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The latest news from Entertainment

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    veronica mars

    Reboots are a major TV craze today, and it can be hard to keep up with every show that's coming back after a hiatus. Most of the major networks have dabbled in reboots, from NBC's successful "Will & Grace" to ABC's ill-fated "Roseanne." 

    Netflix has numerous reboots in "Fuller House," "Lost in Space," and more, and a "Veronica Mars" reboot is in development at Hulu.

    We've rounded up every major TV reboot that is currently airing or in the works. We excluded shows that were canceled this year and immediately picked up by other networks, such as "Lucifer," which is heading to Netflix, and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which NBC quickly snatched up after Fox canceled it.

    We also excluded reality and animated shows (with some notable exceptions), as well as reboots based on movies, such as "Lethal Weapon" and YouTube Red's "Cobra Kai."

    Below are 30 major TV reboots currently airing or in the works:

    SEE ALSO: The 7 TV shows that have a 100% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes in 2018

    "Star Trek: Discovery" — CBS All Access

    Status: Currently streaming, renewed for season 2

    Originally aired: "Star Trek" on NBC for three seasons (1966-1969), then multiple follow-ups

    "MacGyver" — CBS

    Status: Renewed for season 3

    Originally aired: On ABC for seven seasons (1985-1992)

    "Hawaii Five-O" — CBS

    Status: Renewed for season 9

    Originally aired: On CBS for 12 seasons (1968-1980)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    stormy daniels

    • Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is a porn star who met President Donald Trump in 2006.
    • She says they had an affair, and Trump's longtime fixer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 days before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet.
    • On August 21, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including one count of an illegal campaign contribution for the Daniels payment, which he said in sworn testimony he made at Trump's direction to influence the election.
    • Here is Daniels' life story.

    Porn star and director Stormy Daniels says she met President Donald Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July 2006, and the two allegedly began an affair.

    He was married to Melania Trump at the time, who had just given birth to their son Barron.

    Just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 so Daniels would keep silent about the alleged affair.

    In January 2018, news of the hush money broke, and Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was thrust into the national spotlight.

    She and her attorney Michael Avenatti then sued Trump and accused him of invalidating their agreement. She then told her story in a bombshell "60 Minutes" interview this past March.

    On August 21, Cohen struck a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to eight federal crimes, including five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud, one count of making an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution.

    The illegal campaign contribution was made on October 27, 2016 — the day a $130,000 payment to Daniels was finalized. Cohen also said Trump directed him to make the illegal campaign contribution to Daniels in order to influence the election.

    Here's what you should know about Stormy Daniels:

    SEE ALSO: Inside the marriage of Donald and Melania Trump, who broke up once before, reportedly sleep in different bedrooms, and are weathering rumors of his affairs

    DON'T MISS: How the president and his defenders' explanations of the Stormy Daniels scandal have evolved over time

    Daniels was born and raised in Louisiana.

    She started stripping as a teenager and soon entered the porn business.

    In 2002, she became the lead actress in a film for Wicked Pictures, a porn movie studio based in California.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    elon musk falcon heavy launch happy dave mosher business insider

    • Apple has ordered a TV series based on "Foundation," a classic 1951 novel by Issac Asimov.
    • "Foundation" is considered one of the cornerstones of science fiction: No less than Elon Musk has said that it's inspired him as he and his SpaceX seek to push humanity out to Mars and beyond. 

    It's official: Apple has given a series order to "Foundation," a TV drama based on the 1951 Isaac Asimov novel of the same name, as Variety reports

    The show itself comes with a pedigree, with David S. Goyer (of "The Dark Knight" screenwriting fame) and Josh Friedman (creator of "Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles") at the helm as showrunners. It's the latest high-profile project for Apple's still-nascent plans to take on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon in original TV programming. 

    The novel, and its two direct sequels, hold an important place in the science fiction canon. To make a very long, generations-spanning story short, that trilogy deals with the titular Foundation — a scientific think tank founded by "psychohistorian" Hari Seldon to preserve the collective knowledge of humanity through a centuries-long dark age following the collapse of a 12,000-year-old intergalactic civilization. 

    The ideas put forward by Asimov in "Foundation" have stood the test of time. Indeed, no less than Elon Musk has said that "Foundation" is one of his favorites, and reflects his fears for the future of human civilization and why it's so important for humanity to push out to Mars and beyond.

    In 2013, Musk told the Guardian

    "The lessons of history would suggest that civilizations move in cycles. You can track that back quite far — the Babylonians, the Sumerians, followed by the Egyptians, the Romans, China.

    "We're obviously in a very upward cycle right now, and hopefully that remains the case. But it may not. There could be some series of events that cause that technology level to decline.

    "Given that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years where it's been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we'd be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time."

    Indeed, it seems that Musk's admiration for the novels hasn't faded over time, either.

    Earlier this year, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket famously launched Musk's personal Tesla Roadster into space, with a space-suited dummy in the driver's seat and David Bowie on the stereo. Less well-known is that it carried a quartz-based data storage device loaded with the "Foundation" trilogy; a testament to the message of the novels. 

    It's not currently known when the series will premiere, or the details of Apple's TV streaming service. However, it's been acquiring the rights to several properties for TV series, most recently those of a New York Times article on climate change

    SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about Elon Musk's favorite book

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We used a headset that transforms your brain activity into a light display — here's how it works

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    support the girls

    • Writer-director Andrew Bujalski makes his most mainstream-appealing movie yet with "Support the Girls."
    • Regina Hall gives a can't-miss performance.

    Every weekend we pick an indie movie currently playing in theaters we think is definitely worth your time and money, and this week's is "Support the Girls."

    For his sixth feature film, "Support the Girls," writer-director Andrew Bujalski looks at girl power in the most unlikely of places.

    Regina Hall ("Girls Trip," the "Scary Movie" franchise) delivers one of her meatiest roles yet as the movie's lead, Lisa, who is the manager of a highway-side sports bar in Texas called Double Whammies, a poor man's Hooters. Lisa plays mama bear to a group of scantily clad waitresses as they spend their days working for tips and trying not to be sexually harassed.

    And that's hardly the only challenge Lisa goes through. Set over a single day, the movie follows our hero as she has to deal with an attempted robbery at the restaurant, a good-intentions-gone-bad car wash to try to help out one of her employees, and her husband moving out on her. However, through it all, Lisa keeps a positive attitude and genuine love for the girls who work under her.

    "Support the Girls" is a very different movie than Bujalski's last, the black-and-white shot and geek-boy-centered "Computer Chess" (Bujalski is also known for his second feature, "Mutual Appreciation," a landmark movie in the Mumblecore genre). "Support the Girls" has a mainstream comedy feel, but is more realistic and genuine than most studio attempts.

    Hall is the lifeblood of the movie, as she's in basically every scene, but the other standout is Haley Lu Richardson ("The Edge of Seventeen," "Split"), who plays the bubbly waitress Maci. It's another performance from the 23-year-old that shows she's on the verge of breakout stardom.

    See where "Support the Girls" is playing near you.

    Our indie movie picks from previous weekends:

    SEE ALSO: Forbes ranked the 10 highest-paid actors in the world, and No. 1 wasn't even in a movie this year

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    jim gaffigan noble ape

    • For his latest stand-up comedy special, "Noble Ape," Jim Gaffigan passed on Netflix to release the special to a variety of on-demand services as part of a distribution deal with the special's producer, Comedy Dynamics. 
    • Gaffigan spoke to Business Insider about the distribution of "Noble Ape" and its intensely personal material, which dealt in part with the surgery his wife underwent last year for a brain tumor. 

    Jim Gaffigan's latest stand-up special, "Noble Ape," features some of the strongest material of the comedian's career. In part, he recounts with moving and dark humor the plight of his wife and cowriter, Jeannie Gaffigan, who last year underwent surgery for a benign brain tumor. 

    But Gaffigan's unorthodox distribution of "Noble Ape" is nearly as notable as the comedy it contains.

    With five of his stand-up specials already on Netflix, Gaffigan opted to follow the suggestion of his longtime producer, Comedy Dynamics founder Brian Volk-Weiss, who proposed that Gaffigan release his sixth special simultaneously for purchase and renting on a wide variety of services like Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and numerous other on-demand outlets.  

    In July, the expansive release ran through the distribution arm of Volk-Weiss's company, which also gave the special a limited theatrical run.

    In a phone interview with Business Insider, Gaffigan discussed the distribution of "Noble Ape" and the process of working on its "cathartic" material with his wife (who directed the special), as well his experiences of touring the world for his act.

    John Lynch: Could you take me through how you landed on the distribution model for this special?

    Jim Gaffigan: Every special that I've released, I've looked at what was the best opportunity to get that special viewed or listened to by as many people as possible. For my first special, "Beyond the Pale," Comedy Central was the perfect destination for it. That was a time before streaming, at the peak of Comedy Central, so "Beyond the Pale" and "King Baby" were perfect for that. Comedy Central was on in every dorm room. By the time I got to "Mr. Universe" and "Obsessed," I looked at what the best opportunity was, and with those, one was released on my website, when that was a thing that people were actively participating in. Then I got to the point with "Cinco" where it was sold directly to Netflix. Now, Netflix also ended up purchasing the rights to my specials to stream on their service.

    When I had "Noble Ape," I was like, "All right, I have five specials on Netflix." I had received offers from the usual suspects, and I was approached by Comedy Dynamics, proposing that the special would be available everywhere people rent or buy. So I wasn't sure exactly how that was going to work, but they explained that people consume things in a different manner. Some people consume things on-demand. Some people watch it on Amazon Prime. Some people watch it on Apple TV. Some people listen to it on Spotify. So their model — you know, obviously they offered me good money — but their model made it available to everyone. You didn't just have to have Netflix. And I thought this was appealing, that it'd be available to everyone at the same time.

    Lynch: Several weeks out from the release now, how are you gauging the success of it?

    Gaffigan: From what I'm hearing from Comedy Dynamics, it's doing amazing. The way the distribution is set up, they gave me a lump sum, and after that we split the profits. But I more measure the success of it on people gaining access to it. I mean, this is a very personal special. It's discussing my wife's brain tumor and all of that. I would say that it's been great, but it's weird, you know, how the landscape changes all the time. From feedback on social media, it's gangbusters. Do you know what I mean? I've never used that term before. 

    Lynch: (laughs) Yeah. You know, I saw it at the Village East theater here in Manhattan. Given that it was in select theaters, I imagine that wasn't a huge overall factor in the release. But was it at all important to you to have it in theaters, or how did you think of that aspect of it?

    Gaffigan: That was something that Comedy Dynamics pursued. It was not something I had an expectation of. With previous specials, when you're kind of approached with options, that's one scenario. Comedians have released specials in theaters. But I was thrilled about the theatrical release, even though it was small, just because it was a further example of it being everywhere you watch and rent. 

    Lynch: Seeing it in theaters, you do open with this very cinematic, Buñuel-esque surrealist scene, depicting the horrors of brain surgery but also the dark comedy of that situation. How was it for your wife to direct that opening and the special itself?

    Gaffigan: You know, it's interesting. That whole opening was my wife's idea. It was something that she wanted to do. The timing of us shooting it, because I was working on a couple movies, made it so that it was only available in the theatrical release, and I think it's been added as an extra feature on iTunes. But that was all Jeannie's idea. Obviously, my wife and I, we write everything together. She was instrumental in some of the material on her brain tumor, but that opening was all her. It was interesting, and my five-year-old, he was like, "It's too scary." The opening's too scary for him. 

    Lynch: What was your experience generally of incorporating this really personal material with some of the more traditional stuff that you do? How was it working with the mix of that?

    Gaffigan: Look, as a comedian, it's incredibly cathartic to process life events into material. It kind of helps organize them, and it pays homage to the feelings or fears you might have been experiencing. But I also think that's how I process life is through jokes, and same with my wife. My wife came out of a two-hour MRI, and she was like, "Write this down," like she had ideas from the MRI. It just kind of happens in certain ways. 

    Lynch: In the second half of the special, you sort of take us on a tour describing your touring abroad. You joke about difficulties with social mores in China, Japan, England. I'm wondering, is there any country or area in the world that you've found harder to perform in than others?

    Gaffigan: Well, some of doing stand-up in other countries is — it's not ideal, but that's almost what I enjoy about it. First of all, you're subjected to a completely different set of social norms, and you typically have a language difference. But those obstacles, they provide fodder for material. I did a show in Barcelona, and I only got to spend a day or two in Barcelona, but it prompts you to absorb. And some of it may be initial observation. I'm sorry, I don't know if I'm even answering your question.

    Lynch: (laughs) No yeah, it's all good.

    Gaffigan: But yeah, I love the international shows because I'm somebody who loves traveling internationally, and I love different cultures. You're forced to have a completely different point-of-view, and it also gives you insight into your own culture. You know, Paris is a beautiful city, but I think famous writers have written in Paris because they can gain a perspective on America just by being in another country. 

    Lynch: How would you say your years of touring informed this special in particular?

    Gaffigan: I would say, doing stand-up for as long as I have, you develop a skill set. Any comedian would tell you you should be able to make everything funny, and doing stand-up for that long, whether it be a medical crisis or traveling through another country, those same skills that I use to make food or laziness funny, I can apply those same skills to what it's like to be an American in another country or what it's like to have a spouse have this life-threatening medical emergency. 

    Lynch: Going back to the distribution briefly, the path you took for "Noble Ape," do you see that as a viable option for other comedians, or as something you'll see people adopt?

    Gaffigan: What I've learned from doing stand-up and releasing six specials now is that the landscape changes relatively dramatically every couple years. There was a time when having a special Comedy Central seemed like the only logical step to take, or releasing a special on Netflix seemed like the only logical step. But the marketplace is ever-changing. By the way, Netflix is great for stand-up. I love Netflix. Netflix has five specials of mine. If I didn't have five specials on Netflix, I might have taken a different approach. But every couple years, the technology and market changes. When I started stand-up, there was no YouTube. Comedy Central was just like a clumsy cable network that did comedy. I mean, I'm thrilled that people are enjoying this special, and I'm thrilled that Comedy Dynamics views the special as a success. Comedian friends have expressed excitement that there's an alternative in distribution, but I also know that we live in an age where, in a year, Amazon, or Apple, or who knows, Disney, could get into the comedy business, because comedy specials are relatively inexpensive to produce.

    What I've found with my material, and one of the things that was also appealing, is an audio version being released simultaneously, because a lot of people consume my comedy while driving in a car. Some distribution models, understandably, they want it exclusively to say, HBO, or Showtime, or Netflix. They don't want the audio version released right away. But in ten or fifteen years, with the audio version of a stand-up special as an album, I think people kind of underestimate the popularity of that, because we're living in this age where audio streaming services are really rising out of nowhere. 

    Lynch: Moving forward for you, what's next? I know you've also been in a couple films this year, but what's on deck for you career-wise?

    Gaffigan: I love acting, and given the right opportunity, I would love to do tons of acting in film. But the thing that's great about stand-up is you don't have to wait for the opportunity. You can be writing and working whenever you want. Obviously, living in New York City, it's helpful to be able to walk over to a club and try out material. I love acting and I love stand-up, but no matter what I do, I'll always be doing stand-up. Creating specials is something that I really enjoy. 

    "Noble Ape" is available now on on-demand services like Apple TV, Amazon, iTunes, and more. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    liam neeson batman begins the dark knight rises

    Picking a movie to watch on Netflix shouldn't be a hard decision — but sometimes it is. So we're here to make it easier for you.

    Every week, we look through what's available on the streaming service and recommend seven movies you can watch over the weekend. Some of our selections recently came to Netflix and some have been available for awhile. You might have just missed them because Netflix's algorithm didn't know you as well as it thought it did.

    From "Batman Begins" to "Wet Hot American Summer" (the movie, not the series), these are some awesome movies on Netflix you can watch this weekend.

    Here are seven movies on Netflix you should check out (along with their scores from Rotten Tomatoes).

    Note: Not all of these films are available in countries outside the United States. Apologies!

    SEE ALSO: Go see 'Support the Girls' this weekend, a smart comedy Hollywood studios would never have the guts to make

    "Batman Begins" (2005)

    Netflix description: Following the murder of his parents, Bruce Wayne trains with a shadowy organization and returns to Gotham City to fight crime under a new guise.

    Critic score: 84%

    Audience score: 94%

    Remember when Katie Holmes was in a Batman movie? Cherish the memories with "Batman Begins," a dark and brooding origin story that will remind you once again that Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered and that Liam Neeson is an amazing villain. 

    "No Reservations" (2007)

    Netflix description: Kate, an uptight chef, finds her life turned upside down when her sister dies in a car accident and she becomes her niece's sole guardian.

    Critic score: 42%

    Audience score: 62%

    This rom-com initially received bad reviews for its dark tone and predictability. But Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, and Abigail Breslin make it worth your time. 

    "Beauty and the Beast" (2017)

    Netflix description: Held captive in an enchanted castle where clocks and candlesticks come to life, a brave young woman clashes with a beastly but good-hearted prince.

    Critic score: 70%

    Audience score: 81%

    This movie is a bit of a mess — with the exception of Ewan McGregor (who is the voice of Lumiere the candlestick), and its stunning visuals. But it takes a solid story and adds a few elements that make it better, including a meatier story for Gaston and LeFou.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Jim Carrey's latest political drawing finds President Trump's face depicted as a piece of burnt toast with the caption, "#TRUMPISTOAST," and a link to 
    • The drawing follows the news that Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, were each found guilty of eight federal crimes this week. 

    Actor Jim Carrey's latest satirical drawing finds President Trump's face depicted as a piece of burnt toast with the caption, "#TRUMPISTOAST" and a link to 

    Carrey's drawing follows the news on Tuesday that Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes and implicated Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator to two campaign finance law violations. Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was also found guilty of eight federal crimes on Tuesday. 

    Carrey also mocked Trump over Manafort and Cohen on Wednesday with a drawing that depicted Trump hanging upside down from a pole in a straitjacket with an American flag wrapped around his ankles.

    Carrey's inclusion of a link to in his latest drawing is fitting, since it's unlikely that Trump could face charges as a sitting president. Many political analysts see the 2018 midterm elections as a referendum on a potential impeachment of the president, though Democrats in the House have openly downplayed the possibility of impeachment as they seek to take back Congress.

    Carrey has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and the Republican Party this year. Political drawings have been his main form of criticism and have helped him amass close to 18 million followers on Twitter.

    SEE ALSO: Jim Carrey shares new drawing of Trump hanging upside down by an American flag

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    sacred games

    A Wall Street analyst suggested late Thursday to buy the dip in Netflix, and investors appear to have listened. 

    Shares of Netflix rose more than 3% Friday, to almost $350 apiece, following an upgrade from SunTrust analyst Matthew Thornton, who says new momentum in India is a good opportunity to get in relatively cheap.

    "The stock pullback post the 2Q subs miss (which we attribute to '13 Reasons Why' and World Cup, as previewed) leaves us with ~20% potential upside from current levels," he said in a note to clients Friday.

    "More important, our India study shows NFLX initial original series resonating quite well with interest in NFLX rising (including relative to competitors) into more originals coming."

    Netflix sank as much as 14% last month following the streaming giant's second-quarter earnings report which showed it had added far fewer subscribers than Wall Street was expecting. Shares have rebounded a bit, but remain well off their $423 high set earlier this summer.

    And while then fundamentals remain enough for SunTrust to upgrade the stock to "buy" from "hold," Thornton has lowered his price target  to $410 from $415 — a 17% premium to where the stock was set to open Friday.

    Buying the dip is a strategy that has become wildly popular over the course of the 9-1/2-year bull market in which equities have nearly constantly risen. Brief hiccups in a stock's price can present an opportunity to profit on shares that have already risen dramatically.

    And SunTrust’s research shows there’s India leaves plenty of room for Netflix to grow, despite the hiccup on second quarter earnings.

    "We are encouraged in India where search data shows NFLX initial original series resonating quite well and interest in NFLX rising on an absolute basis and relative to competitors,” writes Thornton. 

    Netflix shares were up 77% this year through Thursday. 

    Now read:

    Netflix stock price

    SEE ALSO: Netflix plunges 14% after it misses expectations on revenue and subscriber additions

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    gypsy 2 netflix

    • Netflix has been testing ads for its original TV shows and movies that play in between episodes you are binge-watching.
    • Many Netflix users have been annoyed and found the ads intrusive.
    • There's an easy way to turn them off.

    Netflix has been testing promos — ads, commercials, whatever you want to call them — for its original shows that play in between episodes you are currently binge-watching.

    While these ads are for Netflix's own shows, and are more like a preview at a movie theater than a commercial on TV, many subscribers still have been annoyed by the intrusion on their watching experience.

    If you are one of those people, we have good news: there's an easy way to opt out of these ads — at least for now.

    Here's how you do it.

    First, log into Netflix on your computer, phone, or tablet. Then navigate to your "Account" page (on your computer, by clicking the dropdown on the top right):


    Once you are in your account page, scroll down to the link for "test participation." Here's what that looks like:


    Once you are in the "test participation" page, simply toggle the button and click off. Here's what the button looks like:


    And there you have it, turning off ads on Netflix is as easy as 1-2-3.

    In case you are interested to hear Netflix's explanation for introducing the ads in the first place, here's the statement the company gave on the subject:

    At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members.

    In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster. It is important to note that a member is able to skip a video preview at anytime if they are not interested.

    SEE ALSO: Will Smith and Adam Sandler are 2 of the highest-paid actors thanks to terrible Netflix original movies

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    playing fortnite gaming disorder

    As you've no doubt heard by now, "Fortnite" is kind of a big deal.

    It's the kind of phenomenon that influences the entire video game industry. Case in point: Both this year's "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield" games have major Battle Royale modes — the last-player-standing mode that led to the tremendous success of "Fortnite" (and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" before it, among others).

    But the mode alone isn't what made "Fortnite" so popular, and there are a few simple reasons why these copycats are unlikely to achieve anywhere near the level of success that "Fortnite" has achieved.

    Here's why:

    SEE ALSO: The massive popularity of 'Fortnite' is inspiring copycat modes from major games — here's the latest example

    1. "Fortnite" is free. These games are not.

    When "Battlefield 5" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" arrive later this year, they'll arrive as full priced games: The lowest amount you can buy them for is $60, and both are available in more expensive versions.

    These two games — the next major entries in the "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield" first-person shooter franchises — are both getting Battle Royale modes in addition to their standard modes.

    For the tens of millions of people who buy new "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield" games nearly every year, the addition of a new Battle Royale mode is a bonus. For the hundreds of millions of others who don't buy these games, it's unlikely to convince them to spend $60 — why bother when there's a really great, completely free option available in "Fortnite"?

    2. "Fortnite" is far more visually acceptable, with cartoon violence.

    There's another strong reason that "Fortnite" is such a massive success: Despite its violent nature, the game depicts cartoon violence.

    Sure, you're firing an automatic weapon, but there's no blood. Graphically speaking, "Fortnite" looks more like a colorful cartoon than a gritty, realistic shooter.

    Both "Battlefield" and "Call of Duty" pride themselves on hyper-realistic graphics — look no further than this screenshot of "Battlefield 5" for an idea of how hyper-realistic those graphics are:

    Battlefield 5

    While clearly still a video game, firing weapons and other depictions of violence in both "Battlefield" and "Call of Duty" are far from cartoonish.

    And that violence inherently limits their audience, as many parents won't let their kids play games intended for adults.

    3. "Fortnite" is available on every platform, including phones and tablets.

    The combination of it being free and available on every platform is hugely important in understanding the runaway success of "Fortnite."

    If you have a smartphone, a PC, a Mac, an Xbox One, a PlayStation 4, or a Nintendo Switch, you're able to play "Fortnite" right now for zero dollars. That's huge

    In the case of both "Battlefield" and "Call of Duty," they're only available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Not being on smartphones automatically limits their potential reach — that's hundreds of millions/billions of potential players!

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Big Little Lies

    How much are networks shelling out to bring Hollywood stars to TV?

    In this age of proliferated programming, marquee names have become essential to bring sizable audiences to shows. And the competition among networks and producers has driven industry salaries to new heights.

    At its height, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman reportedly negotiated $1 million salaries for the upcoming second season of HBO's Emmy-winning drama, "Big Little Lies."

    And Jim Parsons of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" made headlines this week for walking away from a reported two-year, $50 million paycheck for two more seasons of the sitcom, which CBS has subsequently decided to end in 2019. 

    Here's how much the highest-paid stars on TV are earning per-episode:

    Note: Some salaries may include producing fees.

    Jethro Nededog contributed to a previous version of this story.

    SEE ALSO: Jim Gaffigan on turning down Netflix to make his latest stand-up special 'available to everyone,' and exploring cathartic material about his wife's brain surgery

    $1,000,000 — Nicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)

    Source: The Hollywood Reporter

    $1,000,000 — Reese Witherspoon, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)

    Source: The Hollywood Reporter

    $1,000,000 — Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

    Source: Variety

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    google home

    • A survey of 3,000 people by the research firm MusicWatch found that smart speakers were prompting owners to listen to more music and online radio.
    • The survey also found that roughly half of the respondents worried that the devices were becoming too intrusive.
    • And it's no wonder: Real incidents have caused some people to wonder whether the devices are spying on them.

    A new survey has both good news and bad news for the smart-speaker makers.

    The devices, such as the Amazon Echo, the Google Home, and the Apple HomePod, appear to encourage owners to listen to more music and web radio, according to a survey of 3,000 respondents by MusicWatch, a market research company.

    Since all three companies also offer music services, the devices could help drive growth in businesses like Amazon Prime Music, Google Play Music, and Apple Music.

    But the bad news for the companies is that MusicWatch also found that nearly half of those surveyed (48%) said they were concerned that voice-assistant devices and smart speakers were becoming too intrusive, Russ Crupnick, the managing partner at MusicWatch, told Business Insider.

    "It's clear that these devices are driving music consumption," Crupnick said. "However, as powerful and pervasive as these devices are becoming, consumers still have a healthy fear about their privacy."

    Smart speakers are likely to be the hottest consumer gadget of the year. Though none of the top manufacturers reveal sales figures, research from both Canalys and Strategy Analytics estimate that sales grew 200% in the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year earlier.

    People love smart speakers but don't yet fully trust them

    Smart speakers and digital assistants enable owners to speak commands rather than keying them in. The machines can also talk back. People ask them the time or the weather or to schedule reminders and sometimes to shop. To perform these functions, some of the devices must record what owners say and then send back the information to the company. The thought of being recorded spooks some people.

    Some people also fear — though there's no proof that this has happened — that a bad third-party actor will intercept the recordings or somehow rig the devices to eavesdrop. Nonetheless, a family in Portland, Oregon, who owned an Amazon Echo learned that the machine erroneously interpreted commands and recorded a conversation in their home. The machine then sent the recording to an associate.

    Blacklights and turntables: The music room at Google's Toronto office.

    Beyond just that episode, there have been incidents that made some people unsettled about having these devices in their home. Google had to disable a feature on its Google Home Mini speaker after it turned out that a hardware problem caused it to listen in on a reviewer all day. More recently, Amazon had to issue a fix after some of its Echo speakers randomly erupted in a creepy laugh.

    Now, the burden is on these companies to be transparent about these devices including when they record and how much control they have over their data.

    And there are signs that these companies are taking on the challenge. On Monday, when a reporter asked Google Home whether it was listening, the device responded this way:

    "Google Home listens for the hot word ('Hey, Google' or 'OK, Google') and after it hears it, or after you've physically long pressed the top of your Google Home device, it sends a recording of what you say to Google."

    That's a more serious response but one that some people still may find unsettling.

    Smart speakers could take us back to the future

    Still, Crupnick said he found nothing in his survey indicating that privacy concerns were affecting sales or use. On the contrary.

    • Crupnick said 55% of those surveyed and who owned smart speakers said they were listening to their streaming music services more often.
    • He said two-thirds indicated that they were listening to more online radio, such as NPR or iHeart radio.
    • About 75% said they were rediscovering songs they hadn't heard in a long time.
    • In a sort of back-to-the-future response, Crupnick said that 64% were listening to more music at home.

    It calls to mind how, decades ago, people would listen together to albums played on turntables — a kind of social music sharing that no longer exists but that looks set to reemerge thanks to smart speakers.

    "When we conducted focus groups of smart speakers," Crupnick said, "It was incredible to see families again gathering to listen to music. I hadn't seen that since high school."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Michael Jackson

    • Sony Music has denied a report that said the company conceded in court that it had released three fake Michael Jackson songs on the singer's first posthumous album in 2010. 
    • The controversy stemmed from a 2014 civil lawsuit brought by a fan, who accused Jackson's friend Eddie Cascio of creating and selling songs through Sony and the Jackson estate that the fan contended were sung by a Jackson impersonator.

    Sony Music Entertainment has denied a report that it conceded in court that it released three fake Michael Jackson songs on the singer's first posthumous album, "Michael," in 2010. 

    On Friday, a number of outlets cited the rap blog Hip-Hop N More to erroneously report that Sony admitted in a California appeals court that the three songs on the album, "Monster," "Keep Your Head Up," and "Breaking News," were recorded by a Jackson impersonator. 

    "No one has conceded that Michael Jackson did not sing on the songs," Sony Music said in a statement to Variety.  "The hearing Tuesday was about whether the First Amendment protects Sony Music and the Estate and there has been no ruling on the issue of whose voice is on the recordings."

    The hearing in question stemmed from a 2014 civil lawsuit brought by a fan named Vera Serova, who accused Jackson's longtime friend Eddie Cascio and his production company, Angelikson Productions LLC, of creating and selling fake music through Sony and the Jackson estate. 

    Serova argued in 2014 the Los Angeles Superior Court that the songs were fake and performed by an impersonator named Jason Malachi, according to court documents obtained by several outlets. 

    Hip-Hop N More cited tweets that claimed Sony had "conceded that the songs were fakes" earlier in court this week. 

    Variety reported the following on Friday:

    "According to sources close to the situation, individuals who attended Tuesday’s court hearing seized upon a statement by an attorney for Jackson’s estate in which he said something to the effect of 'even if the vocals weren’t Jackson’s' as proof that they were indeed faked. The sources insist that the attorney was speculating.”

    Sony Music has not responded to a request for further comment from Business Insider.

    Listen to the three songs on the album "Michael" below:

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best-selling albums of all time

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    • KSI is the popular British YouTuber who is taking on fellow vloggers in real-life boxing matches.
    • He's about to take on American YouTuber Logan Paul in a massive fight in Manchester, UK.
    • If he wasn't a YouTube superstar, he would have gone to university and studied computer science, he told Business Insider in an interview ahead of the match.
    • Once he's done fighting fellow YouTubers, he wants to fight a professional boxer.

    KSI is one of the most famous people in the UK, though you wouldn't necessarily know it from the news channels.

    He is the 25-year-old British YouTube star who became famous off the back of gaming videos, but he's reached new levels of fame by taking on rival vloggers in real-life boxing matches. His first bout was with fellow Brit Joe Weller, but his next is a much more ambitious match against controversial US YouTuber Logan Paul.

    The match takes place in Manchester, UK on Saturday 25 August and could draw up to 21,000 attendees, and hundreds of thousands of viewers on YouTube.

    You can read more about who KSI is and his history of YouTube boxing here, and more analysis about who will win the boxing match.

    Business Insider travelled to Manchester to meet with KSI — real name Olajide "JJ" Olatunji — to talk about his path to fame, and his plans for a post-YouTube future. 

    The KSI of YouTube is pretty abrasive. He's known for making off-colour jokes about sex and women, and his pre-fight trash talk against Logan Paul hasn't exactly been sportsmanlike. When Business Insider meets him, however, he's surprisingly calm, collected, and polite, shaking hands and taking care to listen to questions.

    Later in the day, the KSI persona would be back on show for the pre-match weigh-in with his opponent. KSI came on-stage wearing a mask of Chloe Bennett, Paul's actress girlfriend. Bennett is a sensitive topic, given KSI has made lewd remarks about her before

    Here's our full interview with him, lightly edited for clarity.

    Q&A with YouTuber KSI:

    Business Insider: What have you been up to over the last few days?

    KSI/JJ: I don’t know, like, training. Doing pads, just the standard stuff. A lot of the training has been before this week, making sure I’m in the right mindset, and making sure we have fun and not worrying about winning or losing.

    BI: How are you feeling about it?

    KSI: Yeah yeah yeah, very good.

    BI: Is Logan in the UK at the moment?

    KSI: Yeah yeah, Logan’s in the UK.

    BI: Are you hanging out?

    KSI: No. [Laughs]. No!

    BI: Maybe you guys are friends behind the scenes, I don’t know.

    KSI: Really, no, no! Even with my last fight, Joe [Weller], I still haven’t talked to Joe since the ring.

    Vlogger Logan Paul and KSI.

    BI: Really? He’s been doing some analysis of you [and Logan Paul].

    KSI: Yeah, he loves it. He’s in a good spot though.

    BI:  Are you not on good terms?

    KSI: No. I don’t like him. It’s annoying, he might be at the afterparty. It’s a little bit awkward, but...

    BI: You seem much more calm and normal in real life.

    KSI: Yes. Yeah, I’m not, like, shouting in your face. On videos, you always have to be more entertaining. If I was like this [indicates himself as he is, sitting down], people would be asleep.

    BI: How do you gear yourself up to be the KSI on video?

    KSI: Normally I just... whenever there’s a camera I know how to turn it up. Usually — I’ve been doing this so many years — it’s just natural now.

    BI: You’re in your early twenties. In a normal world, you would have gone to uni, and you’d have graduated, but clearly that hasn’t happened. What would the alternative JJ have done?

    KSI: I wanted to do computer science. I love my gaming, I wanted to do anything to do with gaming. That’s why, with the whole YouTube aspect, I went into that. When I saw that you could make money playing games I thought, ‘This is a Godsend.’ It’s exactly what I wanted to do. With the whole videos and making entertaining videos and just… everything to do with that was way more exciting than doing computer science and going to uni and going for this whole hassle.


    BI: You could have been the next Jeff Bezos.

    KSI: [Laughs] No, no. Definitely not, definitely not.

    BI: What are your coolest gadgets?

    KSI: I love all of that. But coolest gadget… probably just an iPhone. My Nintendo DS, every now and then I like a few oldies like the Game Boy, Game Boy Colour, all that.

    BI: I guess you were maybe too young for the N64.

    KSI: What! I wasn’t too young! No! Of course I played the N64. I used to always smash it out. Especially in secondary school, all of us had a dorm and all of us would just play Super Smash Bros or GoldenEye. But...obviously there’s lots of better games now.

    BI: Are you a Fortnite fan?

    KSI: Nah not really. I mean it was cool at first, before everyone knew how to start building, so now it’s just you shoot someone and all of a sudden they build a mansion. And then you’re like, ok, this sucks.

    BI: You went to school in Berkhamsted. Are you still in touch with your friends there?

    KSI: One of my best friends, Simon, [Simon Minter, known as Miniminter on YouTube] went to the same school. We’ve stayed in touch, and we do the same thing now, which is sick. It’s kinda hard with what I do, I’m always travelling, I’m always doing something out of the ordinary. They’re doing a 9 to 5, so it’s hard to keep in touch. Every Christmas, I always go back to my parents’ to see them, they live around there. So I always just play football with them, and we go out as well. It’s kind of like a reunion, seeing what’s going on. It always seems like I’m doing the crazy stuff.

    BI: What has YouTube fame let you do that you couldn’t have otherwise done?

    KSI: It has allowed me to do whatever I want, really. Make a career out of anything. If I went down the computer science route, I’d never be here. I feel like with YouTube, it’s a core that lets you bounce off into various things whether it’s movies or music or boxing, anything. It allows you to do anything.


    BI: How did you get into YouTube boxing? Why is this a thing?

    KSI: It started with Joe Weller, man.

    BI: And the concept of ‘beef’ right? [Beef is where YouTubers have a dispute with each other]

    KSI: Yeah, I guess that’s where it started. I called him out as a joke on Instagram, saying I’d fight the winner — he was fighting his mate — and then it just blew up from there.

    BI: This has all been hugely successful for you. Do you feel the pressure to keep views up by doing really crazy things?

    KSI: No. I used to feel like that, but that’s the worst way to go about things. For me, it didn’t make me happy. I wasn’t happy just thinking ‘Oh, I need to do everything for views.’ Because then it made me do things I didn’t actually enjoy. Now I don’t care about views, I never look at [social media statistics site] SocialBlade, I never look at how many views or even the amount of money I’m getting, I hardly look at that. It’s all about making sure I’m doing what I enjoy doing and making sure I’m happy. That’s the most important thing. Happiness is number one.

    BI: But you’re still hoping for a decent chunk of change out of this fight, no?

    KSI: I’ve got to make sure my whole team eats good as well.

    BI: After this series of matches, would you challenge another YouTuber?

    KSI: I’d want to go pro. So, there would be no headgear. It would be me fighting someone who is a professional boxer. That would be the biggest test for me. Just a cool thing to do, just to show people I used to be a FIFA gaming YouTuber, but now I can go pro and beat a professional boxer. I used to just be like a skinny dweeby kid, and now I’m doing this.

    BI: What are you thinking for the long term?

    KSI: I’m not thinking about it too much. I guess I’m trying to enjoy the moment. Like the whole boxing thing, my end goal is to go professional and go from there. Music has always been a big thing, I’d love to go into acting, and see what I can do there. I always like to see what I can do, and push myself to the limit.

    SEE ALSO: We analyzed who will win the KSI vs. Logan Paul fight — and the answer is clear

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    hollow knight godmaster

    Last week, upon reading too many glowing reviews and recommendations, I decided to drop $15 in the Nintendo eShop to buy "Hollow Knight" for the Nintendo Switch.

    I have zero regrets about that decision. "Hollow Knight" is one of the best games I've played in years, and the more I play it, the less I can believe it was built by only three people.

    If you're on the fence, consider this: "Hollow Knight" just got its final piece of free downloadable content this week — a new expansion called "Godmaster" — and to celebrate the release, its developers at Team Cherry have decided to put the game on sale for 34% off, which means you're only paying about $9.90 for this incredible game.

    Here's why "Hollow Knight" is worth your time and money:

    SEE ALSO: The Nintendo Switch is the best place to play indie games — here are 13 'Nindies' you shouldn't miss

    First, availability:

    You can buy this game on the Nintendo Switch, which I highly recommend since you can play the game both in your living room and on the go. It's also available on PC, and coming soon to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in spring 2019.

    A perfect hybrid of two incredible games.

    "Hollow Knight" is like "Dark Souls" meets "Metroid."

    But what does that mean, if you've never played either of those games?

    "Dark Souls" is all about exploring massive, interconnected areas filled with secrets and difficult enemies. Any enemy can be deadly, and it's important to learn its patterns to survive. If you die, the in-game currency you've collected drops where you fell. And if you die again before getting back to that spot, you'll lose the currency you collected. 

    "Metroid" is known for 2D sidescrolling action and similarly large interconnected areas, but when you progress in the game — by beating a boss, or finding a new area — you'll get new powers and tools that let you explore areas that were previously unreachable.

    "Hollow Knight" takes all of these elements and smashes them into a single addictive experience.

    The art design is gorgeous.

    "Hollow Knight" is a bug-themed game. Your character looks like a beetle, and all of the allies and enemies you meet along the way are also insects. The entire map is based on exploring a massive maze underneath the earth.

    But it's not just dirt everywhere you go. You'll find areas with lush greenery, toxic fog, and incredible gothic architecture. "Hollow Knight" is a visual treat.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    to all the boys

    • With hot hits people can't stop talking about, like "Set It Up" and "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," Netflix is getting a lot of credit for saving the romantic comedy.
    • But the rom-com has been very much alive on TV networks with shows mostly created by and starring women, including "The Mindy Project," "Jane the Virgin," and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."
    • Without ambitious shows that subverted the formulaic genre while embracing it, rom-coms like "The Big Sick," "Crazy Rich Asians," and the Netflix originals wouldn't be here. 

    With new movies gaining momentum in 2018 including "Set It Up" and "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," Netflix is getting a lot of credit for bringing back the romantic comedy. But the genre has been dominating the TV landscape for years, with shows created by and starring women. 

    A staple in the film industry for decades, the romantic comedy slowly receded in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

    Rom-coms were 1990s and 2000s culture, with at least one major release with a huge stars like Meg Ryan or Reese Witherspoon every few weeks. And that's because rom-coms were consistently solid at the box office. They were also wildly successful on DVD and cable, where many still play to this day — have you ever not stumbled upon a Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey movie on TBS?

    But by 2010, rom-coms increasingly became less popular, both with critics and audiences. Since 2010, they went from nine major studio releases to zero in 2017. The last rom-com to earn over $100 million domestically at the box office was 2015's "Trainwreck." Before that, the most prominent rom-com studio films were 2011's "No Strings Attached" and "Friends With Benefits": two rom-coms with literally the same premise. 

    But things have changed.

    One of the most well-received movies of 2017 was indie rom-com "The Big Sick," which got an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. And in 2018, chatter around the disappearance of the standard rom-com stirred around the release of Netflix's "Set It Up," a conventional and predictable rom-com updated for a modern, young audience (the most iconic scene involves pizza, which feels right for the times). And the same week that "Crazy Rich Asians" came to theaters, Netflix released another rom-com starring an Asian-American actress: "To All the Boys I've Loved Before."

    Netflix saw the need for original rom-coms after noticing that its users rewatched (over and over) romantic comedies like “10 Things I Hate About You” and “The Wedding Planner” that were available on the service.

    But other TV networks were keeping the rom-com alive before Netflix started making these movies, and they paved the way for rom-coms with a modern twist. This started quietly and with judgment during TV's golden age, when the best shows on TV included "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and the early seasons of "Game of Thrones."

    These new shows that incorporated rom-com elements, spanning from 2011 to today, gave fresh angles to the genre — from "New Girl" to "The Mindy Project." They opened up opportunities for darker rom-com movies including "The Big Sick," as well as more formulaic, breezy ones like “Set It Up.”

    While a need and want for diversity in film is one of the reasons “Crazy Rich Asians” has been so successful, it’s also the genre: after years of prestige dramas and superhero movies, people want to relax, laugh, and feel good about the future, and that’s what rom-coms are doing, thanks to a generation of creators (mostly women) that were inspired by the iconic ones from the 90s.  

    People love rom-coms, but without these TV shows, they could have faded into obscurity as movie studios turned their backs. Or, if the genre did come back, they wouldn’t be as modern and revolutionary: We’d still have a father character who, like the one in “10 Things I Hate About You,” aggressively pushes chastity on his daughters, rather than the dad in “To All the Boys,” who awkwardly hands his daughter a manila envelope filled with condoms.

    From "The Mindy Project" to "You're the Worst," here's all of the TV shows that were saving the romantic comedy on the small screen when the studios weren't making them for the big screen:

    SEE ALSO: 7 great movies you can watch on Netflix this weekend

    “New Girl” — Fox (2011-2018), created by Liz Meriweather

    When “New Girl” premiered in 2011, it got a lukewarm reception. The feel-good, relentlessly charming, and positive comedy follows Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel), a bubbly and naive elementary school teacher who moves into a loft filled with men after she catches her boyfriend cheating on her.

    As with many TV comedies, “New Girl” gained its momentum late into the first season as the show didn’t have to rely on Deschanel. Jess Day was a worthy lead, but she was also the magnet keeping a great group of even quirkier characters together.

    The show’s rom-com feel relied on its "will they/won’t they" relationship between Jess and Nick Miller (Jake Johnson). While this was certainly influenced by other TV romances like Ross and Rachel ("Friends") and Sam and Diane ("Cheers"), the show was heavy on rom-com influences even though it wasn't trying. For example, it included silly side characters including an awkward musical-obsessed guy named Bearclaw (played by Josh Gad) and Sadie, a brutally honest lesbian OB/GYN played by June Diane Raphael. Rob Reiner, who directed movies including "The Princess Bride" and "When Harry Met Sally …" guest starred throughout the series as Jess Day’s dad.


    “The Mindy Project” — Fox and Hulu (2012-2017), created by Mindy Kaling

    Mindy Kaling is one of the true saviors of the romantic comedy. Kaling is not shy about her obsession with movies like “When Harry Met Sally ...” And her show, “The Mindy Project,” which premiered on FOX in 2012, was very forward with its love of the genre. Movies like “You’ve Got Mail” are, after all, one of the reasons why Kaling went into the entertainment business.

    “The Mindy Project” pilot’s opening shot is a scene from “When Harry Met Sally ...” before there’s any shot of any character in the series, followed by clips from “You’ve Got Mail” and  “Notting Hill.” 

    Over its six seasons, the series swapped characters and completely abandoned a lot of material in order to get better. But one thing stayed the same: Kaling’s aggressive obsession with rom-coms.

    Much like "New Girl," which aired on the same network on the same night, "The Mindy Project" stuck with a "will they/won't they" relationship between Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano. And the show took a long, complicated journey to get to an ending that no 90-minute film could have accomplished. 


    “You’re the Worst” — FXX (2014-Present), created by Stephen Falk

    “You’re the Worst” is a cynic’s take on the rom-com. And it reflects the dating habits of millennials. It’s not about finding someone to marry: it’s about avoiding that.

    “You’re the Worst,” which follows Gretchen and Jimmy, who meet at a wedding and have a one-night stand in the pilot, goes out of its way to demonstrate just how horrible its romantic leads are for each other. This is quite the opposite of what rom-coms do. And even if a rom-com tried to do this in film, it wouldn't have the time to invest as much as "You're the Worst" can with an episodic format. 

    "You're the Worst" has enough time to give its sloppiest (in personality, not writing) characters some depth and humanity, including Gretchen's best friend Lindsay, who is one of the dumbest people on the planet but also a human being with feelings and desires. It also has time for an entire season dedicated to Gretchen's clinical depression, and time to dive into Edgar's (Jimmy's roommate) heroin addiction and PTSD. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Fortnite on Android

    • "Fortnite" launched on Android recently, starting with Samsung smartphones and expanding out to other major flagship Android phones.
    • Instead of launching on Google's Play Store, Epic Games opted to skip the storefront and distribute the free game itself.
    • By skipping Google's storefront, a critical security flaw was introduced to the download process.
    • The issue went unnoticed by Epic Games until Google pointed it out. It has since been fixed.
    • This example highlights a major security risk that comes with mass distribution of software, and why platforms like Google Play are important.

    When the insanely popular game "Fortnite" finally arrived on Android earlier this month, it skipped Google's ubiquitous Play Store. 

    You couldn't just navigate to Google's store and download "Fortnite." It wasn't there.

    There was a clear reason to skip the Google Play Store: Google takes 30% of all sales through its storefront, and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games wanted to keep 100% of its sales. "The 30% store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers' 70% must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games," Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney told me earlier this month.

    "Thirty percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform — such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service," he said.

    And thus, in a brazen move, Epic skipped Google Play with "Fortnite."

    Instead, you must navigate to a website operated by Epic Games where you can download what's called an "installer." That installer program from Epic then facilitates the download and management of "Fortnite." 

    It was apparently in this step of the installation process where "Fortnite" had a critical security flaw. 

    Fortnite (Android)

    "Any app with the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission can substitute the APK immediately after the download is completed and the fingerprint is verified," a Google engineer wrote in mid-August, as discovered by Techcrunch. "This is easily done using a FileObserver. The Fortnite Installer will proceed to install the substituted (fake) APK."

    In so many words, the "Fortnite" installation program on Android had a loophole that allowed malicious actors to gain access to your phone. Worse, that wasn't the only problem if you were downloading the game on a Samsung phone or tablet.

    As the Google engineer, identified only as Edward, said:

    "On Samsung devices, the Fortnite Installer performs the APK install silently via a private Galaxy Apps API. This API checks that the APK being installed has the package name com.epicgames.fortnite. Consequently the fake APK with a matching package name can be silently installed."

    In plain terms, Samsung devices were only verifying that the name of the APK file matched "com.epicgames.fortnite" — if a piece of malicious software were swapped in with the same name, it would pass muster and be installed. 

    This "Fortnite" security kerfuffle on Android highlights an issue that critics leveled when Epic first announced plans to skip the Google Play Store: Downloading installer software outside of Google Play forces users to accept installation of all software from "unknown sources." 

    Because the "Fortnite" installer is downloaded from Epic Games' website, and the game it installs is being downloaded from Epic Games — outside the Google Play Store — users have to explicitly open various security permissions that would otherwise remain secured. 

    Fortnite (Android)

    For example: When I downloaded the "Fortnite" installer on a Google Pixel 2 smartphone, Android prompted me with several warnings that I wasn't allowed to download or install software outside of Google Play without first giving explicit permission. Opening those security permissions is required to install "Fortnite."

    It's this toggle that poses a threat, as it opens up the phone to malicious third-party software from similarly "unknown sources." Coupled with the issues Epic introduced by leaving security holes in its installer, millions of "Fortnite" players were at risk of having information stolen and/or their device bricked.

    Both issues have since been patched by Epic Games; it's unclear if anyone was affected by the security flaws.

    SEE ALSO: When ‘Fortnite’ finally arrives on Android, it’s skipping Google’s storefront — and the CEO of Epic Games told me why

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Top 9 features coming to the iPhone in iOS 12

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    elon musk azealia banks

    • Rapper Azealia Banks and Tesla CEO Elon Musk's lives have become entangled after Banks spent the weekend at one of Musk's properties earlier in August and made a series of claims about the billionaire on social media. 
    • Banks claimed Musk ignored her when she visited his house, misrepresented their interaction, and has taken control of her phone. 
    • "I'm like in tears right now," Banks told Business Insider on Monday evening. "This has nothing to do with me."
    • Here's a timeline of the Banks-versus-Musk battle, as decoded via Business Insider exclusives, social media, and more.


    Azealia Banks and Elon Musk are an unlikely pair.

    However, in some of the most high-pressure weeks in the Tesla's CEO's career, the rapper has become an unexpected source of complications for the billionaire. 

    Banks has publicly claimed on social media that Musk avoided her after inviting her to his home, misrepresented the situation to the media, and — most recently — took possession of her phone. Musk, meanwhile, has denied many of Banks' claims and apparently deleted his Instagram account, following her most recent call out. 

    The interactions between the two typically outspoken celebrities can be difficult to untangle. Here's everything we know about the timeline of how things have gone down between Banks and Musk. 

    SEE ALSO: Internal documents reveal the grueling way Tesla hit its 5,000 Model 3 target

    July 30: Grimes announces on Twitter she plans to collaborate with Banks.

    Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, is a Canadian musician and producer. 

    Boucher attended the Met Gala in early May with Musk. At the time, Page 6 reported the pair had met on Twitter and been "quietly dating" for the past few weeks. 

    While Boucher was fated to bring Musk and Banks together, her relationship with the rapper goes back significantly longer than her romance with Musk. Back in 2014, Boucher tweeted a heart emoji at Banks' now-deactivated Twitter account. 

    In summer 2018, Boucher and Banks confirmed plans to collaborate. In July, Boucher tweeted she had started a number of beats for Banks and just needed the rapper to visit Los Angeles to finish the work. 

    August 7: 'Funding secured.'

    "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted on August 7, before issuing a formal statement on the company's website. 

    Tesla shares skyrocketed following the tweet, rising by as much as 12%, to over $381. 

    However, the tweet also plunged Tesla into intensified scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal reported on August 8 that the SEC had made an inquiry into Tesla regarding the truthfulness and motivation of Musk's tweets.

    August 10: Banks arrives at one of Musk's Los Angeles properties and crosses paths with the CEO.

    Banks told Business Insider she arrived early on Friday morning, with The New York Times confirming last week that she arrived at one of Musk's Los Angeles properties in the predawn hours. 

    Banks said in an Instagram DM to Business Insider on August 13 Musk seemed distracted over the weekend. 

    "I saw him in the kitchen tucking his tail in between his legs scrounging for investors to cover his ass after that tweet," she said. "He was stressed and red in the face."

    Banks added: "He's not cute at all in person."

    Banks also said that she was not trying to eavesdrop but that Musk seemed to be scrambling.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Oprah Winfrey

    • Oprah Winfrey is a media mogul, an actress, and a philanthropist, with an estimated net worth of about $2.9 billion.
    • She grew up poor and had a difficult childhood.
    • We've collected the highlights of her remarkable life and career, from her first job as a talk show host to the launch of her own cable channel.

    Oprah Winfrey is a media mogul, philanthropist, and talented actress. Her current net worth is about $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

    Winfrey grew up poor, and her childhood and early adolescence were difficult. But her to drive to succeed, and to prove herself, motivated her to achieve wealth and fame.

    Below, see the highlights of her life and career.

    SEE ALSO: The life and career of Bethenny Frankel, a reality TV star and businesswoman who sold her company for $100 million

    Oprah Winfrey, 64 years old, is a media mogul, a celebrated actress, and a philanthropist. Forbes estimates that her net worth is about $2.9 billion.

    Source: Forbes

    Winfrey was also ranked sixth on Forbes' list of America's richest self-made women, and is the only African-American woman on Forbes' 2018 billionaire list.

    Source: Forbes, ForbesBusiness Insider

    Winfrey endured a turbulent childhood. She spent her early years on her grandmother's farm, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. At age six, she went to live with her mother in Milwaukee; while her mother was away at work, Winfrey was molested multiple times by people including relatives.

    Source: Academy of Achievement

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    To All The Boys Ive Loved Before Lana Condor

    • Netflix's "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" features an unexpected star — the sandwich chain Subway. 
    • The prominence of the chain in the film raised some eyebrows on social media.
    • Subway confirmed to Business Insider that it partnered with the production companies behind "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," and that a local franchisee provided packaging and sandwiches. 
    • "We regularly partner with production companies ... to place Subway in a range of films, especially ones we anticipate being popular," a Subway representative told Business Insider.

    While the blossoming romance between Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky left fans of Netflix's "To All the Boys I've Love Before" swooning, another love story left some viewers scratching their heads.

    The plotline in question: Lara Jean's best friend, Chris, and her undying obsession with Subway sandwiches. 

    Chris is established as Lara Jean's rebellious (and only) friend on the pair's first day of 11th grade. Once lunchtime rolls around, however, Chris's secondary character trait comes into play: she really loves Subway.

    to all the boys

    In fact, Chris loves Subway so much she ditches Lara Jean to skip school and get sandwiches for lunch. Chris's dedication is so great that she even uses Subway-branded emoji. 

    When Chris and Lara Jean finally do have lunch together later in the film, it is only because Chris has brought back Subway for the pair to eat under the bleachers. 

    To feature a character with such an all-consuming love for Subway in "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" raised some eyebrows on social media. 

    In an effort to see exactly how Subway sandwiches ended up in the rom-com, Business Insider reached out to the sandwich chain. 

    "We regularly partner with production companies ... to place Subway in a range of films, especially ones we anticipate being popular," a Subway representative told Business Insider via email. 

    Subway's history of inserting itself into TV shows and movies is well-documented. Over the last decade, Subway has made appearances on shows including "The Biggest Loser," "Nashville," and "Community." In 2013, Variety reported that Subway distinguishes itself not only by having sandwiches featured, but also by pushing for products to be giving the equivalent of a "speaking role," with storylines specifically mentioning the brand. 

    In the case of "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," Subway gave the film's production companies permission to use the brand, with a local franchisee providing product and packaging. While the representative did not disclose details of the partnership, Subway certainly has the equivalent of a "speaking role," with almost a third of Chris's screen time involving the chain. 

    The collaboration seems to be working. A number of people — including Business Insider's Carrie Wittmer — are reporting on social media that "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" left them with a surprising craving for a Subway sandwich. 


    SEE ALSO: Starbucks is bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier than ever, and it reveals the coffee chain's desperate need for a win

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