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- 12/19/17--06:31: _Disney World just a...
- 12/19/17--06:45: _The 10 highest-gros...
- 12/19/17--07:33: _We asked the host o...
- 12/19/17--09:17: _YouTube's latest de...
- 12/19/17--09:48: _2017 was an incredi...
- 12/19/17--10:11: _'Silicon Valley' ac...
- 12/19/17--10:18: _Inside the Palo Alt...
- 12/19/17--11:49: _Rian Johnson descri...
- 12/19/17--13:36: _Here are the most p...
- 12/20/17--06:00: _'Pokémon Go' on the...
- 12/20/17--06:10: _Magic Leap just rev...
- 12/20/17--06:43: _A long-time E! News...
- 12/20/17--07:05: _MoviePass boasts it...
- 12/20/17--08:22: _$1.9 billion later,...
- 12/20/17--09:18: _These photos of 'St...
- 12/20/17--09:47: _Christopher Plummer...
- 12/20/17--09:52: _Netflix ordered a s...
- 12/20/17--10:31: _Rian Johnson reveal...
- 12/20/17--11:12: _Meryl Streep 'She K...
- 12/20/17--11:23: _These are the 10 mo...
- Walt Disney World announced on Monday that President Donald Trump had been added to its Hall of Presidents attraction.
- People are freaking out about the robotic Trump's appearance.
- Some people even say the other presidents look displeased to welcome Trump to their ranks.
- 12/19/17--06:45: The 10 highest-grossing movies of 2017 that ruled the box office
- YouTube's new deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group pave the way for its parent company, Alphabet Inc., to launch a new paid YouTube music streaming service in 2018, Bloomberg reports.
- YouTube's deals with Sony and Universal, two top music labels, follow a previous agreement signed with Warner Music Group in May.
- The upcoming YouTube streaming service is reportedly referred to internally as "Remix."
- 12/19/17--10:11: 'Silicon Valley' actor T.J. Miller denies sexual-assault allegation
- "Silicon Valley" actor T.J. Miller has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman while in college, The Daily Beast reports.
- The woman, who remained anonymous in the report, said the alleged assault occurred during a brief relationship with Miller in 2001.
- Miller and his wife, Kate, denied the allegations in a joint statement.
- In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and the early Facebook team moved into a five-bed house in Palo Alto, California.
- It was run like a "frat house," and would later be made famous by the 2010 film "The Social Network."
- Today it's a haven for budding entrepreneurs and business students, and Business Insider got a look inside.
- "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson said the first big challenge of writing the movie was figuring out what Luke Skywalker was doing on that island.
- That led to him realizing that Skywalker's fate would have to be explored in the movie as well.
- Assault: The attacking team must secure two target points in order, while the defending team must prevent this.
- Escort: The attacking team must escort a payload to a marked delivery point before time expires, while the defending team must prevent this.
- Hybrid (Assault/Escort): The attacking team must secure the payload and escort it to its destination, though this occurs in a manner similar to Assault. The defending team must hold the line and not allow this.
- Control: Each team tries to secure a control point and hold it until their capture percentage hits 100%. Teams must win two out of three games to secure victory.
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- Niantic is releasing an updated version of "Pokémon Go" for Apple's iPhones and iPads this week.
- The new version will incorporate Apple's ARkit augmented reality technology.
- The updated version should offer a more compelling and realistic augmented reality experience.
- 12/20/17--06:10: Magic Leap just revealed its smart glasses for the first time
- Magic Leap revealed the name and design of its smart glasses on Wednesday.
- The company says that the hardware will ship in 2018.
- Magic Leap didn't announce a price.
- Catt Sadler hosted programs on the E! channel for 12 years.
- She learned that co-host Jason Kennedy earned double her salary for essentially the same job.
- She decided not to renew her contract.
- Movie theater subscription service MoviePass said it's passed one million paid subscribers.
- The company said it hit the milestone faster than Netflix and Hulu.
- Magic Leap is a secretive Florida-based startup that makes augmented-reality headsets.
- On Wednesday morning, it finally unveiled its first headset — a reveal six years and $1.9 billion in the making.
- Rolling Stone, which tried the headset, described it as something very similar to Microsoft's HoloLens.
- 12/20/17--09:18: These photos of 'Star Wars' scenes made with Legos are incredible
- Christopher Plummer is great in "All the Money in the World" — like, Oscar-great.
- Kevin Spacey originally played the role, but after sexual-misconduct allegations emerged against him, the film's director, Ridley Scott, reshot all the scenes with Plummer instead.
- The movie is your typical ransom movie, but GOD, Christopher Plummer!
- Netflix is making a sequel to its upcoming, Will Smith movie, "Bright," Bloomberg reports.
- Production of a sequel makes "Bright" the first movie franchise in the history of streaming-only films.
- A fantasy-action film with a reported budget of $90 million, "Bright" premieres on Netflix on December 22.
- Rian Johnson has been thinking about a particular shot since he started work on "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
- He said it's the rare time when an early idea makes it to the big screen.
- Posters of Meryl Streep, with the words "She Knew" superimposed across her face, popped up throughout Los Angeles on Tuesday.
- The posters appeared after Streep announced that she was unaware of "Weinstein's crimes."
- It's unclear who is responsible for these posters yet.
- Streep's statement followed Rose McGowan's public accusation that she is a hypocrite for working with Weinstein and reportedly participating in a Golden Globe protest to support victims of sexual misconduct.
- The highest-rated TV shows of 2017 consisted mainly of fan favorites such as "NCIS" and "The Big Bang Theory."
- Nielsen tracked the average number of viewers tuning in to regularly scheduled programming to determine which shows were most popular.
President Donald Trump has officially joined Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents— and some people are horrified by the robotic president.
On Monday, news broke that the animatronic Trump had arrived at the popular Disney World attraction. Like every president since Bill Clinton, Trump has a speaking role, despite rumors to the contrary.
Many people, however, are distressed by the appearance of the robotic Trump.
Some suggested the other presidents looked skeptical of the robotic Trump joining their ranks.
The Hall of Presidents reopened Tuesday after closing in January, shortly before Trump's inauguration. Disney originally said the attraction would reopen in late June, ahead of the Independence Day holiday.
But the opening day was pushed back, sparking rumors that Disney was rethinking giving Trump a speaking role. Disney denied the rumors, saying it had been working with Trump to record his remarks.
To be fair, past presidents' robotic likenesses in the Hall of Presidents have not always been the most flattering.
Here's what Barack Obama looks like:
And, here's George W. Bush:
The Disney blog Inside the Magic released a preview of Trump's appearance on Monday. Decide for yourself what to make of the robotic Trump:
It may come down to the wire, but with a couple more big releases on the horizon (“Jumanji” and “The Greatest Showman”) and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” now in theaters, the movie industry might cross the $11 billion mark for the end of the year. That would be three straight years the biz has hit that milestone.
Regardless, though, there were some major performers, including three very different kinds of movies crossing the $1 billion worldwide mark — and a Stephen King adaptation performing beyond anyone’s expectations.
Thanks to Marvel hits (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok”) and a live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” Disney passed the $5 billion total ticket sale mark for the third year in a row. Warner Bros. with “Justice League,” “It,” and “Wonder Woman” also hit the mark for the second time in its history.
Below are the 10 biggest worldwide box office earners of 2017.
Note: All figures are from Box Office Mojo.
10. “Justice League” — $635.9 million
Domestic: $219.4 million
For all the bashing the movie took from critics and the fans, this latest DC Comics movie was able to crack the top 10 (let’s check in a couple of weeks to see if “The Last Jedi” ruins the party). It’s the worst performer of any of the DC releases to date, but on the bright side, it likely won’t lose $100 million for Warner Bros.
9. “It” — $697.5 million
Domestic: $327.4 million
WB couldn’t be more happy with how this adaptation of Stephen King’s book, made on a $35 million budget, performed at the box office. And it was a hit internationally, where horrors usually don’t do as strong.
8. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” — $794.8 million
Domestic: $172.5 million
People in the US may have had enough of the “Pirates” franchise, but it’s still working overseas. So expect more.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Scott Rogowsky has become a familiar face over the past few months, as the mobile game show HQ Trivia became a cultural phenomenon. Each day he asks hundreds of thousands of contestants random trivia, so we decided to turn the tables on him and make him the contestant. We asked him 12 questions about classic game shows to see how well he knows his stuff. Following is a transcript of the video.
Scott Rogowsky: I'm as ready as I'll never be.
Q1: What popular game is "Hollywood Squares" based on?
a. Hangman b. Tic-Tac-Toe c. Crossword Puzzles
Scott: I'm gonna say Tic-Tac-Toe?
You fool! Ok ... Loved "Hollywood Squares." Shout out Gilbert Gottfried.
Q2: What is the name of the AI that competed on Jeopardy in 2011?
a.Watson b. Winston c. Siri
Q3: How many years did Bob Barker host the Price is Right?
a. 10 years b. 25 years c. 35 years
Scott: 35 years. You're talking to the bad and boujee Barker right here.
Q4: What was the popular catch phrase from “Press Your Luck?”
a. Survey Says b. No Whammies! C. Physical Challenge
Scott: No Whammies! Big Bucks, big bucks! No Whammies!
Q5: How many people are surveyed on “Family Feud”?
a. 10 b. 100 c.1000
Scott: 100. Survey says: 100!
Q6: What is the name of the Oscar-nominated film about a game show starring John Turturro?
a. The Truman Show b. Magnolia c. Quiz Show
Scott: "Quiz Show!" Ding, ding, ding!
Q7: What is the longest running game show in U.S. history?
a. The Price is Right b. Wheel of Fortune c. Jeopardy
What is "Wheel of Fortune?"
"The Price is Right!" I should have guessed Bob Barker!
Q8: What famous game show did Anne Robinson host?
a. The Weakest Link b. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire c. Deal or No Deal
Scott: "The Weakest Link."
You are the weakest link. Goodbye!
Q9: On “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” contestants can “Phone a Friend,” “Ask the Audience” or what?
a.50:50 b. Get a Hint c. Skip the Answer
Q10: Who was the first host of “Wheel of Fortune?”
a.Pat Sajak b. Chuck Woolery c. Merv Griffin
Scott: Merv Griffin.
Woolery! Oooh ...
Q11: What was the very first televised game show?
a.Jeopardy b. Spelling Bee c. Let’s Make a Deal
Scott: "Spelling Bee." That was a guess.
Q12: Who is the current record holder for the highest earning contestant on a US game show?
a. Ken Jennings b. Neil DeGrasse Tyson c. Brad Rutter
Scott: Brad Rutter? Who is Brad Rutter?
I don't know who he is. I just know that he's got a lot of money.
See, if the questions were all about trivia, or game shows, I'd do pretty well.
I know my steez!
YouTube has agreed to long-term deals with top music labels Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group in a move that positions YouTube's parent company, Alphabet Inc., to launch a new music streaming service in 2018, Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw reports.
The upcoming paid YouTube streaming service, which Bloomberg earlier reported is internally referred to as Remix, represents Alphabet's latest attempt to compete with music streaming rivals like Spotify and Apple Music.
YouTube's new deals with Sony and Universal, which were reportedly two years in the making, follow a similar long-term deal that YouTube signed with Warner Music Group in May. Combined, the three deals pave the way for the launch of Remix, according to Bloomberg.
YouTube's agreements with the labels reportedly establish royalty rates for copyrighted music uploaded to YouTube. As a result, the video service will reportedly look to crack down on user uploads of copyrighted music in an effort to increase revenue for music labels, which has long been a point of contention in the industry.
The prospective launch of Remix will be Alphabet's third attempt at entering the music streaming service game.
The company's previous attempts in the field, Google Play Music and YouTube Music Key, did not have the same success as Apple Music and Spotify at getting people to pay for a music subscription service.
Google introduced its Google Play Music streaming service in 2011. YouTube Music Key, launched in 2014, was eventually rolled into YouTube's ad-free, subscription-based video service YouTube Red, which launched in 2016.
Nintendo's latest video game console is off to a killer start.
The Nintendo Switch is still hard to find, and it's regularly beating the competition in sales. Its main launch game, "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," is heralded as one of the best games ever made. And Nintendo had a huge new Mario game, "Super Mario Odyssey," to follow up in October.
Between this year's Switch games and 2018's lineup, it looks as if Nintendo is finally delivering on its long-held promise to release a steady cadence of games from its biggest franchises. Heck, Nintendo is even making a full-on new "Pokémon" game for the Switch. That's a first for "Pokémon," a series forever tied to Nintendo's handheld consoles.
With 2017 coming to a close, we're looking back at Nintendo's incredible year — and looking forward at what to expect in 2018.
2017: Nintendo released a sequel to "Splatoon," a Pokémon spin-off, and a new series for Mario.
Considering that the console only launched in March, the Switch already has a mess of fantastic games. Nintendo started with the showstopper in "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," which launched alongside the Switch in March.
"Zelda" was quickly followed by an updated re-release of "Mario Kart 8" — arguably the best "Mario Kart" game ever made — and an entirely new Nintendo-made entry in "Arms." "Minecraft" launched soon after, and Nintendo even allowed the Switch version of "Minecraft" to play nice with the Xbox One, PC, mobile, and VR versions of the game. If you're playing the game on one of those platforms, you're also playing with people on the Switch!
"Splatoon 2" is a sequel to the delightful shooter that debuted on Nintendo's failed Wii U console. It launched on July 21, and it's excellent.
Following the launch of "Splatoon 2" in summer, a spin-off of the Pokémon series arrived on Switch in September: "Pokken Tournament DX." It's a 3D fighting game featuring — what else? — Pokémon, and it's a re-release of a game previously available on the Wii U. Think of it as a precursor to the "core" Pokémon game coming to the Switch.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Comedian T.J. Miller, a former actor on HBO's "Silicon Valley," has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman who knew him in college, The Daily Beast reports.
The alleged victim, who remained anonymous in the report, said the assault occurred during a brief relationship with Miller in 2001.
"He just tried a lot of things without asking me, and at no point asked me if I was all right," the woman told The Daily Beast. She alleged that in two separate incidents, without her consent, Miller choked her, punched her, and penetrated her with a beer bottle during sex.
The allegations were reportedly addressed by a "student court" while Miller and the woman were taking classes at George Washington University. The Daily Beast corroborated parts of the woman's story with statements from college associates and classmates.
Miller and his wife, Kate, denied the allegations in a joint statement. They published a full statement on Instagram on Tuesday.
"[The accuser] began again to circulate rumors online once [my and Kate's] relationship became public," the Millers wrote. "Sadly she is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again. It is unfortunate that she is choosing this route as it undermines the important movement to make women feel safe coming forward about legitimate claims against real known predators."
In the report, the woman said the first incident with Miller took place after she met Miller in a comedy group in the fall of 2001, when he was a student at George Washington and she was taking classes. She alleged that while having sex with Miller, he punched her in the face, fracturing a tooth and bloodying her lip.
She alleged that in a second incident, Miller choked her during sex to the point where she was "audibly choking" and then penetrated her with a bottle without her consent.
Nearly a year later, the woman said she took the incident to the George Washington campus police. She told The Daily Beast that she was directed to a "student court" proceeding, which lasted three weeks before the university told her that the issue had been resolved.
George Washington University declined to comment on the issue to The Daily Beast, citing federal privacy laws. The university did confirm to the publication that Miller graduated from the school in 2003, while other sources claimed to the outlet that Miller was "expelled after he graduated."
Miller left HBO's "Silicon Valley" in June after four seasons on the series.
Miller's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for further comment on the allegations. You can read the full joint statement denying the claims below:
We met this woman over a decade ago while studying together in college, she attempted to break us up back then by plotting for over a year before making contradictory claims and accusations. She attempted to discredit both of our voices and use us against one another by trying to portray Kate to be a continuous abuse victim of T.J. (further efforts to hurt the two of us). She was asked to leave our university comedy group because of worrisome and disturbing behavior, which angered her immensely, she then became fixated on our relationship, and began telling people around campus “I’m going to destroy them” & “I’m going to ruin him.” We are confident that a full consideration of accounts from and since that time will shed light and clarity on the true nature of not only this person’s character, but also on the real facts of the matter. (See the e-mails referenced). We stand together in stating this is nothing more than an unfortunate resurgence of her lies designed to wreak havoc on two happily married people in the public eye. She began again to circulate rumors online once our relationship became public.
Sadly she is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again. It is unfortunate that she is choosing this route as it undermines the important movement to make women feel safe coming forward about legitimate claims against real known predators.
We stand together and will not allow this person to take advantage of a serious movement toward gender equality by allowing her to use this moment to muddy the water with an unrelated personal agenda. We feel we all have an obligation now more than ever to prevent people from using reporters to spin lies into headlines, and focus instead on what is real.
We both champion and continue to stand up for people everywhere who have truly suffered injustice seeking to have justice brought into their lives. - Kate & T.J. Miller
Before Facebook was a $500 billion behemoth with 2 billion users and the power to reshape society, it was just another scrappy startup.
Founded in the halls of Harvard, the Facebook founders moved west to Palo Alto, Calif. in the summer of 2004 — a relocation that was made famous by the 2010 film "The Social Network."
In those early days, the Facebook team lived and worked in a nondescript five-bed home in Palo Alto, building their fast-growing social network in a setting that one former executive likened to a "frat house." Today, the company's offices are still nearby, in Menlo Park — while the "Facebook House" has become a mecca for budding entrepreneurs and business students with dreams of following in Zuckerberg's footsteps.
Business Insider took a tour of the property to see the historical location in Silicon Valley history up close — and to meet the people living there today.
The "Facebook House" where the social network's team lived in the summer of 2004 is located in a sleepy, tree-lined neighborhood in Palo Alto, California — about 30 miles south of San Francisco.
819 La Jennifer Way is a five-bedroom bungalow, and outwardly shows no signs of its key role in Silicon Valley history.
It's a "pass down" house for people studying at the Stanford Graduate School of Business — each year, a group of students rent it for a year, before passing it down to the next. Current residents include Derek Tsoi and Shalva Daushvili.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
There’s a lot to digest after watching the latest “Star Wars” movie, “The Last Jedi,” but perhaps the biggest is Luke Skywalker's return to the franchise.
Following “The Force Awakens,” where the Jedi master shows up in the last shot of the movie and doesn’t utter a single word, “The Last Jedi” picks up right at that moment. For a lot of the story, we stay with Luke (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) on his secluded island.
“The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson said that was the first big hurdle of writing the script — why was Luke on that island and why won’t he leave?
“I had to figure out something that made sense, and you don't know much about where's Luke's head is at coming out of ‘The Force Awakens,’ Johnson told Business Insider. “For me growing up, I know Luke as a hero. I know that he must think he's doing the right thing by taking himself out of the equation, and that means he thinks the best thing for the galaxy is that he's not a part of this and, by extension, that the Jedi are not a part of this. So that leads you down a certain path.”
The path Johnson took was exploring Skywalker as he’s riddled with guilt for believing he failed as a master Jedi by trying to show Ben Solo (aka, Kylo Ren) the ways of the force, only to realize his nephew is drawn to the dark side. Skywalker is even more frighted when he finally gives in to Rey's request for training and realizes her enormous raw power in the force.
[BIG SPOILER COMING!!!]
Eventually Luke does leave the island — not physically, but through a force projection — and comes to the rescue of the Resistance. In doing so, he goes up against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) using the force in an extremely clever way. However, the power exerted by Skywalker leads to his death as he fades away with his cloak flying off into the breeze.
“As I worked out that his arc was going to be coming to a place where he does this big heroic act that is going to be spread throughout the galaxy — basically taking back the mantle of Luke Skywalker, a Jedi master, a legend — it just slowly became clear to me that it would be this big grand act,” Johnson said of writing Skywalker’s final scene. “It would be an act of mythmaking. And if there was ever going to be a place in this entire trilogy to give him this emotional moment of a goodbye, this was probably going to be the most emotionally potent place to do it.”
But, how did Hamill take the news?
“It wasn't the thing he wanted to necessarily hear,” Johnson said with a laugh. “Understandably so. Mark had all these years to think what Luke's triumphant return would be. Luke's the hero coming back into this story, and the fact that this character and this movie could not be that — this character in this movie was by necessity what he had to be, and also in relation to Rey, that brought its own necessity.”
Johnson said that if Skywalker just came back like he did in the original trilogy, an optimistic fighter, he’s just an older version of Rey. And Johnson needed someone to bounce up against Rey.
“It’s not what Mark had in his head initially, and that's why he's spoken very openly about his being caught off guard by the script and where the character ends up,” Johnson said. “But I knew this is where it had to be. We got into the conversations, and we got into the work, and we talked, and we argued, and we discussed, and that process ended up being very good for the character and also for our working relationship. It was a very good one.”
However, anyone who knows the “Star Wars” saga is aware that the Jedi always come back to give guidance to their pupils. What Johnson did in “The Last Jedi” sets up that possibility for “Episode IX,” which will be directed by J.J. Abrams.
“I’m not sure what J.J. and [screenwriter] Chris Terrio are going to do in the next one with Luke,” Johnson said, “but setting up possibilities for the next one, honestly, it seems much like Obi-Wan going where he did after 'New Hope.' The possibilities seemed even more exciting in terms of what Luke's place could be in the next chapter with him entering into this other realm as opposed to him having a lightsaber and being with our heroes. It opened more possibilities as opposed to fewer.”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is currently playing in theaters.
Top eSports Games of 2017
eSports started as groups of friends gathering in each other's homes to host LAN parties and play video games deep into the night. But today, it has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with genuine teams, some of which receive sponsorships and have international influence.
The eSports market is currently valued at around $900 million, and that figure continues to grow. With every passing tournament, the prizes get richer and the views increase. And as we move into 2018, eSports will continue to trend that way.
But before we get there, let's take a look back at some of the biggest and best eSports games, and some of the top competitive games, of 2017.
League of Legends (LoL)
League of Legends, developed and published by Riot Games, is easily the most popular and lucrative eSports game out there. In standard play, the player acts as a summoner that controls a champion with unique abilities, skills, and powers. to battle against a team of other players (or computer-controlled champions if no other players are present). The objective is to destroy the opposing team's nexus, a structure that rests at the core the enemy base protected by defensive structures.
At the 2017 Season World Championship, the final competition of the 2017 League of Legends competitive season, 24 teams received invitations to play for a prize pool of $4,596,591 (the initial prize pool was $2,250,000, while the rest was fan contributions). Samsung Galaxy, a South Korean team and member of KeSPA, took first place in the competition and walked away with $1,723,721. SK Telecom T1 finished second and won $620,539, while Royal Never Give Up and Team WE finished in third and fourth to take home $321,761 apiece.
Call of Duty (CoD)
There are 14 entries in the main Call of Duty franchise, dating back to the original Call of Duty in 2003. Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games are the primary developers, and Activision publishes the series.
Today, the Call of Duty World League hosts monthly events, which culminate in the Call of Duty World League Championships in August where 32 teams will play the latest entry in the franchise, Call of Duty: WWII, and compete for a prize pool of $1.5 million dollars.
At the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championships, OpTic Gaming defeated Team EnVyUs in the finals of the double elimination tournament, 3-0, to capture the title.
Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2)
Dota 2 traces its origins back to a user-created mod in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion The Frozen Throne. Much like League of Legends, this MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) pits two teams of five unique hero characters against each other with the objective of destroying the enemy's "Ancient," a large structure inside enemy base.
Valve, the game's developer, hosts an annual tournament called The International where the world's best Dota players compete for prizes. At the 2017 double-elimination tournament, Team Liquid swept Newbee 3-0 in a best of five Grand Finals to capture the first place prize of $10,862,683. Newbee took home $3,950,067, while LGD.Forever Young finished third with $2,592,231.
The International 2017 broke the record for the largest prize pool in eSports history at $24,787,916. In fact, every International since 2014 has accomplished that feat.
Blizzard Entertainment released Overwatch on May 24, 2016, but it has quickly become one of the most popular games in the eSports world. In fact, Blizzard has helped fund and produce professional leagues, such as the Overwatch League.
Overwatch pits two teams of six players against each other in first-person shooter combat. Players select a hero character with a unique ability and role class, such as offensive, defensive, support, or tank. Players can also switch characters during a match in order to better adapt to their opponents' strengths and weaknesses.
The game features four main map types (though there are others available through Arcade mode or a custom game):
The Overwatch League was announced in November 2016, and the first twelve teams formed within a year. The first season will start regular season play in January 2018 and will run through June 2018. The season will conclude with playoffs and an All-Star weekend in July. Teams will compete for a total prize pool of $3.5 million in the first season of play.
Blizzard makes the list again with StarCraft, its wildly popular real-time strategy game released on March 31, 1998. Its expansion, Brood War, released on November 30, 1998.
The game features three playable races: Terran (futuristic humans), Protoss (intelligent aliens), and Zerg (bug-like aliens that act as part of a hive mind). Players take control of one of the races and act as a military general by gathering resources, constructing building, and training troops to destroy the enemy base. Players can compete in free-for-all or team-based combat against human or computer-controlled opponents. The first player or team to destroy all enemy structures wins the game.
In some ways, StarCraft was the first eSports game. It became so popular in South Korea that a professional gaming scene arose there. Some pro gamers there earned television contracts, sponsorships, and tournament prizes. Arguably the most famous player, Lim Yo-Hwan, (known in the game as SlayerS `BoxeR`) accumulated more than 500,000 fans.
On May 2, 2012, KeSPA, Ongamenet, Blizzard Entertainment, and GomTV introduced the true sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, to the pro circuit in South Korea and phased out Brood War by October. But as is sometimes the case with gamers, Brood War remained the standard for a significant part of the audience, and streaming channels of retired pro gamers maintained their popularity.
Today, the StarCraft II World Championship Series brings the world's best teams together in competition. But the game's reach in Korea remains so strong that the standings are divided into Korea and Circuit, essentially the rest of the world. The total for prizing for 2018 is more than $2 million, with $500,000 for the Global Finals where eight players from Korea and eight players from Circuit will compete.
The 2017 WCS Global Finals had a total prize pool of $700,000 and took place at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California. In the final match, soO defeated Rogue, 4-2, to win first place and take home $280,000. Second place received $140,000.
eSports Games in 2018
The aforementioned games are unlikely to lose their spots atop the eSports mountain, but there are other games with potential. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has the big-name characters and the fighting game pedigree to become a popular competitive game.
The next installment in the Unreal Tournament franchise (known for now as Unreal Tournament 4) has the fan base to break into the eSports market. The same goes for Quake Champions.
And one under-the-radar pick is LawBreakers, a first-person shooter directed by Cliff Bleszinski, famous as the game director for the Unreal franchise and the Gears of War series.
More to Learn
The market for eSports continues to grow, and it's showing no signs of slowing down in the coming years. That's why BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a comprehensive guide on the future of professional gaming called The eSports Ecosystem.
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
"Pokémon Go," the breakout augmented reality game, is getting an upgrade of the technology it helped popularize.
Later this week, game developer Niantic will release a new version of "Pokémon Go" for Apple's iPhones and iPads. The update will incorporate Apple's new ARkit technology, which it designed to help developers add augmented reality features to their apps.
What does that mean for you, the devoted Pokémon trainer? In short, you'll see an improved augmented reality experience, dubbed AR+, that will bring better graphics to the game and some new types of gameplay. But you'll need an iPhone 6s or more recent iPhone model to take advantage of the new features.
Since it launched in the summer of 2016, "Pokémon Go" has had an augmented reality (AR) mode that overlays digital creatures on top of real-world images taken from a phone's camera. The mode got mixed reviews. Experienced players found that it to be a distraction that made catching Pokémon more difficult. So many turn it off.
How the new AR+ mode works
The new AR+ mode appears to replace the old AR mode entirely. Now if you can scan any flat area in front of you with your iPhone or iPad camera while playing the game, virtual bushes will appear. If you shake those bushes by touching them, a Pokémon will pop out.
In the old AR mode, Pokémon would frequently appear to be hovering above the ground. Now, thanks to ARkit, they appear to have their feet (or flippers) firmly planted on terra firma. It's a way more convincing effect.
The updated version of "Pokémon Go" also takes advantage of the depth-sensing capabilities built into ARkit. It can tell how far you are away from the virtual creatures you encounter. If you move your phone just the right distance from them when you capture them, the game will add an "Expert Handler" bonus to your experience points and your Stardust currency.
Niantic first announced it would use ARkit to update "Pokémon Go" in June, when Apple unveiled the technology. The announcement was notable because "Pokémon Go" has been seen as a proof-of-concept for augmented reality apps.
The game has been a huge hit. It's been downloaded over 800 million times, Niantic said recently, and, as of April 2017, it had 65 million active players.
Apple has been touting augmented reality as a major new technology for the company. Its newest iPhones, including the $999 iPhone X, have cameras that are "tuned" for augmented reality, according to the company.
Magic Leap updated its website on Wednesday morning, revealing its highly anticipated augmented reality smart glasses for the first time.
Billed as the Magic Leap One "Creator Edition," the smart glasses include an array of sensors on the front, connected via a wire to a battery and computing pack that's designed to be worn on the belt, matching the details first reported by Business Insider earlier this year. A wireless controller is used as input.
Magic Leap is calling its glasses "Lightwear," the battery pack "Lightpack," and the controller is called "Control."
Magic Leap's website says that the headset will ship in 2018, and notes that "product is continually advancing and may be different at time of shipment."
Magic Leap's website lists several use cases for the headset, including web browsing and shopping, opening up multiple virtual monitors, telepresence, and gaming. "Here are some of the experiences we’ve been exploring, but they are just a jumping-off point," according to the website.
Magic Leap also described its AR display technology on Wednesday. "Our lightfield photonics generate digital light at different depths and blend seamlessly with natural light to produce lifelike digital objects that coexist in the real world.
Magic Leap also came up with an interface for its optics. "We live and think in a 3D world, not on a flat screen. Our spatial interface includes multiple input modes including voice, gesture, head pose and eye tracking," according to the company's website.
Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz talked about those ideas in an interview with Rolling Stone. The breakthrough, according to Abovitz, was that the brain's visual cortex approximates a processor, and that if Magic Leap could only render the parts of a "light field" that the eye is looking at, it could turn it into a headset.
"Our thought was, if we could figure out this signal and or approximate it, maybe it would be really cool to encode that into a wafer,” he told Rolling Stone. “That we could make a small wafer that could emit the digital light field signal back through the front again. That was the key idea.”
Magic Leap lists six main features for its headset on its website, including its display, interface, audio, and sensor technology.
Magic Leap's hardware appears to be geared for software makers. Magic Leap said that in "early 2018" that it would open up a software development kit with tools, documentation, and support for developers.
NOW WATCH: What those tiny rivets on your jeans are for
Catt Sadler, a long-time E! News host, walked away from her role upon learning her co-host early double her salary, People reported.
She discovered the discrepancy when her contract came up for negotiating, saying she learned co-host Jason Kennedy made double her salary for several years despite doing "essentially similar jobs, if not the same job."
"It's almost insulting because you know you work really hard," she told People. She continued:
"I'm a single mom of two kids. I've given my all to this network. I've sacrificed time away from my family and I have dedicated my entire career to this network. And when you learn something like that, it makes you feel very small and underappreciated and undervalued. It's heartbreaking."
A representative for E! said the company "compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender," according to People.
The gender wage gap persists in America, where women make 77 cents for every dollar men make. Some economists say that while it's true some women receive lower pay for equal work, a contributing factor to the gap may also be related to job choices and hours worked.
But cases like Sadler's show that in the entertainment industry, wage gaps between men and women exist for very similar jobs.
Earlier in the year, well-respected women in the media industry spoke out about the disparity in pay, and Sadler pointed to these women as a reason she decided to walk away from her job.
"It's like I now feel inspired and empowered by these women before me who refused to be silent," says Sadler, referencing Jennifer Lawrence, Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou. "And I now join them in what I believe to be a very important movement towards creating change."
The movie theater subscription service MoviePass has hit a major milestone.
The company announced on Wednesday that its surpassed one million paid subscribers. In August, the company changed to a $9.95 per month pricing model, and according to the company, its subscription base since then has increased over 6,500%.
MoviePass boasts that after shifting its price on August 15, the company reached one million subscribers in less time than paid subscription services Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix.
MoviePass has disrupted the movie theater business since it dropped its price. Shortly after the news, AMC attempted to try and block the use of the service in its theaters, though that would be impossible unless the theater chain stopped accepting MasterCard, which is the credit card service MoviePass uses.
Earlier this month, Cinemark introduced an $8.99 monthly membership program for its customers that offers one ticket per month to a non-3D movie anytime, 20% discount on concessions, and the option to buy additional tickets at $8.99.
The next step after smartphones is almost certainly some form of augmented reality — at least, that's what investors believe, to the point where they've pumped $1.9 billion into Magic Leap, a Florida-based startup that creates AR headsets.
For years, Magic Leap has raised astronomical rounds of funding from the likes of Google, Alibaba, Fidelity, and JPMorgan. And on Wednesday morning, after years of rumors and fundraising, Magic Leap unveiled its first product: Magic Leap One.
It includes a headset, a controller, and a corresponding computer (the circular thing on the left in the picture above). And the idea is simple: It's a wearable computer.
Looking through Magic Leap One's "Lightwear" glasses, you can manage your email, watch YouTube videos, or do whatever other stuff you'd do on a smartphone or computer. Instead of on a screen, it's projected into your field of view.
You know the movie "Minority Report"? It's kind of old at this point, but if you've seen it, you may remember Tom Cruise using a computer essentially projected into the world in front of him.
Magic Leap's headset is similar, and it goes where you go. But there's a huge difference between what Magic Leap is promising and what it's offering.
This line in the first hands-on with the headset, from Rolling Stone's Brian Crecente, says it all: "Magic Leap's Lightwear doesn't offer you a field of view that matches your eyes."
Simply put, Magic Leap's headset offers a viewing window into an "augmented" reality, rather than fully engulfing users in that reality.
If you look to your left without turning your head, you will see the side of the headset in your peripheral view, leading to users looking at the world through a window — which feels about as natural as it sounds.
I can attest that it's exactly the way Microsoft's similarly futuristic AR headset, HoloLens, functions. Crecente also makes the comparison.
"The viewing space is about the size of a VHS tape held in front of you with your arms half extended," he wrote. "It's much larger than the HoloLens, but it's still there."
Seeing only what's directly in the middle of your vision while wearing the headset is the HoloLens' biggest limitation, and it ends up feeling like a tease of something amazing.
When I last wore the HoloLens, it told me where to walk by painting arrows on the floor in front of my eyes.
The proof of concept there is obvious — imagine wearing a simple pair of glasses that offered Google Maps within your vision. Amazing!
But so is the limitation. Reality is augmented only insofar as you're looking within a relatively limited space in front of you.
The Rolling Stone article quotes a Magic Leap senior director as saying a future generation of Magic Leap's headsets "significantly expands the field of view." When that future comes, augmented-reality products will do a much better job of delivering what they promise — but for now, they're very impressive computer glasses.
Vesa Lehtimäki has loved "Star Wars" since he was 10 years old. He saw the original movie in its first theatrical run back in 1977.
"For my generation, that's like Woodstock," Lehtimäki told Business Insider. He says he should get a T-shirt with the text "Star Wars 1977 theater run: I was there."
In 2015, the Finnish photographer released a book, "Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy," that depicts iconic movie moments from the "Star Wars" universe — in Lego form.
Lehtimäki shared some of his breathtaking images with us. Follow him on Instagram for more.
Vesa Lehtimäki said he had no idea how much money he had dropped on Lego toys — and preferred to keep it that way. (It's a lot, according to the Finnish photographer and father.)
He began shooting his kid's toys in 2009, reigniting his love of the "Star Wars" franchise.
Eventually, Lehtimäki started buying duplicate sets of the "Star Wars" ships so he wouldn't have to rebuild them after playtime.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Kevin Spacey has lost many things in the wake of numerous sexual-misconduct allegations against him, and one more you can add is a potential Oscar nomination.
Spacey originally played the billionaire J. Paul Getty in the Ridley Scott movie "All the Money in the World" (in theaters Monday), but following the allegations against the actor, Scott reshot all of Spacey's scenes with Christopher Plummer just a few weeks ago. In doing so, he's given Plummer a shot at Oscar glory.
Honestly, that's how great Plummer's real-life Scrooge McDuck portrayal of Getty is in the movie.
It just shows the talent that Plummer has. One day he's sitting comfortably at home, and the next he's jetted off to a film set and gives this kind of performance with minimal prep.
Outside Plummer's acting ability, it's a testament to Scott's direction and the screenplay by David Scarpa, who adapted the John Pearson book.
"All the Money in the World" looks at the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the grandson of the billionaire Jean Paul Getty (Plummer). The movie unfolds like a usual ransom movie — the kidnappers tell the family how much it will cost to get the boy back, and the family frantically tries to oblige before anything happens to him. But in this one, the major roadblock is the person you'd think could end it all: J. Paul Getty himself. The man with all the money in the world is also the stingiest man in the world.
What we quickly learn in brief flashbacks is that Getty isn't just insanely wealthy as the founder of Getty Oil; he also won't give up his money for anything, except for the priceless art that's inside his home(s). In one scene, his laundry is hanging in the bathroom because he can't bear to waste money on the hotel doing it. In another scene, young Paul III reads a letter to his grandfather of someone begging for money to help with an illness. Getty has him dictate a stern response refusing to help. He even has a pay phone on his estate for guests to use if they want to make outside calls.
The entertainingly awful behavior and actions of Getty are really the highlight of the movie. And Plummer seems to enjoy every moment of it.
There is also a strong story among all the Getty antics.
Paul III's mother, Gail Harris (Michelle Williams), is frantic trying to persuade Getty to give a damn and fork over some money for the ransom. Getty looks to have a soft spot for Paul when he calls on his fixer Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) to work alongside Gail in getting Paul back. Things get complicated when Chase believes Paul III devised a plot to kidnap himself only to eventually realize that is not the case and Paul III is in great danger (amplified when the kidnappers mail a newspaper a piece of Paul's ear).
By this point, Getty won't budge unless Gail agrees to something the billionaire has proposed. And in that we're given the greatest example of just how spineless Getty really is.
The movie is a strong drama with some thrills mixed with a surprising amount of humor. But its highlight is Plummer's performance.
It's quite remarkable that it took only nine days or so to take Spacey out and plug Plummer in (though there's one shot with Getty in the distance getting off a train that looks to be a Spacey-as-Getty shot). If Plummer can make a run for a best supporting actor Oscar, it will cement his performance as one of the most distinctive ever on-screen.
Netflix has ordered a sequel to its upcoming, Will Smith-led original movie, "Bright," making it the first movie franchise in the history of streaming-only films, Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw reports.
A fantasy-action film starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton as LAPD cops in a world where humans, orcs, and elves coexist, "Bright" was made for a reported budget of over $90 million. It premieres on Netflix on December 22.
Just last week, at the film's Los Angeles premiere, "Bright" director David Ayer ("Suicide Squad") sounded unsure about the possibility of making a sequel to "Bright" when speaking with The Hollywood Reporter.
"Let's see what the audience says after it opens," Ayer told THR. "If the audience wants another one who knows."
Netflix has put a significant marketing campaign behind "Bright" in recent weeks, including putting up billboard ads in major cities. It represents the company's strongest push yet into the world of big-budget films — an effort that will see the company release 80 original movies in 2018.
At a UBS media conference earlier this month, Netflix's content boss, Ted Sarandos, listed "Bright" as one of five upcoming, large-scale projects that Netflix subscribers should be excited for.
Watch the trailer for "Bright" below:
Warning: Spoilers coming if you haven’t seen “The Last Jedi.”
Rian Johnson spent four years getting “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” onto the screen. And when he sees the final version, there’s one shot he says that makes him the happiest.
In the early days of writing the script, Johnson said he had a particular image in his head that shockingly brought the light and dark side of the force together for a fleeting moment. And that image survived years of moviemaking to make it into the final version of the movie.
“I really love that slow-motion shot of Kylo and Rey back-to-back with the guards from all the sides in Snoke’s chambers,” Johnson told Business Insider in a recent interview.
The shot is part of a plot twist that you would traditionally find in the third movie of a trilogy. The evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) brings Rey (Daisy Ridley) to Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Suddenly Ren turns on Snoke, and he and Rey then team up for an incredible lightsaber battle scene where the pair faces off against the guards closing in.
Audiences have been going nuts on social media reacting to the sight of Ren and Rey battling on the same side and what the connection they share means for the next movie.
Johnson doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s off to develop a whole new “Star Wars” trilogy for Disney. He’s just happy the shot made it in the movie.
“That was a moment that I had just always held dear to me, “ Johnson said. “It’s one of those very rare things where the realization of it on screen I just feel like, ‘Ah, we got it!’”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is currently playing in theaters.
The posters have been spotted near the SAG-AFTRA building near Streep's home in Pasadena, in addition to Hollywood and Highland complex, and the 20th Century Fox studio lot in Century City, according to CBS News.
It's unclear who is responsible for the posters, but they appeared shortly after Streep announced in a statement that she was unaware of "Weinstein's crimes."
Streep's statement followed activist and actress Rose McGowan's public accusation that she is a hypocrite for reportedly making the decision to wear black during the Golden Globes as a show of solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct, after working with Harvey Weinstein.
"YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You'll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa," she reportedly continued.
Streep responded to McGowan's accusations, in a statement to INSIDER, saying that she "didn't know" about Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct when she had worked with him.
"I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein's crimes, not in the '90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others," Streep said. "I wasn't deliberately silent. I didn't know. I don't tacitly approve of rape. I didn't know. I don't like young women being assaulted. I didn't know this was happening."
Streep also said that she had mutual friends pass her phone number along to McGowan so that they could speak, but never heard from her.
"I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others' bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers ... And I hoped that she would give me a hearing," Streep wrote. "She did not, but I hope she reads this."
Many of the most popular series this year were long-standing fan favorites such as "NCIS," "The Big Bang Theory," and, of course, "Sunday Night Football," according to Nielsen data.
Two new series, "Young Sheldon" and "The Good Doctor," racked up some astonishingly high ratings, though, making them two of the most popular new TV shows of 2017.
To find out which shows were the most popular this year, Nielsen tracked the average number of viewers tuning in to regularly scheduled programming.
Here are the 10 most popular TV shows of 2017, according to Nielsen's ratings.
10. "Bull" (CBS) — 14.4 million average viewers
The abrasive yet charming Dr. Jason Bull (Michael Weatherly) runs a successful consulting firm in which he and his employees use psychology, human intuition, and high-tech data to analyze legal trials.
9. "America's Got Talent," Wednesday broadcast (NBC) — 14.6 million average viewers
Celebrities judge a diverse group of performers, singers, acrobats, and everything in between to crown a winner.
8. "The Walking Dead" (AMC) — 14.7 million average viewers
Survivors of a zombie apocalypse band together to stay alive and destroy any and all zombies that come their way.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider