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- 11/09/18--16:14: _Malibu is in flames...
- 11/10/18--04:45: _The best-selling vi...
- 11/10/18--07:30: _The 50 best video g...
- 11/10/18--08:40: _Here are the 16 big...
- 11/10/18--11:45: _Amazon's got its ey...
- 11/10/18--11:46: _Google's new video-...
- 11/10/18--11:47: _The company behind ...
- 11/11/18--08:49: _Lil Wayne and Futur...
- 11/11/18--09:08: _'The Grinch' easily...
- 11/11/18--10:03: _The 44 best movies ...
- 11/11/18--11:21: _Xbox will get mouse...
- 11/11/18--12:02: _Roku's CEO says his...
- 11/11/18--13:18: _Gerard Butler share...
- 11/12/18--06:22: _5 quick and easy wa...
- 11/12/18--06:31: _'Launch as many sho...
- 11/12/18--07:51: _Xbox announced a bu...
- 11/12/18--08:39: _What the British ro...
- 11/12/18--08:41: _Wall Street analyst...
- 11/12/18--09:07: _Netflix will stop w...
- 11/12/18--09:41: _Players in the Worl...
- 11/10/18--04:45: The best-selling video game of every year, dating back to 1995
- 11/10/18--07:30: The 50 best video games of all time, according to critics
- In the broader streaming-video market, Amazon is emerging as the chief rival to Roku.
- The two companies have emerged as the leading makers of digital video players, and the leading third-party providers of smart-TV software platforms.
- Advertising has emerged as an important business for both companies, and Amazon is reportedly developing its an ad-supported video service that could rival the Roku Channel.
- The threat from Amazon could crimp Roku's growth prospects, Morgan Stanley said in a new report.
- These 3 charts show why there's more good days ahead for e-commerce — and more bad times for traditional retailers
- Amazon has spooked its investors — these 4 charts show why its growth is slowing
- Investors love Amazon's cloud and advertising efforts, but it could have just gotten a big boost from an older business
- A new survey suggests Salesforce and SAP have an early lead over Amazon and Google in the next frontier in tech
- Google's ProjectStream lets you play blockbuster video games with your internet browser, if you've got a strong enough internet connection.
- Using ProjectStream, the visuals and controls of "Assassin's Creed: Odyssey" match the look and feel of playing the game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
- If ProjectStream and other cloud gaming platforms can provide a streaming experience that feels consistent with playing on console, they can lower the price of entry for high-end video games by hundreds of dollars.
- Cloud gaming will eventually kill consoles if it can provide gamers with a healthy library of streaming games at the right price.
- The "League of Legends" developer Riot Games is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming the company harbored a sexist work environment with women suffering from unequal pay and regular harassment.
- Reports detailing the company's "bro culture" surfaced in August, leading Riot to issue an apology to current and past employees.
- The two women who filed the lawsuit detailed multiple instances of inappropriate behavior, including a list of "Hottest Women Employees" and unsolicited photos of male genitalia.
- An "SNL" rap called "Permission" that features Future and Lil Wayne is hilarious but also sends a great message about consent reflective of the #MeToo movement.
- Throughout the song, the characters try to prove that they respect women and that they are allies, and willing to learn how to be better.
- The characters even wear Time's Up pins and say, "we're allies in this b----."
- The latest animated movie by the studio behind "Despicable Me" and "Minions" has another hit with "The Grinch."
- This most recent retelling of the classic Dr. Seuss story won the weekend box office with $66 million.
- This opening bests the 2000 Jim Carrey-starring version, which had a $55 million opening.
- But it wasn't good news for "The Girl in the Spider's Web." The $40 million-plus reboot of the Lisbeth Salander franchise only had an $8 million opening.
- 11/11/18--10:03: The 44 best movies to watch on a 4K TV, according to Fandango users
- Microsoft announced that the Xbox One console would support mouse and keyboards on November 14, and that it was partnering with Razer to create a special line of keyboard and mouse products.
- Microsoft also said it planed to acquire game development studios Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment.
- "Bomber Crew"
- "Deep Rock Galactic"
- "Strange Brigade"
- "Vermintide 2"
- "War Thunder"
- "X-Morph Defense"
- Roku reported third-quarter results Wednesday that topped Wall Street's expectations.
- But investors sold off its stock following the announcement; in recent trading it was off as much as 12%.
- The growth rate of the company's platform business, while still robust, slowed markedly in the quarter, and it offered a disappointing forecast for its bottom line in the fourth quarter.
- The future is bright for Netflix and bleak for basic cable — these 3 charts show why
- Netflix's CEO says streaming has 5 to 10 years left of major growth before the company needs to start worrying
- A gold mine is buried 'under the weeds' at Amazon — here's why it could take the company beyond the $1 trillion mark
- After a blockbuster earnings report, Roku's CEO explains why its advertising business is exploding
- Actor Gerard Butler shared an image of his Malibu home on social media, which the Woolsey Fire in California has destroyed.
- The photo shows Butler in front of his home, which is completely burned down.
- He also thanked the LA Fire Department and urged people to donate to help firefighters.
- Facebook is expanding Watch globally and encouraging creators of all stripes to set up and fund their own shows.
- Publishers are eager to make ad revenue from mid-roll and pre-roll ads that run in videos, and some say it's almost on par with YouTube.
- Though still a test for Facebook, Watch was mentioned 12 times in the company's third-quarter earnings, up from six mentions in the first quarter.
- 11/12/18--08:39: What the British royal family looked like the year you were born
- A survey of over 1,100 Netflix users from analysts at Piper Jaffray found that the majority of subscribers think Netflix's content has improved in the past year and that they would be willing to pay more.
- These, along with several other factors, give the analysts reason to believe Netflix will increase its prices within the next year.
- The Piper Jaffray analysts also pointed to Netflix's emergence as an Oscar contender, its global presence, and the fact that more and more consumers are switching to streaming from traditional TV-viewing options.
- Nintendo's Wii console is going to drop support for Netflix in January.
- With over 100 million sold, the Nintendo Wii is one of the most popular game consoles ever released.
- The end of Netflix functionality on the Wii coincides with a larger sunsetting of Wii online services in January 2019.
- Online players in "Battlefield 1," a video game set during World War 1, spontaneously planned a ceasefire to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day when the war was declared over.
- The ceasefire took place on November 11 at 11 a.m. Canberra time during an online match.
- A video of the ceasefire was posted on Reddit.
Flames are racing along the southern California coastline as firefighters work to contain the fast-moving Woolsey Fire. The blaze has already scorched 14,000 acres on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and the nearby Hill Fire has charred 6,100 acres in Ventura County.
Both of the LA-area fires started Thursday afternoon, and though no deaths have been reported, many people have had to leave behind their beloved pets and homes and flee.
Here's a glimpse at the devastation in southern California so far.
The beach city of Malibu is home to about 13,000 people. On Friday, as flames from the Woolsey Fire raced towards the coast, the entire town was forced to evacuate.
Shortly after noon on Friday, the City of Malibu said on its website that the "fire is now burning out of control and heading into populated areas of Malibu. All residents must evacuate immediately."
Source: Business Insider
Stars including Alyssa Milano, Melissa Etheridge, director Guillermo del Toro, and the Kardashian sisters all had to leave their homes in the area.
Milano said she packed up her "kids, dogs, computer," and Doc Marten boots and headed for shelter.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Starting from the humble days of "Pong" and "Space Invaders," video games have grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry, with single games garnering hundreds of millions of sales.
As the audience for video games has grown there have been major shifts in the mainstream market; only a few large publishers and popular franchises have earned permanent footholds in the list of best-sellers.
A video game industry analyst from the NPD group recently released a list of the top-selling game of each year dating back to 1995, including physical and digital copies. While some games like "Tetris" and "Minecraft" have each sold more than 100 million copies over time, the year-by-year list reflects the changing interests of gamers as time has progressed.
1995 - "Mortal Kombat III"
The original "Mortal Kombat" games were originally arcade hits, boosted by the game's penchant for gratuitous violence and the early use of motion-capture technology. The colorful characters of "Mortal Kombat 3" are played by live actors and players can fight and tear each other apart in a variety of ways. The violence gave the game plenty of critics, but also led to plenty of extra attention.
1996 - "Super Mario 64" (Nintendo 64)
As a launch title, "Super Mario 64" kicked off multiple years of dominance for the Nintendo 64 console. The game takes full advantage of the console's 64-bit processor, creating explorable 3D environments that were unmatched at the time. "Super Mario 64" established many of the gameplay mechanics that still define 3D platformers today and remains a fan-favorite on YouTube and Twitch.
1997 - "Mario Kart 64" (Nintendo 64)
This may not come as a surprise, but "Mario Kart" is one of the Nintendo's best-selling series — across all consoles. "Mario Kart 64" introduced four-player split-screen multiplayer alongside memorable race tracks, and bumping music, making it a must-buy on the Nintendo 64.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
There are dozens of ways you could put together a list of the best video games ever made. You could look to classics, like "Super Mario Bros." here.
You could look at impact on the medium, or highest sales. You could write down your personal favorites on pieces of paper, then throw them into the air. Where the pieces land? That's your list!
But what we've got here is something slightly more scientific. Reviews aggregation site Metacritic compiles all reviews of games, then it averages those scores into an overall average. What you'll find below is the top 50 highest-rated games of all time, based on the averages obtained by Metacritic. We made one small change: Since there are a handful of duplicates on the list (multiple versions of the same game, released on multiple platforms), we've just taken the highest-ranked version of the game to make room for a handful of games that wouldn't have otherwise made the list.
Without further ado, these are the 50 best video games of all time:
50. "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4"
Critic score: 94/100
User score: 8.4/10
Plot summary (from Metacritic): "Build your skills, earn respect, and show that you've got what it takes to Go Pro. 190 progressively harder goals. No time clock, no constraints. Pro-specific challenges. Evolving levels. Interact with other skaters. Multi-player modes. Customize your game...Your career is what you make of it."
Platforms: GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Tapwave Zodiac, OS X, PC
49. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2"
Critic score: 94/100
User score: 6.4/10
Plot summary (from Metacritic): "'Modern Warfare 2' continues the gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. An entirely new gameplay mode which supports 2-player co-operative play online that is unique from the single player story campaign. Special Ops pits players into a gauntlet of time-trial and objective-based missions. Rank-up as players unlock new Special Ops missions, each more difficult. Missions include highlights from the single player campaign, fan favorites from 'Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare' and all new, exclusive missions. Setting a new bar for online multiplayer, 'Modern Warfare 2' multiplayer delivers new capabilities, customization, game states and modes, including: Create-a-Class Evolved. Secondary Weapons - Machine Pistols, Shotguns, Handguns, Launchers. Riot Shields. Equipment - Throwing Knives, Blast Shield, Tactical Insertion. Perk Upgrades. Bling (Dual Attachments). Customizable Killstreaks - AC130, Sentry Gun, Predator Missile, Counter-UAV, Care Package. Accolades (Post match reports)."
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, OS X
48. "Final Fantasy IX"
Critic score: 94/100
User score: 8.9/10
Plot summary (from Metacritic): "The last 'Final Fantasy' for the PlayStation, 'Final Fantasy IX' returns to the pure fantasy roots that spawned the series. This latest installment features highly detailed characters, vehicles, and environments, and breathtaking cinema-graphics. The addition of brand new features such as the story-enhancing Active Time Event system and the return of mini-games that grant additional gameplay make 'Final Fantasy IX' not only a memorable gaming experience, but also a significant step forward in the series."
Platforms: PlayStation, iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation 4
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Can you smell it in the air? That potent stench of gun smoke and manure is a sure sign that you've been playing too much "Red Dead Redemption 2." We're waist deep in blockbuster video game season, folks.
Huge new entries from already massively popular franchises are the standouts this year, and "Red Dead Redemption 2" (seen above) is the heaviest heavy of them all. The long-awaited sequel to Rockstar Games' brilliant original "Red Dead Redemption" is a kind of like "Grand Theft Auto" meets "The Magnificent Seven" — a fitting game from the folks behind the "Grand Theft Auto" series.
But this fall isn't all cowboys and train robberies.
Below, we've put together the 16 biggest games of the biggest game release season of the year:
1. "Madden NFL 19"
New year, new "Madden" game. 2018 is no different, and the latest entry in the football simulation series is available to buy now.
A handful of changes are being made this time around, like every year, but let's be honest: You're not buying "Madden" because of changes. Is anyone? "Madden NFL 19" is simply the latest iteration of a formula that's been working for over 25 years, which is exactly what it's supposed to be.
Release Date: August 10
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
2. "Marvel's Spider-Man"
The new "Spider-Man" game — a PlayStation 4 exclusive game — features a massive New York City that you can swing around, with plenty of enemies to pummel along the way. It's focused on re-creating the Spider-Man experience as closely as possible.
This is the classic Peter Parker/Spider-Man you already know and love.
"Our Spider-Man features a 23-year-old Peter Parker who has become a masterful Spider-Man," the game's creative director, Bryan Intihar, said of the game. "While he may be more experienced, Peter and Spider-Man's worlds continue to collide as he tries to juggle them."
Release Date: September 7
Platforms: PlayStation 4
3. "NBA 2K19"
For the 2oth anniversary of the NBA 2K series, newly minted Los Angeles Laker LeBron James is gracing the cover.
As per usual, "NBA 2K19" is a gorgeous basketball simulation — the basketball equivalent of "Madden" for football. It sets the standard for sim basketball games. Also like "Madden," it doesn't change too much from year to year. The focus is on updating the game to be a strong reflection of the current NBA, and it consistently delivers on that. Expect "NBA 2K19" to continue that tradition.
Release Date: September 11
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
You can add another company to the list of those whose business is being threatened by Amazon: Roku.
Those two companies are now the two leading players in the broadly defined streaming-television market, Morgan Stanley research analysts Benjamin Swinburne and Brian Nowak said in a report released Monday. Amazon is gaining steam in the industry, and its growth threatens to crimp Roku's own, they said.
"Amazon is directly in competition with Roku," Swinburne and Nowak said in the report. They continued: "Amazon has seen meaningful share gains ... and is likely catching up to Roku."
That's likely to strike some fear into the hearts of investors and possibly Roku's management. Amazon, after all, is a notoriously cutthroat competitor, especially in its core retail business, where it's already helped kill off a slew of formerly prominent rivals.
Swinburne, who covers Roku for Morgan Stanley, is concerned enough about the threat from Amazon and other companies that he has an "equal weight" rating — essentially a "hold" — on Roku's stock and a target price of $50, which is nearly $7 a share below where it's currently trading.
Amazon and Roku are increasingly butting heads
In looking at Amazon's budding rivalry with Roku, Swinburne and Nowak take a broad view of the streaming-television market.
It includes digital-media players such as Roku's Ultra; software platforms such as Amazon's Fire OS that underlie those devices and certain smart TVs and distribute apps and channels to them; and video services such as the Roku channel that are distributed over those devices and others.
Companies in the market generate revenue by selling devices, licensing their operating systems to other manufacturers, offering subscriptions to their video services or those they distribute, and selling advertising on the video channels they own or distribute.
Both Roku and Amazon compete in the three major portions of the streaming video market, as do Apple, Comcast, Google, and others. But in the device area, Roku and Amazon are increasingly the dominant players, according to Morgan Stanley's research. While Roku's first-place share has stayed steady, Amazon has steadily grabbed share from Google and smaller players.
The platform battle is more of a mixed bag. But Roku has established itself as a leading player in smart TVs, primarily by licensing its software to TCL, which has become one of the leading brands in North America.
Amazon has been setting itself up as the primary alternative to Roku, at least among manufacturers that don't have their own television operating system and app store. Earlier this year, Amazon signed a deal to have its Fire TV software installed on Insignia TVs, the house brand at Best Buy.
Advertising has become key to Roku's business
But the biggest area of competition could be in the content area.
The fastest-growing part of Roku's business of late has been in advertising sales. The company sells advertisements on the main screens of the user interface of its software platform, but also sells video ads that run on its Roku Channel and on some of the channels it offers in its app store.
Roku has been so successful selling ads, that its "platform" business segment — which largely consists of advertising sales — is now bringing in more revenue than sales of its devices.
But there again, Roku could face some stiff competition from Amazon. Like Roku, Amazon has become a distributor of streaming channels. Like Roku, advertising happens to be the fastest-growing piece of its business. And it reportedly has in the works an ad-supported channel that would be built around its IMDB service that would be essentially Amazon's version of the Roku Channel.
The as with any advertising-based business, Roku's has grown by offering marketers a large and growing audience and persuading that audience to spend more time with its services. The danger with for Roku is that rivals, particularly Amazon, might slow the growth of its advertising business, whether by stealing market share from its devices and software or by diverting the attention of Roku users to alternate video services.
"Competition by the likes of Amazon and others is real and intensifying," Swinburne and Nowak said in the report.
Roku's shares closed regular trading on Monday off $1.04, or about 2%, to $56.85. Amazon's ended the day down $37.73, or 2%, to $1,627.80.
Earlier this month Google rolled out a closed beta test for ProjectStream, a video game streaming service that lets you play high-quality video games via the Chrome browser. The beta test includes just one game, the recently released "Assassin's Creed: Odyssey."
Developed by Ubisoft, "Assassin's Creed" is the sort of blockbuster game that would traditionally require a $400 console or gaming computer to play. ProjectStream significantly reduces that barrier to entry; the sole requirement is a 25 mbps or faster internet connection, and controllers are optional.
Having already played "Odyssey" on PlayStation 4, I was skeptical of how ProjectStream would compare to the console experience. After all, ProjectStream isn't the first cloud-based video game streaming service and the technology hasn't been a hit so far. Sacrificing graphic-quality or settling for less responsive controls has felt like a requirement for past cloud gaming services, and performance varies greatly depending on the game. Given that "Odyssey" is a brand new game with a huge open world, I was skeptical whether ProjectStream would be able to keep up.
Playing for the first time on a MacBook Pro, my concerns were quickly put to rest. At its best, ProjectStream's version of "Odyssey" felt identical to playing on PlayStation, the game immediately recognized the PlayStation 4 controller I connected via Bluetooth and showed the correct button icons on screen. There was no noticeable delay in the controls and the visuals seemed overall consistent with what I saw on PS4, though "Odyssey" does have additional support for 4K and HDR on consoles and PC.
I tried ProjectStream with three different computers with three different network scenarios; a 2017 MacBook Pro on 250 mbps wifi, an HP hybrid laptop on a 50 mpbs wifi connection, and my gaming PC with a 970 GTX graphics card on a 1 gbps connection. The experience felt pretty much identical across the three computers, making their difference in processing power feel insignificant.
Running on the slowest internet connection, the HP laptop did experience some brief moments of instability where the image would appear somewhat pixelated and the controls would freeze, but the game would return to normal after a few seconds. On my gaming PC and the MacBook, ProjectStream was essentially flawless.
Consistency is the most encouraging factor of ProjectStream. Knowing that the experience playing via the Google Chrome browser matches console gameplay regardless of the computer I'm using — as long as the internet speed if fast enough — is great motivation to leave my PlayStation version of the game behind. ProjectStream also carries my game save over automatically so I can easily continue where I left off, whether I'm playing at work, at home, or at a friend's house. Unfortunately ProjectStream doesn't work on smartphones or tablets just yet, but it would be surprising if Google can't find a way to make the service functional on their own Android devices.
ProjectStream represents a convincing jump in cloud gaming technology at a time where gamers are wondering if the next generation of video game consoles will prioritize streaming content over traditional media. ProjectStream takes advantage of Google's massive server infrastructure and development resources, showcasing a beta product that gamers can be confident in. But even if the technology can match the experience of an Xbox or PlayStation, the next important step will be finding a way to deliver a full library of new and old video games at a price that makes sense.
Google will also be competing head-to-head with endemic video game brands as it enters the game streaming space. So far the most functional cloud gaming options have been Sony's PlayStation Now and Nvidia's GeForce Now, but neither service feels like a true alternative to buying an expensive console or PC. PlayStation Now offers a preselected library with hundreds of games for $20 a month for PS4 and PC, but newer titles are not included. GeForce Now gives players access to specific titles they've already purchased for their PC library and charges $25 per 20 hours of streaming time. For reference, "Assassin's Creed: Odyssey" costs $60 to own and takes at least 30 hours to complete.
Shortly after the rollout of the ProjectStream beta, Microsoft announced its own cloud gaming platform, Project xCloud. Project xCloud will stream games to both PCs and mobile devices with a launch planned for 2019. Microsoft has already shown off touchscreen controls for tablets and peripherals to use Xbox controllers with smartphones. Microsoft already has a separate game subscription service with Xbox Game Pass, which currently players the ability to fully download games on PC and Xbox One instead of streaming them.
During its 2018 keynote, Microsoft executive Phil Spencer teased that the new Xbox devices would make use of cloud gaming as well. Spencer said the company's goal with Project xCloud is to reach the two billion people playing games around the world, regardless of the hardware they play on.
It will take some time for publishers and gaming platforms to establish a market for streaming games, but ProjectStream has shown that the future of gaming will not depend on selling consoles; great games can be delivered right to your browser. The beta test for ProjectStream is accepting new players on an ongoing basis and will run through January 2019. Follow this link to sign up.
Months after reports accused the "League of Legends" developer Riot Games of fostering a sexist work environment, two employees, one former and one current, have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company alleging discrimination and harassment.
In the complaint filed with the California Superior Court in Los Angeles, the plaintiffs claim that Riot denied them equal pay and blocked their career advancements on the basis of gender.
Both plaintiffs are women and claim that Riot promoted a male-dominated culture that led to sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace.
A copy of the complaint obtained by Gizmodo Media Group mentions an investigative report from the GMG-owned video game website Kotaku detailing the experiences of more than two dozen Riot employees, many of whom share the same criticism. After the report was published in August, Riot acknowledged that the company's emphasis on what it called "gamer" culture resulted in gendered discrimination.
Representatives for the plaintiffs, Jessica Negron and Melanie McCracken, claim the "core gamer" identity emphasized by Riot is explicitly male and was used to disqualify women from recruitment and promotions. Furthermore, they allege that women have been assigned to lower-paying jobs while less qualified men receive more frequent promotions. The lawsuit also claims women in the workplace are subjected to additional criticism, harassment, and retaliation based on gender.
"Women are required to participate and tolerate crude male humor which include jokes about sex, defecation, masturbation, rape, and torture," the lawsuit says. "Women who do not join in these adolescent humor jokes are classified as 'snobby' and unwilling to fit in with the company."
The lawsuit offers several specific examples of how what it calls Riot's "bro culture" negatively affected female employees. According to the claim, one of the plaintiffs counted male Riot Games using the work dick more than 500 times during a single month. Other employees were shown unsolicited photos of male genitalia, and one woman found an email chain in which coworkers discussed what it would be like to "penetrate her," the lawsuit says. The claim says there is an ongoing email chain of "Riot Games Hottest Women Employees" that rates female employees.
Basic work dynamics were said to have suffered as well, with the plaintiffs saying women were frequently talked over during meetings and had their ideas dismissed. Riot Games' CEO and cofounder, Brandon Beck, is accused of using the phrase "no doesn't necessarily mean no" as a slogan for the company during an internal meeting.
One plaintiff said her supervisor told her, "Diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games' products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe-haven for white teen boys."
When asked to comment on the lawsuit, a representative for Riot Games offered the following statement:
"While we do not discuss the details of ongoing litigation, we can say that we take every allegation of this nature seriously and investigate them thoroughly. We remain committed to a deep and comprehensive evolution of our culture to ensure Riot is a place where all Rioters thrive. We've shared our progress here: https://www.riotgames.com/en/
Since the initial reports of sexism surfaced in August, Riot has been detailing its efforts to combat sexism and discrimination within the company. This includes bringing in third-party consultants to help redefine the company culture and sharing a timeline of actionable steps to make that change happen.
Still, regardless of what changes are being made, Riot will need to answer the allegations of past discrimination in court. Both plaintiffs are seeking damages over multiple allegations of discrimination and harassment as well as what they say are violations of California's Equal Pay Act. The court will need to certify the lawsuit for it to become class action.
An "SNL" rap about butts from Saturday night that features Future and Lil Wayne is hilarious but also sends an important message about consent.
"Permission" starts off introducing the "Booty Kings" played by Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, and Pete Davidson (as a character called "Uncle Butt").
They're in a music video that appears to be a rap about women's' butts. One of the first things Redd's character says is, "I'm nasty, I'll bite your booty like an apple."
But things take an unexpected turn when Redd and Thompson's characters accept that two women are not interested in them at all.
"Okay sorry, we're just here with our friends," one of the women says. When the Booty Kings tell the women it's cool and to have a good night, the woman, shocked, replies, "Wait? You're just going to respect our wishes?"
The Booty Kings say, "Hell yeah. Times have changed. We have some new respect for stuff."
Then they rap things like, "Drop that booty if you wanna" and, "Shake that booty, it's your choice." Later in the song, they wear Time's Up pins.
Future and Lil Wayne (Saturday night's musical guest) appeared later in the song as themselves.
You can watch "Permission" below:
It seems like everyone is already in the holiday spirit as the latest telling of the Dr. Seuss classic, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" took a nice bite out of the US box office over the weekend.
The most recent title from animation studio Illumination (creators of "Despicable Me," "Minions," and "Sing") has definitely put a smile on Universal's face, which releases the animation studio's works. The movie took in an estimated $66 million to easily win the weekend.
Benedict Cumberbatch had the task of voicing the green menace of Whoville and seems to have passed with flying colors. Previously, the holiday classic was told with the ambitious live-action 2000 release, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," with Jim Carrey playing the title role.
That had a $55 million opening and went on to earn over $345 million worldwide.
While Universal/Illumination found success dusting off a known property, Sony/MGM/New Regency didn't have the same luck with "The Girl in the Spider's Web."
The latest American release from the beloved Millennium book series that features the adventures of hacker Lisbeth Salander, "Spider's Web" comes seven years after the US kickoff of the franchise with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Helmed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara in the Salander role, the movie opened with a soft $12.7 million opening (made for $90 million) but went on to earn a solid $232.6 million worldwide.
Sony will have to work a lot harder to make back its money this time. The revamp of the franchise with Claire Foy in the lead and Fede Alvarez ("Don't Breathe") directing didn't excite audiences, as the movie only took in $8 million over the weekend (its production budget was around $40 million).
NOW WATCH: How 'The Price Is Right' is made
4K entertainment was once a thing of luxury — few could afford it or justify dishing out a large sum of cash for the necessary equipment. Now, 4K TV's have gotten much more affordable, 4K streaming devices are easy to find and are relatively cheap as well, and plenty of entrainment is offered in the high-resolution format.
Once you've made the jump to 4K, though, you're going to want to put your setup to the test to see what you've been missing.
Fandango, a movie-ticketing company which operates the FandangoNOW streaming service, conducted a survey with FandangoNOW users to determine the best movies to watch in 4K. So if you're looking to get the most out of your fancy high-resolution setup, here are 44 titles that come highly recommended.
44. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
43. Atomic Blonde
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Eight games including Fortnite will be ready to support keyboard and mouse support on the Xbox console in November, with several other game developers committed to support the feature after that. And Microsoft says it is partnering with gaming hardware company Razer to offer a special "Designed for Xbox" mouse and keyboard that will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Microsoft had previously said it would offer keyboard and mouse support, but it was not clear until now when the feature would arrive.
The news was among several announcements Microsoft made at the XO18 event. Microsoft also said it planned to acquire two small game development studios— Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment.
"These two creative teams will continue to operate autonomously and bring their unique talents, IP and expertise to Microsoft Studios as they build new RPG experiences for our players and fans," Microsoft said. It did not provide financial terms of either acquisition.
These are the games that will offer keyboard and mouse support in November:
Roku's investors may not have been pleased with the company's third-quarter earnings report, but CEO Anthony Wood insists that everything's going just fine.
The streaming media device maker's results beat Wall Street's expectations on the top and bottom lines. But investors found the results disappointing nonetheless, sending Roku's stock down 12% in after-hours exchanges Wednesday.
Potentially feeding shareholder worries: Roku projected that its bottom line in the holiday quarter won't be as robust as analysts were hoping, and it revealed that the growth rate of its platform business, which includes its fast-growing advertising sales, slowed considerably in the third quarter.
"We had a great quarter," CEO Anthony Wood insisted in an interview with Business Insider. He continued: "We're very happy with how things are going."
Investors weren't, though. In recent after-hours trading, Roku's shares were down $7.45, or 12.66%, to $51.41. Earlier in the session, they were off as much as 13%.
Wood had much to crow about
From one vantage point, he and his colleagues had plenty of reason to be pleased with results. Roku posted $173.4 million in sales in the period, up 39% from the third quarter last year and above Wall Street's forecast of $170.4 million in revenue.
For the period, the company posted a loss of $9.5 million, or 9 cents a share. In the same period a year earlier, it lost $46.2 million, or $8.79 a share, although that figure was swelled by a one-time stock-related charge. Regardless, its results in the third quarter bested analysts estimates; they were expecting a loss of 12 cents a share.
And the core parts of Roku's business continued to post healthy growth. The company now has 23.8 million active customer accounts, which was up 43% from the year-ago quarter and up 8% from the second quarter this year. Its platform revenue, which includes advertising sales and the money it makes from licensing its software to television makers, grew 74% from last year's third quarter, and its revenue from video ads grew by more than 100%.
"Our ad business is firing on all cylinders," Wood said.
But looked at another way, the company gave investors and analysts reason for concern. Take its outlook. The company expects its bottom line in the fourth quarter to be anywhere from a loss of $4 million to a profit of $3 million on sales ranging from $255 million to $265 million. That forecast implies a bottom line ranging from a loss of about 4 cents a share to a profit of about 3 cents a share.
Analysts had forecast better results, at least on the bottom line. Prior to the report, they had projected that Roku would earn 5 cents a share in the holiday quarter on sales of $258.9 million.
But Roku's growth rates are slowing
Meanwhile, even the company's standout results for the third quarter included some data points that likely raised eyebrows. While impressive, the company's platform growth rate slowed markedly in the quarter and has been on a consistent downward trend. In the second quarter, that segment grew at a 96% annual rate. In the three prior quarters, it grew by more than 100%.
Similarly, the growth in the company's number of active accounts also slowed down, although not as dramatically. The 43% growth accounts was the slowest pace since Roku became a public company last year.
Meanwhile, its costs jumped significantly in the period. Its operating expenses were up 57% to 90.7 million, far outpacing its revenue growth.
Roku faces growing competition from Amazon, which not only sells rival streaming media boxes but also reportedly has an ad-supported streaming video channel in the works that would rival the Roku Channel. Like Roku, Amazon has started to license the operating system that underlies its media boxes to smart TV makers, signing a deal this summer with Best Buy to have it included on Best Buy's Insignia television line.
The company also potentially faces new rivals such as Comcast, which has its own streaming media box in the works for its broadband customers, according to CNBC.
Wood sees advertisers as a bigger challenge than Amazon
But Wood said the bigger challenge for Roku is convincing advertisers to spend their dollars with it. The portion of advertisers' video ad budgets that's going to Roku trails the amount of time that consumers are spending on its platform, he said.
"That's a way bigger issue than our competition," he said.
And Wood isn't worried about Amazon's deal with Best Buy. That's an exclusive relationship; those TVs can't be sold outside of Best Buy, he said. By contrast, smart TVs running Roku's operating system can be sold anywhere. On top of that, the company expect Best Buy itself to carry more Roku TVs this holiday season than it did a year ago.
"Our smart TV business is going great," he said. "We're super-happy with that program."
Roku's shares closed regular trading on Wednesday up $3.24, or 5.8%, $58.86.
Three dangerous fires are burning across the state of California, destroying thousands of homes and lives.
Actor Gerard Butler, one of the many celebrities who had to evacuate, shared a photo of his home, which was destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in southern California that started on Thursday. His Malibu home was destroyed.
"Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California," Butler said.
On Sunday, Butler shared a tweet about the devastation along with a chilling photo of what used to be his home:
Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LAFD. If you can, support these brave men and women at https://t.co/ei7c7F7cZx. pic.twitter.com/AcBcLtKmDU— Gerard Butler (@GerardButler) November 11, 2018
He thanked the Los Angeles Fire Department and urged people to donate to support the "brave men and women" fighting the fires.
Butler also uploaded videos on his Instagram story that showed his former house burned down to the metal framing.
"Welcome to my home in Malibu," he said, as smoke poured out of piles of rubble that used to be his home. "Wow."
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For the better part of 2018, I've immersed myself in "Fortnite Battle Royale," the most popular game in the world right now. When I'm not playing, I've been watching and studying the best "Fortnite" streamers on Twitch, like Ninja.
Still, after dozens of hours of playing and watching "Fortnite," I felt like I wasn't actually improving in the game. I was dying early and often. And while I may have been getting the hang of the various controls, building and shooting — the two most essential functions in "Fortnite" for defense and offense, respectively — were still not intuitive to me. I was getting easily overwhelmed in firefights. And this was frustrating to me, since I play a lot of video games.
Recently, though, I made a breakthrough. I'm nowhere near the level of pro streamers like Ninja, but I'm consistently finishing in the top 10 to 25 players, and usually with at least one or two kills under my belt.
Here's what I'd suggest to anyone who's struggling to get better at "Fortnite":
1. Try playing on a different device.
Personally, my biggest breakthrough with "Fortnite" was simply playing the game on a different device.
I had spent probably a few dozen hours playing "Fortnite" on my PlayStation 4, unsuccessfully, until I finally tried downloading the game to my iPhone X. I noticed an instant and immediate improvement.
For some reference: Prior to playing "Fortnite" on my iPhone, I was never able to successfully hit anyone with a sniper rifle while playing on my PS4. But I got two sniper kills — not just hits, but kills — in one of my first matches when I switched to my iPhone. In general, I've found it's much easier to move, build, aim, and shoot on the iPhone compared to the PlayStation 4. And I bet it's even easier if you play the game on PC.
If you're interested, here are the controls for "Fortnite" if you're playing on an iPhone. As you can see, it's very simple.
The game is coming soon to Android, says Epic Games, the creator of "Fortnite." But it's unclear when, and which devices will be supported.
2. Lower the sensitivity settings for your controls.
I overheard Tyler "Ninja" Blevins mention this tip on his Twitch stream, so I tried it for myself. And sure enough, lowering the sensitivity settings of your controls — whether you're using a console controller or a keyboard and mouse — can sometimes help you steady your aim.
To visit your settings, click the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen while you're playing the game or waiting in the lobby. There, you'll see your controller sensitivities. While you're there, though, be sure to revisit your other controls and settings. You may want to tweak some of those, apply the changes, and see how the game plays. You never know: Sometimes, a simple tweak is all you need.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Facebook is hungry for video and taking lots of pages from YouTube's playbook when it comes to wooing over creators.
Earlier this fall, Facebook unleashed Watch globally, opening up the company's big bet on premium, long-form video to the world after testing it in the US for a little over a year.
As part of the rollout, Facebook started allowing anyone — from users to publishers — to set up and fund their own Watch shows through a self-serve tool called Creator Studio that is built in to Facebook.
With Watch's floodgates open and the ability for publishers to bypass Watch's funded team, Facebook is actively encouraging publishers to set up and fund their own Watch programming in exchange for making money from ad breaks, according to sources.
Until a few months ago, all shows had to be green-lit by Facebook, requiring creators to pitch the social platform their ideas. Facebook's content strategy continues to shift, and the Watch team is experimenting with different formats and production quality, which can make it difficult for creators to know what specific content Facebook is interested in funding.
But with Creator Studio, they don't have to go through Facebook's funding process.
Creator Studio helps publishers manage video content and track its performance. The tool also details how many repeat viewers a show has and breaks down the number of one-minute views that are eligible for ad revenue through mid-roll and pre-roll videos. To run ad breaks, Watch Pages must have 10,000 followers and at least 30,000 one-minute views on videos that are three minutes or longer over 60 days.
The self-serve tool is squarely aimed at YouTube's crop of creators, and it has changed the message that Facebook is sending some publishers about Watch, at least when it comes to entertainment-geared shows that are separate from news shows.
Instead of pitching exclusive, high-quality shows, some publishers have changed their strategy and are cranking out a ton of videos that meet Facebook's qualifications for ad breaks, according to several sources.
"I think that's only going to continue and grow — it's almost low-hanging fruit," one executive said about Watch's ambitions to attract influencers and creators from YouTube.
Publishers are chasing Watch ad revenue
Facebook has started wrangling up publishers at events to talk about Watch, too.
Last month, Facebook gathered publishers in New York at a partner event to talk about video with execs like Luis Olivalves, who recently changed roles from heading up media partnerships for Latin America to a similar role in North America as part of Sibyl Goldman's team.
The event gave attendees a crash course in Creator Studio, according to one source.
A Facebook representative said that the company routinely hosted events for publishers of all sizes. The New York event included entertainment, sports, and news publishers.
Until recently, the opportunity with Watch was slim for publishers that didn't have deep pockets or big concepts that could get directly funded by Facebook. Now, some are trying to rack up as many shows as possible with the goal of making money from advertising.
"It's totally open — you can just launch a new Watch Page yourself," another publishing source said. "It's like 'launch as many shows as possible' and if you're successful, you're going to get ad break revenue."
Watch is looking more like YouTube but still has a ways to go
There are a lot of professionally created shows in Watch from companies like BuzzFeed and MTV. There are also a lot of less polished videos that are posted to the News Feed and end up getting pulled into the video tab.
Indeed, Watch looks more similar to YouTube than to Netflix or Hulu.
Both Facebook and its partners are quick to point to Watch as a long-term bet for the company that won't happen overnight.
But Watch is also increasingly becoming viewed as more than an experiment by Facebook's top execs: Watch was mentioned 12 times during Facebook's third-quarter earnings last week, up from six mentions in first-quarter earnings, according to transcripts of the calls.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg also publicly acknowledged the Google-owned YouTube as a competitor to Watch during the call.
"We're seeing video grow dramatically across the ecosystem," Zuckerberg said. "And while Watch is now growing very quickly, we're well behind YouTube and still working to make this a unique people-centric experience."
YouTube influencers are scrambling to get on Watch
Made in Network is one of a handful of so-called multi-channel networks that work with creators to set up and manage web video talent, primarily on YouTube.
Over the past few months, the company's creators have started building out Watch shows, some of which make nearly as much money from ad revenue as its YouTube shows.
"In the past couple of months, as they've introduced ad breaks and tools, we've seen a lot more meaningful revenue generation for our clients," said Keith Johnson, the chief operating officer at Made in Network.
Johnson declined to name specific creators but said one YouTube channel had doubled its revenue by adding a Watch show. Revenue from the Watch show is 10% smaller than YouTube's after running for a few months.
The company's influencers have experimented with both original Watch shows and repurposing YouTube content for Facebook, with repurposed content working better so far.
"We actually end up seeing pretty distinct audiences, so it doesn't feel like we're splitting people between the two," Johnson said. "Even though it's the same content, we have a new pipeline to get to them through Facebook."
Facebook is changing the shows it funds, too
Facebook continues to green-light programs for Watch, but the funding has increasingly shifted to fewer big, celebrity-driven programs that appeal to broad audiences.
Some of the high-profile shows range from interactive talk-show formats like Jada Pinkett Smith's "Red Table Talk" (which has 3.8 million followers) to dramas like "Sorry for Your Loss" (which has 107,000 followers).
Facebook is also funding shows with various formats, like a scripted program called "Skam: Austin" that has run for two seasons on Watch.
One source suggested that Facebook was considering outsourcing parts of the development process of its funded Watch shows to firms.
A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was experimenting with different funding models for partners, which include digital publishers, creators, and traditional media companies.
Granular data is still a challenge with Watch
While Facebook's video ad revenue is starting to kick in for creators, data and measurement is still a challenge.
"They make it really hard to dig in to the data and attribute it to different things and to figure out what's actually driving it," Johnson said. "There's a lot that's murky and behind a veil."
Several sources said it was unclear how views broke down between the News Feed and the Watch tab. One source estimated that most views were still coming from news feeds, where videos are exposed to huge audiences.
"It's really hard to know the split between Watch and feed because they don't tell you — you don't have any data or insights," the source said. "They will never tell you if a Facebook video view comes from the Watch tab or the feed — I'm still pretty sure that a lot of the views come from the feed."
Do you know something interesting about Watch? Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or securely via Signal at 720-261-0417.
While you were out picking apples and making Thanksgiving plans this past weekend, Microsoft's Xbox group was in Mexico City dropping a bunch of major announcements.
What kind of announcements? We're talking about major game release dates ("Crackdown 3" is coming in February), major additions to Microsoft's killer Game Pass service ("PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds"!), and even a couple of full-on acquisitions.
Here's the most important stuff Microsoft announced on Saturday:
1. "Crackdown 3" is finally arriving on February 15.
"Crackdown 3"? Yes, "Crackdown 3"!
After years of delays and trailers, it looks like "Crackdown 3" is finally coming out on February 15. The game is exclusive to the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and will be free for any Game Pass subscribers at launch.
There's even a new trailer:
2. Microsoft is buying Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment — two RPG powerhouse game studios.
Two new game studios are joining Microsoft's growing portfolio of game makers: Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment, both known for creating western-style RPGs that gamers love.
That brings Microsoft's list of new studios up to seven, a growing army dedicated to building the future Xbox game library.
3. One of the biggest console exclusive games, "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," is heading to Game Pass.
If you're one of the millions of people paying for Microsoft's Game Pass program — a $60 annual service that grants users access to a massive library of Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games — then you're in luck: "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" is headed to the service on November 12.
Two other major titles — "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" and "Ori and the Blind Forest" — are also headed to Game Pass in December.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In a changing world, few things have remained as constant as the British royal family.
People all over the world follow Queen Elizabeth II and her large family of kids and grandkids for their dose of inspiration, fashion, and even scandals throughout the years.
Acting as a bellwether, the royal family is also a way of tracking the changing times.
Here is what everybody's favorite royals were doing on the year you were born.
Veronika Bondarenko contributed to a previous version of this story.
1950: Queen Elizabeth II was a young princess in line to take over the throne after her father, King George VI.
1951: Queen Elizabeth II had married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark and given birth to two children, Charles and Anne.
1952: After several years of ill health, King George VI died in February 1952. Princess Elizabeth was on a royal tour of Kenya when she found out.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Netflix has invested heavily in its original TV shows and movies this year, dropping an estimated $8 billion to release 1,000 original shows and movies by the year's end. And a new survey indicates the success of that initiative will give Netflix room to raise prices.
Analysts at Wall Street firm Piper Jaffray conducted a survey, released on Monday, of over 1,100 Netflix users and found that the majority thought the quality of Netflix's original content has improved in the past year. This factor, along with several others, makes a price hike likely, according to the analysts.
"It would not be surprising to see Netflix bump pricing up across many of its markets in 2019," Piper Jaffray said in the report.
The analysts said the "primary determinant in the ability of Netflix to raise price is subscriber perception of content quality."
"We surveyed >1,100 domestic Netflix subscribers and found that 71% of them feel that Netflix content has improved in the past year," the analysts continued. "We believe, as long as the vast majority of subscribers perceive that the service is improving, Netflix will be positioned to periodically increase prices."
The survey found subscribers in the US "would be willing to pay ~40% more for their Netflix subscription today."
The analysts also pointed to Netflix's emergence this year as an Oscar contender. Netflix has made waves as it pushes its awards favorite, Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma," in the Oscar race. It plans to release the film in at least 100 theaters, one of the largest theatrical distributions for one of its movies (even though it will not be released at Alamo Drafthouse).
"While the allure for many Netflix subs has been episodic (series) content, Oscar nominations for upcoming Netflix films would, no doubt, have a favorable impact on existing and potential subscribers' view of the content being made available to them," the analysts said.
As Netflix focuses on its library of original content, it is also beefing up its global presence. Analysts predict that Netflix could gain approximately 187 million worldwide users by 2020 as it penetrates markets that have seen slow growth, such as in Asia, where Netflix recently announced 17 new original shows and movies mostly hailing from Japan and India (China is not included in those estimates, as Netflix can't operate out of the country without a local partner).
"While this level of penetration would be higher than any other comparative subscription entertainment product, we believe the content/value ratio offered by Netflix is, and will continue to be, higher than any other relevant comparative offering," the analysts said.
More and more consumers are getting comfortable with streaming, as well. A recent report from Ampere Analysis found that older viewers making the switch helped drive subscriber growth for Netflix and Hulu this year.
But Netflix will face increased competition in the coming year. AT&T is releasing a new service next year that will include HBO, and Disney just revealed more details about its service, Disney+, expected to drop in late 2019.
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Sorry, Nintendo Wii users: the "Wii Sports" console is losing Netflix in January 2019.
More specifically, as of January 30, all online services for the Nintendo Wii will be sunset. No more Wii Shop Channel and Virtual Console for buying games, and no more video streaming services — including Netflix.
The service lasted just over eight years on the Nintendo Wii, having first arrived in 2010. It quickly became a hit on the Wii — a measure of the console's massive popularity at exactly the time when services like Netflix were evolving into video streaming giants.
With over 100 million Nintendo Wii consoles sold as of 2016, the Wii is Nintendo's best-selling home game console of all time. It's only bested by the Game Boy and Nintendo DS — handheld consoles that cost less than the Wii.
For now, Netflix will continue functioning on the Nintendo Wii. But don't worry too much about its impending closure. In 2018, Netflix runs on nearly anything — from your smartphone to your TV to Google's very inexpensive Chromecast dongle.
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Gamers playing "Battlefield 1," a game set in World War 1, stopped shooting to participate in a ceasefire during an online match at 11 a.m. Canberra time to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which marks the end of the first World War.
The ceasefire in the game took place on the same day and same time that the annual World War 1 comemmoration typically occurs aroung the globe: On November 11 at 11 a.m.
The player who helped arrange the ceasefire posted a short video of the event on Reddit, but it's hard to tell from the video everyone actually stopped shooting. It looks like some players either didn't hear about the planned ceasefire at the specified time or they ignored the effort altogether. The game's background audio and effects, like loud explosions and artillery from battleships were also still ongoing, which diminished the silence. There's also a player in a plane who performs a strafing run on a bunch on players who are partaking in the ceasefire, which somewhat ruins the moment.
EA/Dice developer Jan David Hassel posted the video on Twitter:
"This is the 100 Year Anniversary of the End of WW1. On the 11th Hour we stopped fighting."— Jan David Hassel (@JanDavidHassel) November 11, 2018
Battlefield 1 players stop shooting each other to commemorate the end of World War 1.https://t.co/bvYTAzK2vE
Still, you can tell that some players abided to the ceasefire by the fact that the player recording the video was surrounded by enemy players (with red icons above their heads) and didn't get shot. Any other day and time and the player recording the event would have been killed in seconds when surrounded by so many enemy players.
Ultimately, however, the player recording the event was stabbed and killed. The player doing the stabbing apparently apologized for doing so.
"Battlefield 1" players like myself will know how surprising it is that anyone partook in the event, considering how difficult it is to communicate with others in the game.
The player, known as u/JeremyJenki on Reddit, who helped set up the event and recorded the video posted on Reddit how they did it:
"At the start of the game, me and a couple others started talking about having a ceasefire. We made it known in the chat and many people were on board with it, deciding that this armistice should be held on the beach (This didn't seem like a great idea to me at the time). Players started heading down to the beach early and for a few minutes it was amazing. When editing the video I cut out most of the in between, only showing the beginning and end. But hey, against all odds, we did it, and while short it was the coolest experience in Battlefield I had ever had."