding Secret Service reports of jackpotting in the United States.“While at present these appear focused on non-NCR ATMs, logical attacks are an industry-wide issue,” the notice said, according to Krebs. “This represents the first confirmed cases of losses due to logical attacks in the US. This should be treated as a call to action to take appropriate steps to protect their ATMs against these forms of attack and mitigate any consequences.”Diebold offered a similar sentiment, telling customers that “the attack mode involves a series of different steps to overcome security mechanism and the authorization process for setting the communication with the [cash] dispenser,” a security alert said.Details are hazy: There is no word on the type of malware used, who has fallen victim, or how much money has been stolen.According to Krebs’ anonymous source, however, organized criminal gangs are to blame; the groups have allegedly been attacking stand-alone ATMs using “Ploutus.D,” an advanced strain of malicious jackpotting software first spotted in 2013.A recent analysis of Ploutus.D by security firm FireEye called it “one of the most advanced ATM malware families we’ve seen in the last few years.” Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Android Ransomware Pretends to Be Reddit PornGeek Pick: Abode iota Is an All-In-One Security Kit