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Feige & Thompson Tease Female Marvel Film

Dark Horizons - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 9:57am

Tessa Thompson’s performance as Valkyrie in Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok” is getting the strongest notices in early reaction to the film, and the actress has revealed that she used that power recently to help push for something that Marvel is now considering – an all-female superhero team-up film.

Speaking at the press conference for “Thor: Ragnarok” recently (via Collider), Thompson said: “Recently I marched up with a couple of other women who work in Marvel and [asked Kevin] ‘How about a movie with some female superheroes? Like all of them.'”

Marvel’s Kevin Feige continued the story, saying: “It was a pretty amazing moment to be somewhere and have your shoulder be taped and turn around find every female hero we have is standing there going, ‘How about it?’ And I said ‘yes.'”

Thompson then pointed out that the comics set a precedent for the idea with the ‘Lady Liberators,’ a team of female Avengers first assembled in 1970 in a one-off issue. The team consisted of Valkyrie, Wasp, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Medusa.

Of course there’s no guarantee at all that such a project could go forward, and no-one is letting slip what will happen after the fourth “Avengers” which is expected to change the MCU drastically.

The post Feige & Thompson Tease Female Marvel Film appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Aquaman Isn’t Aquaman In “Justice League”

Dark Horizons - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 9:45am

Though briefly teased in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the upcoming “Justice League” film marks the first real appearance of Jason Momoa as Aquaman.

Surprisingly though, and despite the presence of several characters who will return in James Wan’s solo “Aquaman” movie, it seems Momoa’s take on Arthur Curry in the ‘League’ ensemble film won’t have him as the King of Atlantis just yet. The actor explained his story arc to CBM this week:

“Aquaman, he’s not even really Aquaman yet. He’s not the King of the Seven Seas. We don’t really get there until my solo movie, at the end. Really, it’s a huge growth for me. It’s a gigantic arc for Arthur Curry. It may be tough for a lot of fans to watch what they’re gonna see, how I portray him. But you gotta wait until we get to the solo movie to really know. Because he’s not King yet.

He doesn’t believe in himself, he doesn’t know what to do with the powers he has. He’s going through tons of loss. He hates Atlanteans. The fact that people are calling him ‘Aquaman’ right now – he couldn’t give two s–ts about anything Atlantean. So he’s really not quite there yet… We gotta figure out the origin, where we’re going. Some people will be like, ‘This isn’t my Aquaman.’ But we’re not there yet.”

The quote comes as Patrick Wilson has reportedly wrapped his scenes as Ocean Master in the “Aquaman” film which is still continuing production in Australia ahead of its release December next year. “Justice League” opens in cinemas this November.

The post Aquaman Isn’t Aquaman In “Justice League” appeared first on Dark Horizons.

“Thor: Ragnarok” Is Longer Than You Think

Dark Horizons - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 9:36am

A little while back, filmmaker Taika Waititi teased that his Marvel Studios entry “Thor: Ragnarok” would be not just the shortest film in that particular franchise, but potentially the shortest in the MCU overall with a runtime of around 80-90 minutes.

Now, with the film set for an imminent launch, it’s been confirmed that brevity isn’t exactly the word for ‘Ragnarok’. The British Board of Film Classification has revealed that the actual running time of ‘Ragnarok’ will clock in at 130 minutes.

That makes it easily the longest “Thor” film to date (the first was 115 minutes, the second 112 minutes). In the overall MCU saga though, it’s a fairly middle of the road runtime with numerous films both longer and shorter.

“Thor: Ragnarok” begins its international rollout the week after next, and then hits the United States on November 3rd.

Source: BBFC

The post “Thor: Ragnarok” Is Longer Than You Think appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Microsoft Employees Can Now Work In Treehouses

/. - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 9:34am
Microsoft's campus now features three outdoor treehouses for its employees. An anonymous reader quotes CNBC: More than 12 feet off the ground, the treehouses feature charred-wood walls, skylights, at least one gas fireplace, Wi-Fi and hidden electrical outlets. Employees can even grab a bite at an outdoor extension of the indoor cafeteria. The "more Hobbit than HQ" treehouses are designed by Pete Nelson of the TV show "Treehouse Masters" and are part of Microsoft's growing "outdoor districts..." The company touts the professional benefits of working in nature -- greater creativity, focus and happiness -- but honestly, the treehouses are just plain cool. Microsoft touts a Harvard physician who believes nature "stimulates reward neurons in your brain. It turns off the stress response, which means you have lower cortisol levels, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and improved immune response." There's a short video on the "Working at Microsoft" channel on YouTube, but I'm curious what Slashdot readers think about working outdoors. Or, in a tree...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dutch Police Build a Pokemon Go-Style App For Hunting Wanted Criminals

/. - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 8:34am
"How can the police induce citizens to help investigate crime? By trying to make it 'cool' and turning it into a game that awards points for hits," reports CSO. mrwireless writes: Through their 'police of the future' innovation initiative, and inspired by Pokemon Go, the Dutch police are building an app where you can score points by photographing the license plates of stolen cars. When a car is reported stolen the app will notify people in the neighbourhood, and then the game is on! Privacy activists are worried this creates a whole new relationship with the police, as a deputization of citizens blurs boundaries, and institutionalizes 'coveillance' -- citizens spying on citizens. It could be a slippery slope to situations that more resemble the Stasi regime's, which famously used this form of neighborly surveillance as its preferred method of control. CSO cites Spiegel Online's description of the unofficial 189,000 Stasi informants as "totally normal citizens of East Germany who betrayed others: neighbors reporting on neighbors, schoolchildren informing on classmates, university students passing along information on other students, managers spying on employees and Communist bosses denouncing party members." The Dutch police are also building another app that allows citizens to search for missing persons.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

“Happy Death Day” Opens To Strong Box-Office

Dark Horizons - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 8:16am

Despite a mixed critical reaction, the horror thriller meets “Groundhog Day” time loop scenario Blumhouse feature “Happy Death Day” is set to beat its opening weekend expectations.

Originally slated for a $15-20 million opening, the film is now looking to score around $26 million for the weekend following an $11.6 million gross on Friday. Jessica Rothe stars in the film as a woman who is forced to relive her death over and over again until she finds out who killed her.

The Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford-led sci-fi sequel “Blade Runner 2049” will slip to second with a further $14-15 million.

Jackie Chan-led “The Foreigner” is looking to come in third with a solid $13.1 million for the weekend, but the film has already done robust overseas business with an $88 million gross in just a handful of globabl markets.

“IT” will take fourth with a further $6.6 million, while the Kate Winslet and Idris Elba-led “The Mountain Between Us” will come in fifth with $5.4 million for its second weekend.

Disappointing on arrival are some biopics which audiences have shown no taste for. Performing the best of the three is the Chadwick Boseman-led Thurgood Marshall biopic “Marshall” which will take in just $3 million.

Annapurna shouldn’t have gone wide with the Luke Evans-led Wonder Woman’s creation tale “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” which is headed for just $800,000 for the weekend. “Goodbye Christopher Robin” went in limited release, and though it’s too early for estimates on it yet – Friday’s results indicate a solid but unspectacular screen average.

Source: Variety

The post “Happy Death Day” Opens To Strong Box-Office appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Toshiba's Fast-Charging Battery Could Triple the Range of Electric Vehicles

/. - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 7:34am
Big Hairy Ian quotes New Atlas: A key focus of electric vehicle (EV) makers is maximizing the range users can get from each charge, and for that reason new battery technologies are poised to play a huge part in driving their adoption. Toshiba has developed a new fast-charging battery it claims could allow EVs to travel three times as far as they do now, and then be fully recharged again in a matter of minutes. Toshiba's SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) has been around in various forms since 2007, with its chief claim to fame an ability to charge to 90 percent of capacity in just five minutes. It also boasts a life-span of 10 years and high levels of safety, and has found its way into a number of notable EVs, including Mitsubishi's i MiEV and Honda's Fit EV. The current SCiB uses lithium titanium oxide as its anode, but Toshiba says it has now come up with a better way of doing things. The next-generation SCiB uses a new material for the anode called titanium niobium oxide, which Toshiba was able to arrange into a crystal structure that can store lithium ions more efficiently. So much so, that the energy density has been doubled. Toshiba calls the battery "a game changing advance that will make a significant difference to the range and performance of EV," and hopes to put it "into practical application" in 2019.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tesla Just Fired Hundreds Of Workers

/. - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 6:34am
An anonymous reader quotes the Bay Area Newsgroup: Tesla fired hundreds of workers this week, including engineers, managers and factory workers, even as the company struggles to expand its manufacturing and product line... The company said this week's dismissals were the result of a company-wide annual review, and insisted they were not layoffs. Some workers received promotions and bonuses, and the company expects to hire for the "vast majority" of new vacancies, a spokesman said. "As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures," a spokesman said. "Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world." "Tesla has a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board in November for charges that company supervisors and security guards harassed workers distributing union literature," reports the Bay Area Newsgroup, adding that "Openly pro-union workers were among those fired this week. Some believe they were targeted." Tesla denies this, and says that they've generally boosted morale this week -- by rewarding higher-performing employees.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Russia Reportedly Used Pokemon Go In an Effort To Inflame Racial Tensions

/. - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 5:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Russia's far-ranging campaign to promote dissension in the United States reportedly included an effort to weaponize Pokemon Go. CNN reported that in July 2016, a Tumblr page linked to Russia's now-notorious Internet Research Agency promoted a contest encouraging people sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement to play the game near famous sites of police brutality. Players were told to change their characters' names to the victims of those incidents -- an apparent effort to inflame racial tensions. The Tumblr page was linked to Do Not Shoot Us, a multi-platform campaign designed to mimic aspects of Black Lives Matter. (As CNN notes, the name plays on "hands up, don't shoot," one of the movement's slogans.) Do Not Shoot Us included a website, donotshoot.us, along with related pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The Facebook page was one of 470 pages that were removed after the company determined that it was linked to Russian groups attempting to interfere in US politics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

David O. Russell’s Amazon Show Scrapped

Dark Horizons - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 2:58am

Amazon has scrapped plans for an untitled drama series from David O. Russell and taken over full production on Matthew Weiner’s “The Romanoffs,” both previously co-productions with The Weinstein Company.

In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the latter will no longer involve The Weinstein Company which has become overwhelmed by the sexual-abuse scandal that forced the company’s co-founder, Harvey Weinstein, out.

The scrapping of the Russell project is notable as it was to be the first small screen series role for Robert De Niro who would have co-starred with Juilanne Moore. Representatives for Russell, De Niro, and Moore released a joint statement saying: “We support Amazon’s decision as in light of recent news and out of respect for all those affected we have decided together that it is best to not move forward with this show.”

The real surprise with this story is that the Russell project has reportedly already managed to spend $40 million without shooting a single frame and with only a few scripts having been turned in. In contrast, there’s already a few episodes of”Romanoffs” in the can and things on it are moving right along fine.

Amazon is currently facing its own scandal, announcing the suspension of Amazon Studios president Roy Price who also faces renewed allegations of sexual harassment involving “The Man in the High Castle” series producer Isa Hackett which included pressuring her for sex and making multiple lewd and offensive statements. In the wake of the scandal they also cancelled the red carpet for the screening of their Woody Allen film “Wonder Wheel” slated for tonight at the New York Film Festival.

Under Price, Amazon Studios found some success with ‘High Castle’ along with the likes of “Catastrophe,” “Bosch,” “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Transparent”. However they never captured broad attention in the way shows like Netflix’s “Stranger Things” or Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” have.

Source: Variety

The post David O. Russell’s Amazon Show Scrapped appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Weinstein Dismisses Company Sale Rumors

Dark Horizons - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 2:36am

The fate of The Weinstein Company itself has come into question as allegations continue in the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Rumors of a sale or shutdown have gained serious weight to the point that Harvey’s brother Bob Weinstein has now been quick to assure the industry that everything is going fine at the company. He has given the following statement (via The Playlist:

“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company. Polaroid is moving forward as planned with a release date of November 22nd followed by Paddington 2 on January 12th…. “War with Grandpa” starring Robert De Niro is scheduled for February 23rd 2018. Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.”

The statement, surprisingly not issued from a burning building twenty miles from the nearest water source, makes no mention of the Benedict Cumberbatch-led “The Current War” which was previously scheduled for limited release on November 24th before going wide in January.

Floated as a possible awards candidate earlier this year, a disastrous reception in Toronto led to Harvey Weinstein himself saying he was going to edit the film – it’s not clear if any editing has been done, but the film is no longer on their release schedule. Certainly its chances of awards prospects are now over.

Other projects that Weinstein has been involved in have also hit troubles. Harvey has been removed by Disney as a producer on the adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s “Artemis Fowl” books which has Kenneth Branagh attached to direct and produce.

Oliver Stone has cut his ties to the “Guantanamo” series in the works due to the involvement of The Weinstein Company, but the filmmaker has now also been accused by former Playboy model Carrie Stevens of groping her breast at a party 26 years ago according to Refinery29.

More key filmmakers and actors have come forward about their personal dealings with both Weinstein and the systemic problem of sexual harassment within the industry.

James Van Der Beek notably took to Twitter to relate his personal experiences when he was young about being grabbed by “older, powerful men” and he understands “the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle.” Tom Hanks, who has never worked with Weinstein, was asked by The New York Times about Hollywood sheltering this sort of behaviour to which he responded:

“Well, that’s a really good question and isn’t it part and parcel to all of society somehow, that people in power get away with this? Look, I don’t want to rag on Harvey but so obviously something went down there. You can’t buy, ‘Oh, well, I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s and so therefore…’ I did, too. So I think it’s like, well, what do you want from this position of power? I know all kinds of people that just love hitting on, or making the lives of underlings some degree of miserable, because they can.”

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, a friend of Weinstein for over two decades, has been notably quiet throughout this whole thing. He’s now issued a brief statement saying he “needs a few more days to process my pain, emotions, anger and memory” and then he’ll speak publicly about it.

Notable actresses like Lea Seydoux, Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne and Claire Forlani have all spoken about their personal experiences with Weinstein and his detestable behavior, while Emma Thompson has given a superb interview with BBC Newsnight about her dealings with him and the system that supported it – one of bullying, harassment and a crisis of extreme masculinity:

The Producers Guild of America will determine the professional fate of Harvey Weinstein in an emergency meeting over the weekend with the group expected to vote Saturday on whether or not to boot him from their ranks four years after they honored him with their most prestigious award. BAFTA has already suspended him, and he now faces expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with an emergency meeting called for this morning to discuss action against him.

Finally, if you haven’t already seen it, check out this amusing ‘Penis PSA’ from Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee that was released Wednesday night and has since gone viral.

The post Weinstein Dismisses Company Sale Rumors appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Google Slashes Prices of Its USB-C Headphone Dongle Following Minor Outrage

/. - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 2:00am
At its hardware event last week, Google unveiled its two new flagship smartphones: the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. While these devices feature high-end specifications and the latest version of Android, they both lack headphone jacks, upsetting many consumers who still rely heavily on wired headphones. To add insult to injury, Google announced a USB-C adapter for a whopping price of $20 -- that's $11 more than Apple's Lightning to 3.5mm adapter. This resulted in some minor outrage and caused Google to rethink its decision(s). As reported by 9to5Google, Google decided to slash the price of the dongle by over 50%. It is now priced at a more reasonable $9.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microwave Tech Could Produce 40TB Hard Drives In the Near Future

/. - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:00pm
Western Digital has announced a potential game changer that promises to expand the limits of traditional HDDs to up to 40TBs using a microwave-based write head, and the company says it will be able to the public in 2019. Gizmodo reports: Western Digital's new approach, microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR), can utilize the company's existing production chain to cram a lot more storage onto a 3.5-inch disk. In a technical overview, Western Digital says it has managed to overcome the biggest issue with traditional HDD drive storage -- the size of the write head. These days, an average hard drive maxes out in the 10-14TB range. But by integrating a new write head, "a spin torque oscillator," microwaves can create the energy levels necessary for copying data within a lower magnetic field than was ever previously possible. There's a more thorough white paper for those who want to dive in. According to Western Digital, MAMR has "the capability to extend areal density gains up to 4 Terabits per square inch." By the year 2025, it hopes to be packing 40TBs into the same size drive it offers today.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Verse of the Day - Psalm 34:15

Bible Verse of the Day - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:00pm

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry...

Psalm 34:15

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

We are righteous because of God's grace. We are remembered because of God's faithfulness. We are heard because of God's faithfulness. We are blessed because God is God.

My Prayer...

Thank you, Father, for seeing my needs, hearing my cries, answering my prayers, and coming down to save, comfort, and bless. In Jesus' name. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.© 1998-2017, Heartlight, Inc. Verseoftheday.com is part of the Heartlight Network. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
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