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The latest news from Entertainment

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    NataliePortman Jackie TIFF

    The Toronto International Film Festival is often where Oscar hype is born, and that's certainly the case with Natalie Portman and her latest movie "Jackie," showing here at the fest now.

    Her stirring performance as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy during the aftermath of the assassination of her husband JFK is the talk of the festival. That's largely because many believe she's a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. 

    Portman, who previously won an Oscar for her starring role in 2010's "Black Swan," has the look and unique voice of Kennedy down perfectly, which took a lot of preparation leading up to filming.

    "I read every biography I could get my hands on," she told Business Insider recently. "And we recreated a lot of the White House tour for the film, so that was helpful to see how she walks and how she moves and her facial expressions."

    The movie follows Kennedy as she recounts to a reporter the assassination and planning of her husband's funeral. But the movie also shows the different personas Kennedy had in front of different people — a debutante in public but feisty and no-nonsense behind closed doors.

    Portman picked up on that in her research, which included listening to recorded interviews Kennedy did with biographer Arthur Schlesinger.

    "When she was doing interviews, [her voice] was a lot more girly and soft, and then when you hear her talking to Schlesinger at home, you hear the ice in the glass clinking and the voice is a little deeper and her wit comes out more," Portman said. "So you get this real sense of the two sides."

    "Jackie" will open in theaters on December 9.

    SEE ALSO: Natalie Portman talks directing her first movie and why you'll never see her on social media

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This incredibly detailed Batman costume just set a Guinness World Record


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    nick johnson make pokemon great again

    Last week was a big week for Niantic Labs, the developer of Pokémon Go, as CEO John Hanke, took the stage at Apple’s iPhone launch event.

    There, Hanke announced that Pokémon Go will be coming to the Apple Watch (eventually) and bragged that Pokémon Go had surpassed 500 million downloads, making it one of the most downloaded games ever.

    Yet if you looked at the news surrounding the game the past few weeks, you wouldn't’t know it. Video game industry analysts have found that Pokémon Go has around 30 million daily active players, as of last count in late August. That's still very good, but it's started to flag lately after exploding when the app first launched.

    And for many, the Pokémon Go fatigue is very real, as the initial joy of being able to play out your Pokémon-catching dreams in the real world has lost some of its luster and some of the updates have negatively affected the user experience.

    That’s true even for me. After I became the first person in the world to catch every Pokémon available in the game (yes, I really “caught ‘em all”), my time playing the game has steadily declined in recent weeks. And many other players I’ve talked to on Snapchat and Twitter feel similarly.

    nick johnson pikachu kohachu pokemon go

    Despite its early success, Pokémon Go still has some glaring holes it needs to address if it wants to sustain its early momentum.

    For inspiration, Niantic, and other game-makers looking to emulate its success, should look to another social gaming platform that was in the news recently: Blizzard Entertainment’s "World of Warcraft."

    World of Pokémon

    World of Warcraft (or “WoW,” as it’s colloquially known) launched its sixth expansion at the beginning of this month. WoW, which is now approaching its 12th anniversary, was launched in November 2004, predating YouTube, Twitter, and the iPhone.

    Back when WoW first launched, MySpace was still cool. Yet, unlike MySpace, the game is still going strong with millions of monthly subscribers — while the number has slid, "World of Warcraft" still had 7 million subscribers as of spring 2015 and retains a strong core of die-hard players.

    world of warcraft

    Like Pokémon Go, WoW built its initial success on the back of a franchise that appealed to multiple generations of gamers. But the biggest attraction for players is that there’s so much to do in the game – and there are a lot of other people to do it with.

    Just the hits

    Gaming is a hit-based industry. Games come and go very quickly, especially in mobile. But almost all of the games that have enjoyed sustained success are essentially social gaming platforms. As with all good businesses, the most successful games are the ones that build lasting networks. At their core, these games aren't’t just entertainment, but also ways for people to connect with and play alongside other people.

    Pokémon Go has a long way to go. Although it has been a remarkable success in the way it has encouraged players to interact with each other in the real world, there’s surprisingly no way for players to directly interact with each other within the game.

    Clash of Clans

    The only player vs. player element in the game, Pokémon gyms, actually involves fighting AI controlled Pokémon rather than other players. A strong player vs. player component has been a hallmark of many successful games, from WoW and "Overwatch" to "Counter-Strike" and "League of Legends."

    Additionally, Pokémon Go needs to add team play into the mix. The game already has the structure to do this in place, with players each choosing one of three teams (Valor, Mystic, or Instinct) for gym battles.

    Successful mobile games such as "Clash of Clans," as well as more traditional games like "Minecraft," are built around the idea of working together with other players to accomplish bigger goals. This is another critical component missing in Pokémon Go.

    Lowered expectations

    The game’s original concept trailer featured an epic battle where thousands of players worked together to capture the legendary Pokémon, Mewtwo.

    Yet nothing like that has made it’s way into the app as of yet. Given the huge crowds the game has attracted already, you can imagine the excitement if Niantic were to release a major team-based event. But the clock is ticking, as many players are starting to lose interest.

    Also, Pokémon Go is lacking the complex in-game economy that most social gaming platforms have.

    niantic john hanke

    Dating all the way back to "Everquest," a game that’s survived since 1999, up to today’s simple mobile games like "Hay Day," successful social games provide players the opportunity to specialize and trade with other players as way to maximize their time and money investments in the game.

    Pokémon Go has hinted at introducing Pokémon trading, a hallmark of all of the original franchise’s games, yet this addition could still be some way off.

    To be a master

    Finally, perhaps the biggest hole in Pokémon Go is that the game has neglected to capitalize on the huge world of Pokémon lore, stretching back through multiple games and multiple decades of the Pokémon TV show. The lack of any kind of story element in the game means that many people find that the initial experience gets stale after a few weeks.

    Now, Niantic may be hampered by not having the rights to use some of this content, but it also could have done a lot more to weave the world of Pokémon into the real world landmarks and locations it takes players to on the map.

    ash ketchum pikachu

    To be fair, Niantic has hinted that some of these features are coming. It’s already teased player vs. player battling and suggested that big things were coming for teams. But for a game that’s been so successful, it’s surprising how little there actually is to do within the game.

    Here’s hoping Niantic and other game makers looking to capitalize on the future of AR gaming learn from their predecessors before it’s too late.

    Nicholas L. Johnson is the co-author of "Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy," and Head of Platform at Applico, where he oversees the company's research into how platforms work. In August, he became the first Pokémon Go player to successfully travel the world and capture all 145 monsters currently in the game.

    SEE ALSO: Pictures from Nick Johnson's trip around the world to catch every Pokémon in Pokémon Go

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A restaurant's serving Pokemon burgers – but there's a twist when you buy one


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    nelly hot in herre

    After TMZ reported that rapper Nelly owed $2.4 million in taxes to the IRS, fans of the rapper took to Twitter on Tuesday to propose that everyone help Nelly out with his financial troubles by streaming his songs en masse.

    Accordingly, the hashtags "#HotInHerreStreamingParty" and "#SaveNelly" trended on Twitter, as Nelly fans voiced their support for the rapper and returned to his 2002 single "Hot in Herre" for repeated listening.  

    As Spin points out, though, Nelly fans would have to stream the song over 287 million times on Spotify for the rapper to make enough to cover his debt. 

    The streaming service announced recently that it pays artists between $0.006 and $0.0084 per song stream, so 287 million streams would correspond to a "high end" payout. If Nelly were to receive the minimum $0.006 per stream, fans would have to stream "Hot in Herre" or any song from Nelly's streaming catalog over 402 million times. 

    While it's likely that the movement will be in vain given those staggering figures, here are some of the best Twitter reactions from #HotInHerreStreamingParty and #SaveNelly's attempts to alleviate Nelly's finanical predicament:

    Stream "Hot in Herre" on repeat below, via Spotify.

    SEE ALSO: The incredible rise and tragic murder of Tupac, who died 20 years ago

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us why 'Star Trek' is so much better than 'Star Wars'


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    Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and former O.J. Simpson lawyer stopped by Business Insider to talk to senior editor Josh Barro. He discussed how "The People v. O. J. Simpson" failed to include key information about the trial.

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Kor Adana

    USA Network's "Mr. Robot" is the first television show to really get hacking right with its realistic depictions of technical details and hacker culture, and one of the main reasons for that is just one man: Kor Adana, a former hacker himself who now serves as a staff writer and technical consultant on the show.

    “From what I’ve seen in a lot of film and television, it’s the hacker [being depicted] in the dark basement with the glowing screen," said Adana, at a Monday night event on hackers in film and television hosted at Google's office in Venice, California.

    That depiction is inaccurate to say the least. And it's one that Adana, a former network security analyst for Toyota, has worked diligently to correct over two seasons of "Mr. Robot." That work has paid off, since the critically-acclaimed show is beloved by real hackers, security professionals, and even non-techies for its drama and realism.

    For those unfamiliar, here's the basic premise of the show: Elliott (played by Rami Malek) is a respectable employee of a cybersecurity firm by day, but by night, he's a hacker taking on the world around him with his technical skills, going after everyone from child porn peddlers to adulterers.

    Real world testing

    Eventually Elliot gets recruited into a hacker group, led by the pseudonymously-named "Mr. Robot," to infiltrate and take down a global conglomerate known as E Corp (which is referred throughout as Evil Corp). While Elliott also has a very bad drug addiction and makes an unreliable narrator, his hacks are legitimate — right down to the tools and code depicted onscreen.

    "Everything in the show is feasible," Adana said.

    At the Google event, Adana explained how the show maintains this accuracy, and it starts with an interesting choice for showrunner and creator Sam Esmail: Figuring out whether something is going to work before it's written into the script.

    mr robot

    In the writer's room, Esmail and others will usually go to Adana and explain what they want Elliott to do: Perhaps they want him to gain access to a bank or take over someone's smartphone, for example. Then it's up to Adana to figure out whether it can actually be done.

    "For us, if the hack isn't feasible in real life, it doesn't get in the script," he said. Once he learns what Esmail wants, he'll reach out to his team of consultants, which include other experts such as Marc Rogers, an information security manager with CloudFlare and head of security for the Def Con hacking conference; and Michael Bazzell, a former FBI cybercrime investigator who now teaches open source intelligence-gathering techniques.

    After they figure it out — with Adana often performing the hack himself as a test — he'll bring it back and say yeah, it can be done. Interestingly, Adana has to clear many of his hacks with USA's legal department first, since they need to sign off  on the depiction of certain tools, such as the Social Engineer Toolkit or ransomware code known as Cryptowall.

    "We fudge the timing"

    Once Adana gets the okay, the graphics team recreates the hack in Flash animation so the computer screens in front of the actors display what a hacker would really be doing. Unlike other shows which would use a blank screen and then insert computer code in post-production, "Mr. Robot" has the animation right there in front of the actor, and Adana shows them where to place their fingers and when to type.

    Adana does have just one criticism of the show, which has been mentioned by some critics. “If there is one criticism of our own work," Adana said. "It is that we fudge the timing.”

    The hacks are carried out very fast onscreen, but that is understandable when you have an hour-long show that needs to depict the cracking of a password that would take a normal hacker days, if not weeks, to get through. Adana also mentioned that he tries to keep a low online profile, and doesn't share nearly as much about himself as many people do on social media, for fear of it aiding those who might try and hack him.

    And the realization among actors on the show that what they do on the show can be done in real life, along with Adana's own security-mindedness, certainly has made the crew wary.

    “There is a healthy level of paranoia there," he told Business Insider.

    SEE ALSO: This is the powerful speech the real Edward Snowden gives at the end of the new 'Snowden' movie

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: NASA is bringing back one of its most experimental and dangerous programs


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    Frame.io founders

    With the rise of video on sites like Facebook and Snapchat, and more and more media companies realizing its importance, there comes a new set of problems: How can everyone from producers to executives work together on a video project?

    That's where Frame.io comes in.

    The video review and collaboration platform launched in April 2015 after founder Emery Wells had experienced that problem while running his own video production company. Wells was creating Super Bowl commercials and digital shorts for "Saturday Night Live," but was having challenges collaborating with everyone involved in the process. 

    "We were using this mishmash of different services at my post-production company and it was just such a crappy experience," Wells told Business Insider. "We started looking for other solutions, but everything we found was either really bad, really expensive, or both. So we decided to spend a few months and build a simple solution for ourselves, but as we started building it, we realized we weren’t the only ones who felt this way." 

    With Frame.io — which has both a web application and an iPhone app, which won an Apple Design Award last June — users can create a project, upload all the materials, and share it with all the participants in the project. Users can leave time-stamped comments on the video, add annotation, and even draw directly on the video frame.

    Frame.io UISoon after its launch, Wells says Frame.io quickly took off in the video production world, and the company raised a $2.2 million seed round last October. Now, the company has clients ranging from Tesla to Yale University to NASA, and is closing a $10 million Series A round. The round is led by Accel Partners with participation from SignalFire, FirstMark Capital, and Shasta Ventures.

    The company is also adding strategic investors from the production industry. Actor Jared Leto is returning as an investor and joining the company's advisory board, and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman, Warner Bros. President Greg Silverman, and actor Kevin Spacey are also investors. 

    "The battle for attention on the internet and mobile is going to include some form of video moving forward, and that’s just created this necessity for all kinds of new companies to have the capability of creating video in house," Wells said. "Frame.io is built for all the participants in the process, not just the video editors. The tool is really built for the business of creating video."

    SEE ALSO: Meet the startup that wants to help sublet your apartment — and is totally legal in New York

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 incredibly tiny iPhone details only superfans know about


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    sega nintendo

    For millions of people around the world, the war between Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog was serious business.

    And for Nintendo and Sega, it was actually serious business. Nintendo controlled north of 90% of the video game market before Sega — and a speedy blue cartoon hedgehog named Sonic — showed up. 

    "Sonic the Hedgehog" — the original Sega Genesis game, not the character — is beloved among game fans of a certain age. He was the hard-edged Sega equivalent of Nintendo's goofy, floppy-hatted Super Mario. Moreover, his debut game was really, really good. (It didn't hurt that Sega included the game for free with new Genesis consoles, making it the first-ever successful free-to-play game.)

    For years, fans have wanted a return to the original, 16-bit-era version of "Sonic the Hedgehog" that they grew up with. And now, those fans are taking over the creation of exactly such a project.

    This is "Sonic Mania":

    Sonic Mania

    Sega's supporting the project, which is a re-boot of the original game plus a mess of new levels. You can play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles — something you could only otherwise do in "Sonic the Hedgehog 3."

    Sonic Mania

    The game takes the original game, adds in new levels, at least one new move for Sonic (some type of spin-dash...thing), and enables you to play as the series' most iconic stars. 

    Frankly speaking, it looks fantastic. Take a look at the game's first trailer below — the game otherwise launches in 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. There's even this crazy-fresh collector's edition that comes with a Sonic the Hedgehog statue with a Sega Genesis base. That may be too much nostalgia, even for us.

    Here it is:

    Sonic Mania

    And here's the game's first trailer — take a look!

    SEE ALSO: The legendary cocreator of 'Warcraft,' 'Diablo,' and 'StarCraft' is retiring at age 42

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: You can finally play Super Mario on your iPhone


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    donald trump hillary clinton deplorables late night seth meyers nbc

    Seth Meyers pointed out the hypocrisy of Donald Trump's response to Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment on Tuesday's "Late Night."

    Although earlier this week, Meyers chastised Clinton for saying that "you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," referring to bigoted views among Trump's base, he has since turned his attention to Trump's response in a new "A Closer Look" segment.

    After Clinton issued an apology for saying "half," but not for using the word "deplorables," the Republican presidential candidate called for her to fully apologize for the statement or step down from the presidential run.

    "But if you had to drop out every time you insulted millions of people and refused to apologize, your campaign announcement speech would've sounded like this," Meyers said, before playing a clip showing Trump calling Mexican immigrants drug smugglers, criminals, and rapists in his in his July 2015 campaign announcement speech, then splicing in footage of Trump saying, "I am officially quitting."

    Meyers agrees that Clinton made a "lazy, sweeping generalization," but says there's a "core truth" in her comment.

    "You can't deny that Trump's candidacy has attracted support from white nationalists and their followers, like former KKK leader David Duke," the host explained. "And on top of that, polling suggests that two-thirds of Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim. And 59% of Trump supporters believe Obama was not born in the United States."

    He then played a clip of one campaign reporter who said she's repeatedly told by Trump supporters that they believe Obama is a Muslim. They've also told her that he's an undercover operative, aka a "Manchurian candidate."

    "Okay, but if Obama really is a Manchurian candidate, here's my question: What is he waiting for?" Meyers said. "When is he going to make his move? He's got like four months left. He is going to wait for his last day to say, 'As my final act, I'd like to announce these wetlands as a national park, and also, Sharia law is our Constitution now. Bye!"

    Watch the video below:

    SEE ALSO: Samantha Bee: Why journalists are failing to call out Donald Trump on his lies

    DON'T MISS: Here are all of Stephen Colbert's best political takedowns in one video

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Clinton's latest ad slams Pence for refusing to call former KKK leader David Duke 'deplorable'


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    rogue one disney

    Turner, which owns TBS and TNT, has bought the rights to all 1o films in the "Star Wars" franchise, including "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One" as well as the episodes following "Force Awakens" that are yet to be released.

    According to a press release on Wednesday, TNT will begin airing the original six "Star Wars" films over six consecutive nights, starting Tuesday, September 20.

    TNT is set to premiere last year's blockbuster "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in early 2018, followed in 2019 by this year's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

    Deadline reported that the deal cost Turner an estimated $200 million.

    In addition, Turner owns the rights to "Star Wars: A New Hope," the 1977 film that started the franchise, through a separate deal with 20th Century Fox. That makes Turner the only company with basic cable rights to all 11 titles in the collection.

    Here's a schedule for the upcoming marathon on TNT:

    Tuesday, September 20
    8 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace"
    11 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace"

    Wednesday, September 21
    8 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones"
    11:05 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones"

    Thursday, September 22
    8 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith"
    11:05 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith"

    Friday, September 23
    8 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: A New Hope"
    10:45 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: A New Hope"

    Saturday, September 24
    10:45 a.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace"
    1:45 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones"
    4:55 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith"
    8 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back"
    10:45 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back"

    Sunday, September 25
    5:15 a.m. "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace"
    8:15 a.m. "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones"
    11:20 a.m. "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith"
    2:25 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: A New Hope"
    5:10 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back"
    8 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi"
    11 p.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi"
    2 a.m. (ET/PT) – "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace"

    SEE ALSO: Lucasfilm and ABC are in talks for a 'Star Wars' TV show — here are the details

    DON'T MISS: Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks 'Star Trek' is better than 'Star Wars' — but he prefers this show over them both

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us why 'Star Trek' is so much better than 'Star Wars'


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    blindspot season two main.JPGWarning: spoilers below for the first and upcoming second season of NBC's "Blindspot."

    There are a few changes on NBC's "Blindspot" when it returns for its second season on Wednesday at 8 p.m. But the show's creator insists that they're meant to capitalize on what worked during its first season.

    "It’s a brutal thing, making the first season of a TV show," "Blindspot" creator Martin Gero told Business Insider recently. "You learn a lot of lessons — the hard way, the easy way. So definitely as we went into season two, one of the first things you do is you really want to sit and do a postmortem of ‘What did we do great?’ and ‘What did we struggle with?’"

    With that said, Gero said the show will continue to play around with tone and character. New characters will change up relationships and bring other agencies into play. But Gero wants to make sure that fans know the show isn't abandoning the story it's built up.

    "We’re not reinventing what the show is," he said. "All these things I’m talking about are to augment. It’s an augmentation, not a transformation for us."

    Coming out of the first season, the Mayfair and Taylor Shaw chapters closed after their confirmed deaths. Jane (Jaimie Alexander) kills her ex-boyfriend Oscar (François Arnaud) during a fight, but not before he tells her that a person named Shepherd has been pulling the strings all this time. Shepherd's first phase ended with getting rid of Mayfair and getting Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) promoted to FBI assistant director. And the second phase was just starting. In the end, Weller arrested Jane.

    Here are 10 more things to expect on season two:

    SEE ALSO: The fabulous and fast-rising career of Jaimie Alexander, the star of fall's top TV show 'Blindspot'

    DON'T MISS: The 20 best new TV shows this fall you need to watch

    The action scenes and stunts will be bigger.

    "You learn as producers of a show what you’re capable of and what you’re not capable of and we really learned how to do action in a much more efficient way than we did at the beginning of the year," Gero said. "So I think you’ll see in season two, we have this phenomenal motorbike chase that we never would have been able to figure out how to do if it hadn’t been for season one. So it’s like you’ll see a real uptick in the production value of the show. This year is outrageous and amazing."



    The show's new earlier time slot means it will be lighter, less violent.

    As a side effect of its move to the 8 p.m. time slot for its second season, the show will be letting go of some of its darker tones.

    "We’re not going to shoot anyone in the head anymore. So right off the bat, no more head shots on 'Blindspot,'" Gero joked during the Television Critics Association press tour this summer.

    He then continued, "Obviously, we’re toning back some of the violence. I don’t think the show will be unrecognizable for people that love the show at 10 p.m. And the reality is, people watch it at all hours of the day now... But one of the things we have found toward the end of the first season, something we’re really leaning into, is the sense of fun and a little bit more lightness so the show isn’t all doom and gloom. There are those moments of humor and those lighter character moments that I think we did really well with last season."



    You won't have to wait long to meet Shepherd.

    Who is the show's new Big Bad, the person who has been the architect of everything that has transpired so far? Fans will get that answer very quickly on the second season.

    "You’ll meet Shepherd almost right away," Gero promised.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    crisis in six scenes trailer woody allen miley cyrus amazon

    Amazon just released the first full trailer for its upcoming Woody Allen comedy, his first foray into series television.

    Titled "Crisis in Six Scenes," the six-episode series will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on September 30.

    "Crisis in Six Scenes" takes place in turbulent 1960s America. Pop singer and actress Miley Cyrus plays a guest who turns a middle-class suburban family's household upside-down with her Communism-influenced views and hippie lifestyle.

    Allen will star on the series as the traditionalist father, with veteran Elaine May playing his wife. It also stars Rachel Brosnahan ("Manhattan") and John Magaro ("Carol").

    Previously, Allen had voiced regret about taking the show deal. At last year's Cannes Film Festival, he called the decision "a catastrophic mistake" after discovering that TV is harder to write, produce, and direct than he thought.

    Watch the trailer below:

    SEE ALSO: Here's the first clip of Woody Allen's new Amazon series

    SEE ALSO: The 20 best new TV shows this fall you need to watch

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Don’t be afraid to cancel cable — here’s how to watch all of your favorite shows for less than $42 a month


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    game of thrones dany dragon

    HBO's "Game of Thrones" became the most decorated drama series in TV history on Saturday when it took home nine Emmy wins at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmys (the behind-the-scenes awards) — leaving the show's tally at 35 total wins.

    On Sunday, at the Primetime Emmy Awards show, "Game of Thrones" has the potential to move even further up the all-time Emmy list, as it still has eight nominations in play.

    And with two more seasons to go, the HBO mega-hit has the chance to do some real damage to the Emmy rankings in the coming years. In a list dominated by comedies with extensive runs, it could eventually become the most Emmy-winning show ever.

    Here are the top 10 shows with the most Emmy wins ranked:

    SEE ALSO: Here are all the nominees for the 2016 Emmy Awards

    SEE ALSO: The 20 most-watched TV episodes ever, ranked

    10. "Modern Family" — 22 wins and 77 nominations

    ABC's hit sitcom "Modern Family" won the Emmy for outstanding comedy series in each of its first five seasons. This year, the show has received four nominations, including one for outstanding supporting actor for Ty Burrell, which he has previously won twice.



    9. "ER" — 23 wins and 124 nominations

    NBC's medical drama ran for 15 seasons (and helped make George Clooney famous). In 1996, it won the Emmy for outstanding drama series. The majority of its Emmy wins are for technical awards, such as sound mixing, sound editing, and graphic design, but it also boasts the most nominations of any drama series in TV history. 



    8. "The West Wing" — 26 wins and 95 nominations

    Aaron Sorkin's NBC serial political drama explored the Oval Office controversies of a fictional president and won the Emmy for outstanding drama series four consecutive times between 2000 and 2003. Sorkin won an Emmy for outstanding writing in the show's first season, but he lost his four other nominations in the field. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    In March 2013, a 25-year-old Miami resident named Jia Li ordered a new laptop. Nothing fancy, just a $400-$500 notebook.

    He ordered it from Microsoft's website, which has a store

    When the package arrived a few days later, it looked strange.

    "The box had a lot of security tape over it," Li explained to Business Insider in a phone interview. "So I was wondering, 'What is that?' I opened it, and it's something I've never seen before." 

    Xbox One (beta)

    If this looks familiar to you, perhaps you own an Xbox One? It's white, and it's got some crazy disco tape on the left side, but it's an Xbox One all right.

    Xbox One

    Except, when Jia Li got this Xbox One, there was no Xbox One— it didn't exist yet, as far as the public knew.

    At that point in time, Microsoft was still two months from even announcing the Xbox One console, and a whopping eight months from its public debut.

    There were leaks about the so-called project "Durango" / "Kryptos" (depending on who you spoke with at the time) — and it's an open secret that every game console maker is constantly looking at their next two or three projects. One hacker in Australia even managed to get his hands on a development kit for the Xbox One

    But this console — the one with zebra tape that bares a striking resemblance to the Xbox One sold in stores today — is unique in one incredible way: Microsoft sent it, by accident, to a regular customer. And it happened months before the console was on sale.

    Okay, okay — that's ridiculous. How'd it happen?

    With a company the size of Microsoft, mistakes are bound to happen. We're talking a company of over 100,000 people. Projects leak. Emails leak. Private quarrels become public.

    This stuff happens, and Microsoft's keenly aware.

    These leaks are just from Microsoft. Apple's iPhone 7 leaked in entirety ahead of Apple's announcement on September 7. Apple even leaked the phone itself, on Twitter, before Tim Cook could talk about it on stage. 

    And hey, remember when an Apple employee left his prototype iPhone 4 in a bar and Gizmodo got it? Right. This stuff happens.

    To understand how a prototype Xbox One goes from hidden behind a wall of non-disclosure agreements at a major corporation in Redmond, Washington, to a living room in suburban Florida, it's important to understand the high-pressure first half of 2013 for both Microsoft's Xbox division and Sony's PlayStation division. 

    Xbox vs Playstation

    Though both consoles leaked relatively extensively, Sony attempted to get ahead of the mess: The PlayStation 4 was announced on February 20, 2013. Microsoft, on the other hand, didn't announce the Xbox One until May 21, 2013. That led to months of tension: What would Microsoft's response to Sony be?

    Walking into a major console announcement on the defensive isn't a great way to start the life of an expensive piece of luxury electronics. Between ongoing Xbox One leaks (that didn't look favorable for Microsoft on paper) and Sony's early announcement of the PlayStation 4, Microsoft's Xbox team was worried about any more leaks that could cause harm before the official announcement.

    So somebody had an idea: Hide these beta consoles in plain sight.

    Where's Waldo Ancient Rome

    In an attempt to throw off Microsoft's own employees, the beta versions of the Xbox One were stored in the open, in a less-than-secure part of a Microsoft shipping facility. And that's how one accidentally got shipped to Mr. Li in place of the laptop he'd ordered, which would've shipped from the same facility.

    Maybe the wrong shipping label got put on a box with an Xbox One prototype in it. Maybe it was a computer error that switched his laptop order for an Xbox One prototype. Maybe something else entirely! Either way, off one went.

    "It was a pretty good-sized box. It was not that big. Large, but not that big. It could be right for a computer," Li told Business Insider.

    It arrived on or near March 23, 2013 — just about two months before Microsoft's Xbox One announcement event in Redmond.

    Xbox One (beta)

    Li opened the box. Inside, he found the Xbox One beta console, a myriad of international plugs (presumably so the console could be sent anywhere in the world), and some paperwork.

    No Xbox One gamepad. No Xbox One Kinect camera/microphone array. Just the console itself and the means to plug it in. So he plugged it in to his TV, and to the wall, and he turned it on. 

    This is what he saw:

    Xbox One (beta)

    Of the two codenames for the Xbox One ahead of launch, "Kryptos" is the one that showed up on his TV screen. 

    Li plays video games — he currently owns both an Xbox One and a PlayStation 4 — but he's "not really a big gamer," he says. Still, he knew of the leaks surrounding the so-called "Xbox 720." That was the nickname that many gave the Xbox One before it was announced, a shorthand for easily referring to "whatever Microsoft releases after the Xbox 360." (Get it? 360 + 360 = 720!)

    Li knew he had something interesting on his hands, and he didn't want to rush it back to Microsoft before finding out more. That's where I come into the story.

    In March 2013, I was working at AOL-owned tech publication Engadget. Li emailed the tips line with an email titled, "I have the xbox 720 krytos console beta version." Soon after, Li sent over the images you've seen in this piece. We checked the QR code on the top of the box — it led to a site with "Microsoft confidential" noted several times.

    But what about that weird black and white tape all over the Xbox One? What's that about?

    zebra

    It's a trick used in production to — so the logic goes — make prototypes harder to photograph. CNET Roadshow leader (and my former boss) Tim Stevens knew of the trick from the automotive world. 

    As the New York Times wrote in 2010, "Test cars are wearing swirling paisley patterns, harlequin-style diamonds and cubist zigzags." According to the car photographers interviewed in that piece, the tape isn't stopping them from capturing prototypes in the wild.

    Nor did it in this case. 

    So, what happened to the Xbox One prototype?

    After some negotiations, Mr. Li and Microsoft made contact. In March 2013, a Microsoft representative arrived at Mr. Li's house and retrieved the prototype Xbox One. Mr. Li was given a new Xbox 360 and Kinect for his trouble. He also finally got the laptop he ordered. 

    Two months later, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One in Redmond. Another six months after that, it was on store shelves. 

    Microsoft declined to comment on this story.

    SEE ALSO: Disney just shut down a huge project that was supposed to be worth billions — insiders reveal what went wrong

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    Kevin Winter justin timberlake britney spears

    Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears have had a turbulent past, but it now looks like the two pop stars are down to reunite on record. 

    Spears cited Timberlake last month when asked about her dream collaborators, and Timberlake recently responded in kind to E! Online at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    "She did? Sure! Absolutely, absolutely," Timberlake said, upon learning that Spears name-dropped him as a potential collaborator. "I have a 17-month-old, so I don't get the headline news. I apologize for not being in the know.

    "I'm accessible," he added. "Give us a call!"

    Timberlake has never appeared on the same song as Spears.

    Previously, the former NSYNC star admitted that he wrote his 2002 hit single "Cry Me a River" after a heated argument with Spears, whom he was dating at the time. 

    Watch Timberlake's interview with E! Online below:

    SEE ALSO: Here's your first look at the Justin Timberlake concert film that Netflix just purchased

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    Matthew McConaughey Mike Windle Getty

    With the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival still going on, most of the biggest movie stars in the world have flown to Canada to be part of the festivities.

    From Leonardo DiCaprio promoting his documentary on the environment ("Before the Flood") to David Oyelowo's upcoming Disney title ("Queen of Katwe") and Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling's musical that everyone will be talking about ("La La Land"), they are all here.

    Check out the biggest stars on the Toronto film festival red carpet, from Matthew McConaughey to Chris Pratt, below.   

    SEE ALSO: The 20 best new TV shows this fall you need to watch

    This year's festival kicked off with the world premiere of the Western "The Magnificent Seven," starring Chris Pratt...



    and Denzel Washington as two of the main guns for hire.



    Another star who made the crowds (and critics) go crazy was Amy Adams, who's in the Oscar-hopeful sci-fi movie "Arrival."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    When it comes to the PlayStation 4, you've got a few options if you're in the market.

    You could buy the original:

    PlayStation 4

    The new, slimmer version of the original:

    PS4 Slim

    Or the similarly new, larger, more powerful PlayStation 4 "Pro":

    PlayStation 4 Pro

    That's a lot of PlayStations! Thankfully, you only need to know about two of them. That's because the original PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 4 Slim are the same console with different exteriors. One's a bit slimmer, a bit rounder, but they're identical on the inside. And that's what counts, right?

    When it comes to the PS4 Pro, you're looking at a different beast altogether. It's more powerful than the other two PlayStation 4 consoles, yes, but the big selling point is being able to produce both games and movies in 4K.

    Detroit (game)

    You know 4K, right? That's the successor to high-definition in terms of resolution. It's the next step in making TV, movies, and games look better than ever. 

    There's only one downside: You need to own a 4K TV to take advantage of the higher resolution. And 4K TVs aren't cheap. You're looking at $800 to $1,000 at least — and that's on the low side of things.

    Except, in the case of the PlayStation 4 Pro, even folks with standard high-def TV sets — most people — will get even prettier games than usual. There's a simple reason for that: Game developers can use the PlayStation 4 Pro's increased power for other stuff! What kind of other stuff? 

    Here's the technical explanation, care of the PlayStation 4 Pro FAQ that Sony recently published:

    "Depending on how the developer chooses to use the increased processing power, games with PS4 Pro support are able to render higher or more consistent framerates, increased environmental and character model detail, improved overall visual quality, and other related visual enhancements."

    Simply put: The power can be used for other things, and many of those things have a major impact.

    Being able to lock the framerate of a game — the number of image frames that a game is able to render per second — is really meaningful. Ever play a game and, when a lot of stuff is happening on the screen, the game slows down? That's because it's "dropping frames" — the hardware is having a hard time processing all the information on the screen, and so it compensates by pulling away processing horsepower from other stuff (like how many frames are being rendered on screen per second, for instance). With the PlayStation 4 Pro, there's more than enough power to go around.

    But wait, there's more!

    uncharted 4

    A variety of games on the PlayStation 4, pretty as they are, don't get rendered in 1080p — so-called "true" HD. Instead, they're slightly smaller (think: 900p). The PlayStation 4 "upscales" the games to 1080 instead of them being produced in 1080. Essentially, the image is stretched as a result. 

    Not on the PS4 Pro, though — it can take your close-to-but-not-quite HD game and make sure it's running in 1080p. 

    The PlayStation 4 Pro launches on November 10 and costs $400. It doesn't come with a 4K TV, sadly.

    SEE ALSO: Sony just unveiled a monstrous new game console called 'PlayStation 4 Pro'

    DON'T MISS: This is why you should (or shouldn't) buy the newest PlayStation 4 instead of waiting for November's souped-up model

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    Peter Dinklage Tyrion Lannister Game of Thrones 2015 Emmys

    As blockbuster TV has become a bigger and bigger business for Hollywood, the allure of the Emmys has skyrocketed.

    Networks, including streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, are spending a whopping $60 to $80 million on their Emmy campaigns this year, according to Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw, who cites people familiar with the costs. Bloomberg says even one "elaborate DVD mailer" to academy members can run $400,000 or more.

    Why is that? It's because that's how people decide what's good TV. “They are the only thing that seems to resonate with the general population,” FX CEO John Landgraf told Bloomberg“One of HBO’s most important business strategies was to have the most Emmy nominations each year."

    Because of that, Emmy campaigns are a yearlong affair, plotted out like a political campaign, with consultants and events. Netflix itself sent out five separate DVD packages this year, Bloomberg reports.

    Netflix scored 54 nominations this year, good enough for third place, but behind HBO (94) and FX (56). Netflix's 59% increase from last years nominations haul was also the highest percentage change of any network. FX fared well with a 47% increase, as did Amazon, with a 33% increase (though it only got 16 nominations). HBO, though it had the most nominations, saw a decrease of 25%.

    This is good news for Netflix, as it shows that its big push for original content is starting to bear fruit. Netflix's original monster hit, "House of Cards," picked up a slew of nominations, as did docuseries standout "Making a Murderer" and comedies "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and "Master of None."

    But Netflix is still looking for that elusive win for best drama or comedy. The Emmy's are Sunday, September 18th, at 8pm ET.

    Here is a chart that shows the number of nominations by network:

    screen shot 2016 07 14 at 6.11.57 pm

    SEE ALSO: Netflix saw the biggest jump in Emmy nominations this year out of any of its major rivals

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    george w bush paintings book

    George W. Bush is taking a new step in his painting career.

    The former president is publishing a book of his paintings depicting various members of the military through Crown Publishing Group, New York Daily News reports.

    "Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors," out February 28, 2017, will feature 66 paintings as well as a four-panel mural showing veterans and active-duty military members.

    Painting is a regular hobby for Bush and came to light after a hacker released images of several of his works in 2013, two of which were self-portraits showing Bush in a bathtub.

    But leak aside, the art world's response to Bush's paintings was surprisingly enthusiastic.

    "After spending more than a decade having almost physiological-chemical reactions anytime I saw him, getting the heebie-jeebies whenever he spoke ... I really like the paintings of George W. Bush," Jerry Saltz, the art critic for New York magazine, wrote of the early works.

    Though they definitely look amateurish, those early paintings have a certain purity of form and even a slightly eerie vibe.

    "They are 'simple' and 'awkward,' but in wonderful, unself-conscious, intense ways," Saltz wrote.

    George W. Bush painting

    Bush later went public with his paintings, even showing an exhibit of his portraits of world leaders.

    If anything, it looks as though Bush has sharpened his technique a bit with the new military portraits, though they have the same soft curves and sense of stillness from his other work.

    The former president is writing an introduction for the book, and he also wrote stories about each of the subjects, "some of them inspiring, some of them heartbreaking," the publisher said, according to the Daily News.

    "This is a book about the men and women who have been tremendous national assets in the Armed Forces — and who continue to be vital to the future success of our country," Bush wrote in the introduction, an excerpt of which was released to The Associated Press.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Eddy Cue

    Apple has hired a former Time Warner Cable executive in what could signal an expanded push into streaming video and other online services.

    Peter Stern, who was most recently chief product, people, and strategy officer at Time Warner Cable but left when it was bought by Charter Communications, has joined Apple, an Apple spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider.

    Stern will be a vice president at Apple and will focus on cloud services, including iTunes, iCloud, and Apple Music, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the move.

    The hire is sure to reignite speculation that Apple is preparing its own streaming television service, a closely-watched expansion into a lucrative new market which has never been confirmed by the company.

    Stern will report to Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president in charge of online services, who previously led talks with cable providers to create a TV service. Stern was one of the Time Warner Cable executives who had negotiated with Apple.

    But Apple's streaming TV project has reportedly been put on the backburner, and last year's Apple TV launched without an Apple-branded streaming video service. 

    SEE ALSO: Apple has completely changed its plan to conquer TV

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    maureen dowd

    Maureen Dowd only regrets one thing she's written over the course of her career at the New York Times.

    "I think I wrote a negative column once about the 'Seinfeld' writers making too much money, and I regret that," the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist told Business Insider on Wednesday, referring to a 1997 column bemoaning the million-dollar paychecks doled out to the sitcom's stars each paycheck.

    She added: "Seinfeld has kept me company on many a lonely evening, and they deserve all the money they got."

    Though lauded for her impactful political reporting and acerbic, colorful writing style, Dowd has occasionally faced criticism for psychoanalyzing and unfairly smearing her female subjects.

    In recent years, some writers have reevaluated Dowd's most critically-acclaimed work: Her years-long chronicling of the Monica Lewinsky affair, which garnered Dowd a Pulitzer Price.

    Notably, in 2014, current New York Times fellow Amanda Hess argued in Slate that Dowd unfairly shamed Lewinsky, a 21-year-old White House intern at the time of her affair with former President Bill Clinton. Hess wrote that the Times columnist didn't recognize that her characterizations of Lewinsky as blindly love-struck and sex-crazed lent credence to the narrative that the Clinton White House was attempting to push about Lewinsky.

    "At first, Dowd attempted to pass this nastiness off as a sly, satirical commentary on the caricature of Lewinsky that the Clinton administration had painted in the press," Hess wrote. "But soon, the artifice disappeared, and Dowd devoted her column to arguing that, come to think of it, Lewinsky was both nutty and slutty."

    She continued:

    "By June, no level of Lewinsky news was beneath Dowd’s scorn. She wrote that Lewinsky’s Vanity Fair photo shoot had 'shades of JonBenet Ramsey' and that 'It appears that there's one thing Monica has immunity from: brains.' That same month, Dowd happened to run into Lewinsky while both were dining at Washington’s Bombay Club, so she transcribed the contents of Lewinsky’s dinner plate ('veggie appetizers and chicken tandoori') and claimed that her presence at the White House–adjacent restaurant 'suggested the former intern was still trying to grab the President's attention, like some love-struck teen-anger, loitering outside Billy Clinton's biology class.'

    Dowd, who was promoting her new book, "The Year of Voting Dangerously," brushed aside Hess' criticism, pointing out that it was the reporting in Dowd's columns that exposed the internal Clinton-world campaign to discredit Lewinsky.

    "Amanda Hess was wrong," Dowd said. "I was the one who found out and pointed out that it was the White House that was bullying Monica Lewinsky, as Hillary Clinton later called her, a narcissistic looney-tune."

    SEE ALSO: Democrats are trolling Trump on Snapchat over his comments about Clinton's 'presidential look'

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