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The latest news from Entertainment

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    j.j. abrams s novel

    Last month, J.J. Abrams debuted a mysterious black-and-white trailer for an upcoming project. 

    Now, we finally know what Abrams has been working on, and — surprise! — it's NOT a movie.  

    Abrams' latest trailer is for a book called S. written by Doug Dorst out October 29. The title of the original video was called "Stranger."

    Dorst has previously written The Surf Guru. 

    Everyone assumed the trailer was for a film considering the trailer came from his production company Bad Robot. Touché Abrams. You got us. 

    According to Entertainment Weekly, the book is a mystery, love story about a relationship between two college students who send each other notes in the margins of a fictional 1949 novel. 

    Check out the trailer for his book : 

    SEE ALSO: 15 movies you need to see before the end of the year

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    A viral video of a young woman twerking, falling onto a coffee table, and catching on fire is too funny to be true.

    "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" filmed the video two months ago and uploaded it to YouTube under the stuntwoman's fake name. The "worst twerk fail ever" racked up almost 10 million views in the past week, and was picked up by news affiliates across the country.

    Kimmel announced on the show Monday night: "To the conspiracy theorists on the Internet who thought it was fake, you were right."

     Here's the original video:

    And the best GIF of the "girl on fire":

    twerking girl on fire jimmy kimmel live

    Watch Kimmel's "director's cut," in which the hoax is revealed:

    SEE ALSO: Miley Cyrus Releases Single 'Twerk' With Justin Bieber

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    Arcade Fire Just a Reflektor

    Arcade Fire has teamed up with Google Chrome to release an interactive experience in the form of "Just a Reflektor", where the viewer can use their mobile phone or desktop to direct parts of the music video for "Reflektor", a song released by the band earlier this month.

    With “Just a Reflektor”, you literally have a hand in generating what you’re watching; the move of the mouse across the video creates various effects at different points throughout the song using Google Chrome's ability to handle hardware accelerated graphics. 

    The video is a collaboration between director Vincent Morisset and the Data Arts team at the Google Creative Lab in San Francisco, led by Aaron Koblin. Koblin worked with director Chris Milk for the last Arcade Fire and Google project, a Street View-powered experience for "The Wilderness Downtown", which incorporates the viewer's childhood address to produce satellite imagery from Google’s collections into a visual experience.

    You can experience "Just a Reflektor" here. (Make sure you are using Chrome as your browser.)

    For a more in depth look, here is a screenshot breaking down what your mouse or smartphone can create over the course of the video:

    Arcade Fire Just a Reflektor

    You can explore and experience each effect:

    Arcade Fire Just a Reflektor

    You can also watch this behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the visual music video experience, with commentary from Koblin and Morisset:

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    walt jesse breaking bad

    As "Breaking Bad" is nearing its series finale, we can't fathom — nor do we want to — what the end will bring.

    From everything we've heard from Aaron Paul and Vince Gilligan, it sounds like we'll all have Kleenex handy.

    If that wasn't enough, now we're finding out that there's another ending to the show. 

    Yesterday, Sony Pictures Entertainment released an announcement for the complete series Blu-ray and DVD set to the AMC hit. 

    Check it out:

    breaking bad complete series setAmong the many features on the discs is a three-minute alternate ending to the series and the making to the alternate ending.

    The complete series will come in a collectible barrel representative of Walter White's meth legacy.

    All together, there are more than 55 hours of special features on the discs.

    Here are the best items we see in the set:

    A two-hour documentary on the series
    16-page booklet / letter from creator Vince Gilligan
    Los Pollos Hermanos apron
    Deleted and extended scenes
    Gag reel (The group's gag reels are priceless.) 

    Dig deep. The complete series will go on sale November 26 for $299

    Below are the rest of the features from the release:

    No Half Measures: Creating the Final Season of Breaking Bad - An all-new, exclusive two hour documentary that chronicles the filming of the final eight episodes. 

    Additional bonus features include all previously released featurettes and retail exclusives:

    Bad Memories
     Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul talk about the show ending and some of their favorite moments.

    Bryan Cranston: Director – Go on set with Bryan Cranston as he directs the first episode of the season entitled "Blood Money."
    Scene Envy – The Cast tell us which scene they wish they could have been in.

    Shocking Moments - The stars reveal the moments that shocked them most.

    From Walt to Heisenberg – From high school teacher to deadly meth dealer, watch as Walter White quickly transforms into Heisenberg.

    How Will It End? – At the beginning of the season, the cast was asked to give their thoughts on how they thought the show would end.

    Avenging Agent: Dean Norris as Hank Schrader -- A look at the character Hank Schrader and the man who played him, Dean Norris.

    Scene Stealer: Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader – A look at the character Marie Schrader and the woman who plays her, Betsy Brandt.

    A Criminal Attorney: Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman –A look at the character Saul Goodman and the man who played him, Bob Odenkirk.

    Jesse’s Journey:  Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman – A look at the character Jesse Pinkman and the man who played him, Aaron Paul.

    Skyler Breaks Bad:  Anna Gunn on Season Four – Actress Anna Gunn and series creator Vince Gilligan explore Skyler’s character evolution through the fourth season.

    Growing Up in the White House:  RJ Mitte on Walter, Jr. – RJ Mitte, Anna Gunn, Bryan Cranston and series creator Vince Gilligan discuss the extraordinary dynamics of the White family, and Walter, Jr.’s unique role.

    The Ultimate Chess Match – Members of the cast and crew discuss Walter White and Gus Fring’s extraordinary and complicated battle of wits and their struggle for Jesse’s allegiance.

    Looking Back:  A Season Four Retrospective - Season Four’s most surprising and memorable moments.

    Ted's Wipeout – In Episode 411, “Crawl Space,” Ted Beneke suffers a head injury while trying to escape from Saul’s goons. In this featurette, Christopher Cousins (Ted) explains how this shocking stunt was accomplished.

    The Truck Attack Storyboard Comparison – A side-by-side comparison of the Los Pollos Hermanos truck attack and the brilliant shot-by-shot storyboards that were created for the episode “Bullet Points.”

    Walt and the Challenger Storyboard Comparison – A side-by-side comparison of the sequence where Walt indulges in some crazy stunt driving in Walt Jr.’s Dodge Challenger and the storyboards that were created. 

    In addition to releasing the complete set on Blu-ray, SPHE will release BREAKING BAD: THE FINAL SEASON on both Blu-ray and DVD with UltraViolet on Nov. 26. The final season includes the series’ final eight episodes and is loaded with special features, including all-new featurettes, cast and crew commentaries, deleted scenes and more. Episodes include: Blood Money, Buried, Confessions, Rabid Dog, To’hajiilee, Ozymandias, Granite State and Felina. 

    BREAKING BAD: THE FINAL SEASON Blu-ray Includes:

    • “Blood Money” Table Read – A rare look at the only final season Breaking Bad table read. 

    BREAKING BAD: THE FINAL SEASON Blu-ray & DVD Include:

    • Cast and Crew Commentaries on Every Episode
    • 4 Featurettes
      • The Main Event
      • The Final Showdown
      • Life of a Show Runner
      • Behind-the-Scenes of the Alternate Ending
    • Alternate Ending – A 3-minute alternate version of how Breaking Bad could have ended.
    • Deleted & Extended Scenes
    • Gag Reel
    • Walt’s Confession
    • The Layers of a Sound Mix
    • Over 15 Episodes of Inside Breaking Bad
    • Uncensored and Extended Episodes

    SEE ALSO: Viewers Are Freaking Out Over Sunday's Anxiety-Ridden 'Breaking Bad' Cliffhanger

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    Kristen Stewart

    Harvey Weinstein revealed an interesting tidbit while promoting “12.12.12,” the Hurricane Sandy benefit concert film during the Toronto Film Festival Monday.

    According to the movie mogul, "Twilight" actress Kristen Stewart raised a whopping $500,000 for the Sandy relief effort simply by sitting with a Middle Eastern Prince for a mere 15 minutes.

    Weinstein, who didn't reveal the prince's identity, recalled the incident during a press conference. Here's how he says it went down, according to the NY Times:

    “How much?” Ms. Stewart asked, according to Mr. Weinstein.

    He checked with the prince, who proposed a figure, which Mr. Weinstein promptly raised to $500,000.

    The money was delivered in advance, in cash, Mr. Weinstein said.

    Mr. Dolan [James Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden] locked it up in Madison Square Garden, he said. “And Kristen sits with the guy for 15 minutes.”

    Harvey WeinsteinWeinstein also revealed that Led Zeppelin was asked to play the Hurricane Sandy concert, explaining that an appearance from the band's remaining members could significantly increase the amount of money the benefit raised.

    But the idea fell through after one band member reportedly refused to participate.

    Weinstein explained that after approaching Robert Plant, "We get an OK from Plant if Page will do it ... Jimmy Page doesn't want to do it." Weinstein quipped: "Jimmy Page's lawyer ... Maybe he works for Satan? Maybe he is Satan?" 

    "Undeterred, Weinstein asked Hillary Clinton if she could lend her considerable diplomatic skills to the cause," reports The Huffington Post. "She didn't think that she'd be the best person to talk Led Zeppelin into performing, so she recruited her husband Bill."

    "Bill talked to the group and Jimmy told him no," Weinstein told reporters in Toronto, reportedly while barely concealing his rage.

    As a last ditch effort, Weinstein asked President Barack Obama for help — but it was still a no-go.

    But it wasn't a total loss.

    The concert, which was held at Madison Square Garden in December, went on to raise $30 million for relief efforts.

    Now Watch: Here's How They Make Lingerie Models Look So Good

     

    SEE ALSO: Here's Which Celebrities Are Speaking Out On Syria — And Why Most Are Staying Silent

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    The Harry Potter series is the best-selling series of books in history. With the release of a new 15th anniversary set, it's an excellent opportunity to take a look back on the books. 

    Reddit user duddles— who runs the outstanding Bookmarking Colors Tumblr— took the Amazon eBooks of the novels and plotted out each character mention over time. 

    It's a really great achievement. Fans of the books can find when characters were first introduced, when they became important, and even when they die or exit the plot.

    Duddles gave us permission to reprint the charts.

    Blue represents our core three protagonists. Green represents allies. Brown characters are sympathetic adults, and red characters play an antagonistic role. Black characters comprise supporting cast members.

    Obvious spoilers follow.

    Check them out: 

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    harry potter character mentions

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    harry potter character mentions

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    harry potter character mentions

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    harry potter character mentions

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    harry potter character mentions

    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

    harry potter character mentions

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

     

    harry potter character mentions

    Check out the full blog: Bookmarking Colors

    SEE ALSO: The Awesome Cover Artwork Drawn For Harry Potter's 15th Anniversary

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    Gwyneth Paltrow

    It's Gwyneth Paltrow vs. 100-year-old magazine Vanity Fair and its longtime editor, Graydon Carter.

    The New York Times ran a story on Sunday claiming some celebrities and their publicists are upset that the magazine has toughened its coverage on Hollywood and its stars.

    The piece cited recent examples in the magazine about Brad Pitt’s "World War Z" production disaster and the effect of Scientology on Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ marriage.

    In May, Gwyneth Paltrow willingly appeared on the covers of People and Good Housekeeping — but refused to cooperate with Vanity Fair.

    In an email obtained by the Times, Paltrow allegedly wrote to friends at the time: 

    “Vanity Fair is threatening to put me on the cover of their magazine. If you are asked for quotes or comments, please decline. Also, I recommend you all never do this magazine again.”

    Carter released this statement in response to reports about Paltrow and her posse boycotting the mag:

    “We wouldn’t be doing our job if there wasn’t a little bit of tension between Vanity Fair and its subjects. In any given week, I can expect to hear from a disgruntled subject in Hollywood, Washington, or on Wall Street. That’s the nature of the beast.”

    It's a bold move for Paltrow, as editor Graydon Carter is an influential force in the industry. Not to mention, he hosts the Vanity Fair post-Oscar party — Hollywood's hottest party of the year.

    Graydon CarterBut it may not matter anymore, as the Times notes, "Celebrities and their publicists can now circumvent traditional media outlets and communicate with their fans directly through Twitter and Facebook."

    Leslee Dart, a publicist whose clients include Tom Hanks, Woody Allen and Meryl Streep, agrees, telling the paper, “I don’t think people care the way they used to anymore. It’s not important to them to grovel as they once did. Magazines are less relevant.” 

    Other big Hollywood players disagree.

    “Vanity Fair’s influence is still enormous,” Ron Meyer, president of Universal Studios, told the Times, while Harvey Weinstein said a mention in its pages was “the Good Housekeeping seal of approval in the media world” for a movie.

    So who needs whom more?

    Well, Vanity Fair's newsstand sales have declined 32.9% in the last five years, though that is better than the industry average of 39%, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. 

    In July, the Vanity Fair Web site had 1.2 million unique visitors, reports the Times.

    Gwyneth Paltrow, meanwhile, has 1,726,872 Twitter followers alone — not to mention the circulation of her popular weekly digital media and e-commerce newsletter, Goop.

    A role in this Summer's billion-dollar hit "Iron Man 3" doesn't hurt, either.

    Now Watch: Here's How They Make Lingerie Models Look So Good

     

    SEE ALSO: Rich, High-Society San Francisco Lady Tells Vanity Fair The New Breed Of Tech Billionaires Bore The Hell Out Of Her

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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  • 09/10/13--13:01: Holy, Netflix!
  • Reed Hastings

    Netflix's stock just hit an all-time high of $313 a share.

    This wouldn't be so remarkable except for what happened two years ago.

    Two years ago, after an astounding multi-year run on the strength of a new video streaming business, Netflix stock blew through $300 a share for the first time.

    Netflix, everyone was convinced, had discovered the Next Big Thing.

    Netflix was on its way to becoming The Next HBO.

    Netflix was going to disrupt and revolutionize the television business and make anyone who bet on it fabulously rich.

    But then Netflix made a significant mistake. 

    Netflix announced that it was going to split itself into two different companies. One company would contain Netflix's original DVDs-by-mail business. The other company would be the streaming business. Netflix was going to split into two companies, it explained, because the DVDs-by-mail business was a dying business, and the future was the streaming business.

    Well, the market hated that idea.

    Despite the fact that absolutely nothing at Netflix's businesses had changed, the market destroyed Netflix's stock price. The stock crashed by 75% in three months, to $65 a share. The company, some people said, was obviously going out of business.

    Why did Netflix make this mistake?

    Because Netflix is run by humans.

    Extraordinarily talented, brilliant humans, but humans. And humans occasionally make mistakes.

    But did the market conclude that the extraordinarily talented, brilliant humans who ran Netflix had just made a relatively rare mistake?

    Nope.

    The market concluded that the humans who ran Netflix were so unfathomably stupid that Netflix was obviously screwed.

    That Netflix founder and CEO who had been lionized as a genius on the cover of all those magazines, for example?

    Obviously an idiot.

    Netflix was a terrible company, the market agreed. No price was too low for the company's stock.

    But now, a mere two years later, Netflix is up 400% from the low and setting a new all-time high.

    How?

    Did Netflix pull off some magic recovery?

    Did Netflix introduce some revolutionary new product that no one saw coming?

    Nope.

    Netflix just did its thing--the same thing it was doing when the market threw up in disgust and pulverized Netflix's stock price.

    Netflix just kept investing in its streaming business.

    And, just as many long-term Netflix investors had hoped, the streaming business has turned out to be a pretty good thing.

    So, what's the moral of the Netflix story?

    The same moral as the story of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and many other excellent companies:

    Ignore Wall Street.

    Wall Street is so hyperactive and bi-polar, and so obsessed with meaningless short-term results, that Wall Street causes countless pretty good managers and companies to worry about all the wrong things.

    Want to create the most possible value for shareholders?

    Then start by creating the most possible value for your customers.

    Put your customers first, and, over the long haul, your stock price will take care of itself.

    Well done, Netflix!

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    Fitness Stride 2In four seasons of ABC’s reality pitch show “Shark Tank,” we’ve seen some doozies. Hopefuls have pitched selling “pairs” of socks in threes (because you’re bound to lose one), a portable urinal that looks like a golf club, and flatulence-scented candles. 

    With an average viewership of six million and airtime that’s worth about half a million dollars to the aspiring entrepreneurs who make it on, you’d think every pitch would be thoughtful, well-rehearsed, and airtight. But you’d be wrong. 

    Andrew Figgins, a Chicago-based entrepreneur and owner of the fan site InTheSharkTank.com, says nearly half of the hundreds of pitches that have been made on the show have been awful. The most common problems? Far-fetched ideas, wacky personalities, and lack of basic business knowledge. “The people who have gone on the show and don’t know their numbers get chewed up and spit out,” says Figgins. 

    Ahead of the fifth season’s premiere on Sept. 20, Figgins combs the archives to make his picks for the worst “Shark Tank” pitches of all time.

    Michael J. Desanti pitches a bird feeder that zaps squirrels.

    Episode 423: “Squirrel Boss”

    In the most recent season, Desanti says his interactive bird feeder is the first of its kind, designed to keep pesky squirrels away. The remote-controlled feeder allows owners to “zap” critters with a harmless static shock.



    Desanti demonstrates his invention by shocking Mark Cuban.

    Episode 423: “Squirrel Boss”

    In the demo, most of the Sharks feel the shock themselves, and more so when Desanti asks for $130,000 for a 40% stake.



    The Sharks aren’t feeling electrified enough to invest.

    Episode 423: “Squirrel Boss”

    The Sharks are split between thinking the invention is cruel, crude, or just bad business. When they find out that the product hasn’t been patented, they pass.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
        







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    Google Glass has had a front-row seat at New York Fashion Week, currently underway.

    Models, magazine editors, bloggers, and generally fashionable folks have all been giving the glasses test drives around NYFW home base, Lincoln Center.

    And it's all been well-documented on Instagram, obviously.

    One new Instagram account we came across is @GoogleGlass, which has been doing a great job following fashion week.

    "Project Runway" judge and fashion magazine editrix, Nina Garcia, has been wearing Google Glass everywhere.

    Actress @Kerrywashington took this photos of designer @Zac_Posen and Glass explorer @Imninagarcia at the @officialprojectrunway finale.

    Here's a video of Nina Garcia using Google Glass while at a fashion show. 

    And below is a video of the runway show taken with Google Glass.

    Garcia posted: "BeNina @tommyhilfiger amazing Spring collection! So obsessed #throughglass @marieclairemag."

    Lucky magazine editor Eva Chen posted: "Brave new world: @hannelim testing out my #googleglass! She makes it look chic, no?"

    Fashion bloggers @ihateblonde and @jaglever posed hard outside of Lincoln Center. 

    @SongofStyle blogger Aimee Song accesorized her Google Glass with patterns and a smile.

    @ahmedbraimah and @lvs_y8s looked stylish in Google Glass outside of the shows.

    Chinese actress Zengli and her friends tried out Glass.

    These guys combined a vintage look with the modern Glass.

    @yaelstylist gave it funky flair.

    Blogger @kristina_bazan made Google Glass chic by pairing them with her Valentino and Cavalli duds.

     

    While @antiquesocietyhomme went more street style in his Nike shoes.  

    Google Glass has been pretty much everywhere.

    The talented and Including on this pack of stylish dancers.

    Some paired them more simply with all black.

     

    Or with a mix of black and white.

    And that's a wrap, time to go.

    SEE ALSO: People Magazine Used A Stock Photo Of A Woman Wearing Google Glass And Said It Was Sergey Brin's New Girlfriend

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    daenerys dragon got

    Other than the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens, the dragons on "Game of Thrones" are some of the show's biggest stars.

    The characters may consist of fancy animation, however it's quite an intricate process bringing Daenery's three dragons to life on the HBO series.

    Mike Seymour co-founder of fxguide.com visited video effects studio Pixomondo in Frankfurt, Germany to see how they produced the realistic dragons in conjunction with Wired Magazine.

    His behind-the-scenes look at how the dragons are created is fantastic.

    Here's how one of the dragons on "Game of Thrones looks:



    Since the series debut, they've grown to be pretty large.



    It was up to the Pixomondo visual effects artists in Germany to design concepts of what they would look like.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
        







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    Theresa Vail army beauty queen

    This Sunday's Miss America pageant will be a little different from past years.

    For the first time in history, a contestant will expose her tattoos during the bikini portion of the competition.

    Theresa Vail army beauty queen

    That bold contestant is Miss Kansas, Sgt. Theresa Vail, who also happens to be the second contestant in the military to compete in Miss America.

    Vail, 23, will be breaking a long-standing taboo with her two giant tattoos – the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder and the Serenity Prayer running down her right side. 

    "Why am I choosing to bear my tattoos? My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers," the Miss America hopeful explains to People magazine. "What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can't do the same?"

    Much of Vail's confidence comes from being an expert M16 marksman, a skydiver, a boxer, a mechanic, fluent Chinese speaker, and a bow hunter who can skin a deer and apparently cooks a mean squirrel stew – skills not usually associated with beauty queens.

    Theresa Vail army beauty queen

    "Nobody expects a soldier to be a beauty queen," Vail tells People, "but I'm all about breaking stereotypes." 

    Vail, who recently re-enlisted for six more years in the Kansas Army National guard, hopes to eventually follow in her father's footsteps and become an Army dentist.

    But she also wants to use Miss America to get her message of female empowerment out to young girls.

    "I was bullied when I was a kid. It got so bad that I nearly took my own life," Vail explains to the magazine. "My dad took me hunting with him and it saved my life. Ever since then, I've been an outdoors girl. My passion is empowering girls through male-dominated outdoor sports." 

    She adds, "I know many young girls look at beauty candidates and think, 'What a perfect life they have.' But I want them to know that I haven't led a perfect life. And that beauty comes from the inside."

    Check out Vail's full interview with People here.

    Theresa vail army beauty queen

    SEE ALSO: Google Glass is a big trend at New York Fashion Week

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    Adriana Lima is a Victoria's Secret Angel who's been modeling for 17 years. She's also a mother of two and is one of the world's highest-paid models.

    Despite all her accomplishments, Adriana Lima is still going strong in the modeling game. So, how does she stay in such ridiculous shape?

     

    Produced by William Wei

    SEE ALSO: How They Make Lingerie Models Look So Good

    Follow Us: On YouTube

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    Funny Or Die is giving Apple a run for its money.

    Introducing the iPhone 5F, a "more accessible model" for aspiring iPhone owners who can't afford the 5S or 5C announced on Tuesday.

    Despite rumors that the plastic iPhone would be incredibly affordable, the 5C costs $549 without a carrier contract.

    But the thick as a brick iPhone 5F retails for just $24.99. It has an all-new intelligent personal assistant, Ciris — Siri's younger brother — and only enough processing power to run the retro game Snake.

    Watch the hilarious ad below.

    SEE ALSO: Apple Is Getting Smoked This Morning Thanks To The Expensive iPhone 5C

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    Barack Obama Kerry Washington Usher

    Until recently, most celebrities were staying quiet on the subject of Syria.

    TV legend Ed Asner told The Hollywood Reporter he believes it's because "A lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama."

    While notorious anti-war protester celebs like Sean Penn and George Clooney have remained silent, only Madonna and rapper Azealia Banks spoke out (loudly) on their social media accounts.

    Until now.

    After President Barack Obama addressed the nation on Tuesday to discuss the United States' potential military involvement in Syria, many celebrities finally spoke out on Twitter.

    Here's what they had to say.

    The skeptics:

    The supporters:

    The undecided:

    SEE ALSO: Here's Which Celebrities Are Speaking Out On Syria — And Why Most Are Staying Silent

    And: Obama Answers 5 Big Questions About Syria

    Join the conversation about this story »


        







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    call of duty

    Video games get a bad rap. They are often portrayed as violent, addictive, and a mindless waste of hours that encourage obesity.  

    But that's only part of the story. 

    Computer gaming is a $20 billion industry. In 2012, 58% of Americans played video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association. 

    Most virtual games can be designed to have educational and physical benefits for players. Games that use repetitive actions, such as the swinging of a bat or targeting a moving object, train the brain and muscles to perform better in real-life activities. 

    Video game brain training has the same effect as reading a book or riding a bike — when the brain is learning, thousands of new connections are being formed. The addition of a reward system motivates players to continuously improve their skills.

    A driving game improved memory and focus in older adults.

    In a study published in the journal Nature researchers "discovered that swerving around cars while simultaneously picking out road signs in a video game can improve the short-term memory and long-term focus of older adults," The New York Times reports.

    A group of adults between the ages of 60 and 85 were were recruited to play a game called NeuroRacer for 12 hours over a month. Six months after playing the game, the older adults were better at multitasking, retained more information in a short period of time, and had stronger attention skills.



    People who play action-based games make decisions 25% faster.

    Fast-paced video games typically require quick thinking to avoid being killed. In real-life situations, active gamers have a better sense of what is going around them and are able to make decisions faster, according to scientists from the University of Rochester. 

    In the one study, participants aged 18 to 25 were split into two groups. One group played 50 hours of the action video games "Call of Duty 2" and "Unreal Tournament," and the other group played 50 hours of the strategy game "The Sims 2." The action game players made decisions 25% faster in a task unrelated to playing video games, without sacrificing accuracy.  

    "Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference," study researcher Daphne Bavelier said in a statement.



    Video games improve vision.

    Another study led by Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester, showed that video games improve vision by making players more sensitive to slightly different shades of color, known as contrast sensitivity.

    People who played action-based video games — particularly first-person-shooter games — were 58% better at perceiving fine differences in contrast, the researchers said.

    "When people play action games, they're changing the brain's pathway responsible for visual processing," Bavelier said in a statement. The training might be helping the visual system to make better use of the information it receives.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
        







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    sons of anarchy season 6Warning: Major spoilers below. 

    "Sons of Anarchy" kicked off its sixth season last night with a shocking ending that may have left many unsettled.  

    If you haven't watched the premiere of the FX series, don't read any farther. 

    After an already surprising opening that included rape and a man drowning in urine, during the end of last night's premiere, an 11-year-old boy walked inside a middle school gun drawn, and began firing.  

    The actual violence was not seen on screen. Instead, the camera panned on the outside of the school, through imagery in the child's notebook. A final scene showed the aftermath of the event. 

    The storyline comes after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. that took 27 lives in December 2012. 

    This is far from the first time a school shooting has been on television or film. The most recent airing of a similar instance occurred on an April episode of "Glee." 

    Multiple outlets including THR, EW, and TVGuide.com all spoke with creator Kurt Sutter behind his decision to include the shooting in last night's episode. 

    It's a storyline creator Sutter has wanted to do for some time.

    Sutter told EW this wasn't about him making a "political or social statement about gun violence." Nor was this about shock value, as he told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Rather, after the recent shootings occurred, Sutter told TVGuide.com that while he wasn't aiming to just grab views, he didn't want to simply back down from telling the story the way he wanted.

    "I also felt like, 'I'm not going to not tell this story because I'm afraid that I'm going to get some blowback,'" said Sutter. "The best thing I could do as a storyteller was try to do it in the most organic way."

    soa season 6Ultimately, what could be gathered from the episode is that the gun will be linked back to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club (SAMCRO) who have been illegally selling guns and will affect the crew's relationships in the town of Charming, that up until now, they have ruled. 

    The fallout will also have a profound effect upon character Jax (Charlie Hunnam).

    "We have a father who's deeply troubled with this sense of, 'Can I be an outlaw and still be a good father?'" Sutter says of Jax. "He's very concerned with where his kids are going to go and ultimately how they're going to be impacted by his lifestyle ... how do you not tell that story?"

    However, Sutter made sure to get permission from FX before he began writing the entire season, something which FX Networks CEO John Landgraf supported.

    "My only point of view, and fortunately Kurt shared it, was ... we just didn't want to see anything on-camera," Landgraf told TVGuide.com. "It was understood from the get-go that he was going to find a way of portraying it that was respectful, that was non-explicit."

    "I believe very strongly we did it the right way," Landgraf added. "I can't honestly worry about people who are going to take things out of context. I believe in context; that's why I'm in the business of telling stories."

    As for why Sutter waited until season 6 to air this scene, he tells EW it was not only because of the emotional pull of the story, but also because he knew it would help tie together the series' end.  Sutter plans for "SOA" to end after season 7 according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    Via EW:

    "I waited because I knew that ultimately the emotional and social impact would be great, that it would be hard to have that story happen and then move on to a couple seasons where these guys are selling guns and just livin’ their life. I knew if we did it, it would really have to be at the end and, ultimately, I realized it was a good way to take us to the end."

    SEE ALSO: How The 'Game of Thrones' Dragons Look Without Visual Effects

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    tina brown

    Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast, has agreed to leave the Beast's parent company IAC, Peter Lauria of Buzzfeed reports.

    Lauria's source tells him that Barry Diller, owner of IAC, does not plan to renew Brown's contract when it expires in January. The report does not make it clear what will happen to the Daily Beast itself, though it suggests that Executive Editor John Avlon could well succeed her as top editor at the Beast. Some observers are predicting the publication could soon be for sale, however.

    Diller's support for Brown — a legendary former New Yorker and Vanity Fair editor who worked with IAC to found the site in 2008 — had previously looked absolute, but cracks had begun to show in the last year.

    Of particular embarrassment to IAC was the Newsweek debacle. Brown had been tapped to edit the legendary newsweekly in 2010. However, despite some controversial editorial choices and provocative covers, the Beast-Newsweek merger failed to revive the magazine's fortunes. Newsweek went digital-only at the end of last year and was sold to online news company International Business Times last month for an undisclosed (and likely very small) amount.

    A particularly brutal New York Times story after the Newsweek sale had eviscerated Brown's editorial expense habits and vision for the magazine. Here's one passage:

    "The magazine sent [Newsweek writer Peter] Boyer to Japan hoping he would get an interview with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., even though he had been warned in advance that it was very unlikely (and indeed it never happened). With several days’ notice, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion writer Robin Givhan was sent to Paris to track down the Vogue editor Anna Wintour, even though Ms. Wintour had declined to speak."

    What next for Brown? Sources tell Hadas Gold of Politico that Brown will be launching Tina Brown Live Media. The company will build on the success of Brown's Women in the World conferences and put together events such as "flash debates."

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    Patrick Bateman

    Man, this could be awesome.

    Or man this could totally stink.

    Either way, according to Entertainment Weekly, FX is working on an American Psycho sequel series. It's set to take place years after the movie was set. Patrick Bateman, the handsome but delusional Wall Street banker with no conscience whatsoever,  is 50 and he's taken on a new apprentice.

    We see no mention of Bret Easton Ellis' part in the production, but we're crossing our fingers that the writer has something to do with it.

    For now, here's the official logline via EW:

    In the new drama series, iconic serial killer Patrick Bateman, now in his mid-50’s but as outrageous and lethal as ever, takes on a protégé in a sadistic social experiment who will become every bit his equal — a next generation American Psycho.”

    Like we said, crossing our fingers.

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    mayor rudy saturday night live snl 9/11 9-11

    Less than three weeks after September 11, 2001, the cast and crew of "Saturday Night Live" returned to Studio 8H for one of the most memorable openings of the show's history.

    New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani stood on stage, flanked by two-dozen firefighters and police officers who hadn't yet left Ground Zero.

    Calling "Saturday Night Live" one of New York's greatest institutions, Giuliani said, "Having our city's institutions up and running sends a message that New York City is open for business."

    After a sombering performance of "The Boxer" by Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels joined Giuliani on stage and asked, "Can we be funny?"

    The mayor bantered, "Why start now?" 

    Reese Witherspoon was the host, and Alicia Keys was the musical guest. It was Amy Poehler and Seth Meyer's first episode as new cast members.

    The clip below from a 2006 episode of Sundance Channel and Grey Goose Entertainment's "Iconoclasts" — a series that profiles creative visionaries, including Lorne Michaels and Paul Simon — describes the experience.

    Watch below:

    SEE ALSO: A Compilation Video Of 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Members Breaking Character In Laughter

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