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The latest news from Entertainment
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    Halo Infinite

    • For the first time since 2013, Microsoft is expected to announce a brand-new Xbox console in 2019.
    • In addition to the upcoming consoles, we're likely to see major games from the "Halo" and "Gears of War" franchises, among others, this year.
    • Here's everything we know — and a few educated guesses — about the coming year for Microsoft's Xbox division.

    The next Xbox consoles are likely to be announced in 2019.

    It would be just one major move of several expected from Microsoft's Xbox division this year — and that's before we start talking about games like "Gears 5" and "Halo Infinite" that are expected to arrive.

    Here's a look into what we know and what we expect from Xbox in 2019:

    SEE ALSO: The 6 biggest things to expect from video games in 2019: New PlayStation and Xbox consoles, the first core 'Pokémon' game for Nintendo Switch, and much more

    DON'T MISS: The 5 biggest things to expect from PlayStation in 2019

    1. The next Xbox consoles.

    Indeed, it's that time once again: Both Microsoft and Sony are gearing up to announce new versions of the Xbox and PlayStation platforms.

    In the case of the next Xbox, things are a bit clearer — the Xbox chief Phil Spencer has outright announced Microsoft's ongoing work on new Xbox consoles.

    "The same team that delivered unprecedented performance with Xbox One X is deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles, where we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming," Spencer said on stage in Los Angeles on June 10, 2018.

    The latest rumors point to multiple tiers of Xbox consoles, similar to the existing lineup with the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X consoles.

    There are also rumors that the new Xbox will be compatible with all previous generations of Xbox; the codenames are reportedly "Lockhart" (for the less powerful and less expensive version) and "Anaconda" (for the higher-end version).



    2. "Crackdown 3."

    "Crackdown 3" has been in the works for years at this point, having been delayed multiple times.

    As the name implies, it's the third game in the open-world, third-person action "Crackdown" series. But apparently this time it stars Terry Crews!

    The series is big on mobility — allowing you to go anywhere you want — and huge explosions. It looks as if the third game in the series will be no different in this respect.



    3. "Gears 5."

    Are you ready to chainsaw some more Locust? With "Gears 5" in the works, Microsoft's betting that the answer is a resounding yes.

    The next entry in the gruff and grisly "Gears of War" third-person shooter series was announced by Microsoft in June during the company's annual E3 media briefing. At the forefront is a new character, Kait, introduced during a short trailer. (She previously debuted as a supporting "Gears" character.)

    Like previous games in the series, "Gears 5" features third-person shooting with a focus on movement and cover. It doesn't have a firm release date, but it's scheduled to launch sometime in 2019.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Forza Horizon 4

    • "Fortnite" creator Epic Games has been targeted by no less than four lawsuits accusing the company of appropriating popular dance moves for profit.
    • Artists accusing 'Fortnite' of stealing their dances include "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actor Alfonso Ribeiro, an Instagram star known as The Backpack Kid, rapper 2 Milly, and the mother of a "Fortnite" contest entrant known as Orange Shirt Kid.
    • Weeks after the first lawsuits against Epic surfaced, Microsoft's "Forza Horizon 4" has removed two of the same dances identified in the suits against Epic.

    A series of lawsuits aimed at "Fortnite" may have prompted Microsoft to remove a pair of dances from their racing game "Forza Horizon 4."

    "Fortnite" Creator Epic Games has been sued on behalf of "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actor Alfonso Ribeiro, an Instagram star known as The Backpack Kid, rapper 2 Milly, and most recently, the mother of a "Fortnite" contest loser, for allegedly appropriating their dance moves and selling them in the game.

    Weeks after the lawsuits first surfaced, an update to "Forza Horizon 4" has removed the "Carlton" and Floss" avatar emotes popularized by Ribeiro and The Backpack Kid, respectively, from the game. "Forza" is a racing game, so players spend most of their time driving inside of a car, but the drivers will occasionally step out from behind the wheel to dance and celebrate.

    While "Forza Horizon 4" has not been mentioned in any legal disputes, the decision by Microsoft and developer Playground Games seems to be a proactive choice to avoid disputes over a small part of the game. "Fortnite" has been the primary target of the dance-related lawsuits, but Ribeiro has also filed a suit against the makers of  "NBA 2K" for a version of the "Carlton" that appears in the game.

    So far all of the cases against Epic are being handled by law firm Pierce Bainbridge. In an interview with Business Insider, Pierce Bainbridge partner David Hecht said that the firm was specifically looking at situations where Epic copied the likeness of African-American and Korean dancers. Hecht has also claimed that Epic Games repeatedly "misappropriated the likeness of African-American talent."

    The most recent lawsuit against Epic is a particularly curious case because the dance in question was created as part of a "Fortnite" contest. The mother of Orange Shirt Kid, whose dance "Random" was added to "Fortnite" following a contest Epic put together in April 2018. Orange Shirt Kid did not win the contest, but his silly dance quickly went viral and was added to the game due to fan interest. Though the contest rules called for entrants to waive their right to damages, rewards, and prizes, Orange Shirt Kid's mother Rachel McCumbers is seeking monetary damages from Epic for including her son's dance in the game.

    Experts have been skeptical of whether artists can claim ownership over a dance, compared to the clear copyright laws that protect music and song lyrics, but it seems that won't stop artists from trying to protect their creative interests. Epic has not issued a public response to the lawsuits, but the dances remain usable as emotes in "Fortnite."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Apple forever changed the biggest tech event of the year by not showing up


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    costco TV shopping mom baby

    • Costco has discussed building a video-streaming service geared towards "average Americans," according to a CNBC report. 
    • Mark Greenberg, a TV industry veteran, reportedly held talks with Costco about the streaming service. Greenberg was previously working with Walmart to create a similar service, but talks reportedly fell apart last year. 
    • Amazon has used its streaming service to build customer loyalty, but critics say that the e-commerce giant and Netflix ignore conservative and Middle American perspectives. 

    Costco is reportedly considering creating a streaming service aimed at "average Americans." 

    Mark Greenberg, a TV industry veteran most recently linked to Walmart, held talks with Costco about "building out a service geared toward average Americans," according to a CNBC report published Thursday. A person familiar with the matter told CNBC that no agreement had been reached. 

    This is the second report that Costco is considering entering the video-streaming space. In October, The Information reported that the retailer had conducted preliminary discussions about adding a video-streaming service as a perk for certain customers. 

    In July 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported Greenberg was working with Walmart to create a subscription video-streaming service that could rival Netflix and Amazon. In October, a Walmart spokesperson said the company planned to license videos aimed at the company's "core middle- and low-income shoppers in rural and suburban communities, a demographic Walmart believes is underserved by current streaming services."

    Read more:Walmart is helping launch original shows, claiming that Netflix and Amazon don't make enough content aimed at its core Middle America shoppers

    However, CNBC reports that Walmart no longer has plans to create the streaming service aimed at these "underserved" demographics. The company will reportedly focus on expanding what's available on Vudu, the streaming service Walmart acquired in 2010, after talks with Greenberg fell apart in 2018. 

    marvelous mrs maisel

    Greenberg has held talks with Costco and other retailers about building out a service aimed at "average Americans," according to CNBC. Costco and Walmart did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

    Amazon and Netflix have found critical success with shows such as "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Orange Is the New Black," and "Stranger Things." Amazon has also used its Prime Video service to convince subscribers to become more loyal shoppers.

    However, both Amazon and Netflix have been criticized by some conservatives for what they see as a liberal bias. Some Netflix users threatened to cancel their subscriptions after the company announced a multi-year deal with the Obamas. And, Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos have been frequent targets of conservative criticism, including from President Donald Trump.

    Conservatives have argued that the entertainment industry tends to emphasize progressive perspectives to the detriment of the right. The lack of shows focused on poor and working-class families has also been criticized.

    Read CNBC's full report on Walmart's abandoned plans for a video-streaming service here. 

    SEE ALSO: Denny's CEO reveals how grocery stores like Whole Foods and Kroger have restaurants 'beating each other's brains out'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These expensive Asian fish cost as much as a new car — and people have gone to jail trying to sell them in the US


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    narcos mexico

    Netflix reported its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, whiffing slightly on revenue but beating company guidance and Wall Street estimates for global paid-net-subscriber additions. Netflix also beat earnings-per-share estimates.

    Netflix added 8.8 million paid subscribers globally, rising to 139 million.

    The results came just days after Netflix unleashed its biggest price hike ever, which increased its most popular plan from $11 per month to $13 per month.

    Industry watchers were looking for signs in Netflix's guidance for how that price increase might affect its subscriber growth in the first quarter. The streamer estimated it would add 8.9 million paid subscribers globally, well above the Wall Street estimates of 8.5 million.

    The stock fell about 4% immediately following the news, but Netflix had been up 32% since the start of the year.

    Netflix spotlighted some of its blockbuster content in its letter to shareholders, saying that it estimated its original movie "Bird Box" would be "enjoyed" by 80 million households in the first month. Netflix said it had seen "high repeat viewing."

    Netflix also estimated that "You," a creepy thriller it picked up from Lifetime, and its new British show, "Sex Education," would reach 40 million households each.

    Here were the key numbers from Netflix's Q4 earnings:

    • Q4 revenue: $4.19 billion, versus Wall Street estimates of $4.21 billion and Netflix's forecast of $4.20 billion.
    • Q4 earnings per share (GAAP): $0.30, versus Wall Street estimates of $0.24 and Netflix's forecast of $0.23.
    • Q4 total paid subscriber growth (paid net additions): 8.8 million, versus Wall Street estimates of 7.6 million and Netflix's forecast of 7.6 million.
      • 1.5 million US.
      • 7.3 international.
    • Q1 total paid-subscriber-growth guidance (estimated paid net additions): 8.9 million, versus Wall Street estimates of 8.5 million.
      • 1.6 million US.
      • 7.3 million international.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the extreme workout regimen of a professional ballerina


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    bird box

    • Netflix estimates that 80 million accounts will watch "Bird Box" in its first four weeks. 
    • It said last month that 45 million accounts viewed the movie in the first week, a record for a Netflix original film. 

    Netflix released more viewing numbers for its hit thriller "Bird Box" during its 2018 fourth quarter earnings report on Thursday.

    Netflix announced last month that "Bird Box," which debuted on December 21, was viewed by 45 million accounts in its first week, which it said was the best-ever first week viewership for a Netflix original movie yet. 

    The streaming giant now estimates that 35 million accounts will watch the movie after its record-breaking first week, raising the total number of accounts that have viewed it to 80 million. Friday marks four weeks since the movie debuted.

    Netflix counts a view if a single account watches more than 70% of a movie. That means that the movie's viewership dipped quite a bit following its first week, but still averaged nearly 12 million subscribers viewing it per week. 

    "Bird Box" stars Sandra Bullock as a mother trying to protect her children after a mysterious entity wipes out most of humanity. The characters wear blindfolds to shield their eyes from the unseen creatures.

    The movie has inspired viral memes and the "Bird Box Challenge," which involved people doing dangerous activities, even driving, with a blindfold on. Netflix had to issue a warning on Twitter against the challenge earlier this month, and YouTube is changing its guidelines to ban dangerous pranks and stunts.

    Netflix also said on Thursday that its new hit shows "You" and "Sex Education" will likely be viewed by 40 million accounts in their first four weeks. Similarly to a movie, Netflix counts a view for a TV show as an account watching more than 70% of at least one episode. 

    Netflix estimates that it now accounts for 10% of TV-viewing time in the US.

    SEE ALSO: NBC says it may eventually pull 'The Office' off Netflix to fuel its own streaming service

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A drag ballet troupe has been performing around the world for nearly 50 years


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    sex education

    • Netflix's "Sex Education" has an 90% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, and fans have praised how the show addresses relevant issues.
    • Netflix said in its earnings report on Thursday that the show will likely be viewed by 40 million acconts in its first four weeks. 
    • Unlike some of its other British Netflix "original" shows, "Sex Education" didn't originate on a UK network, and demonstrates Netflix's evolving production strategy.
    • Netflix will increase the amount of European shows it produces in 2019 to compete with a potential British streaming service, The Telegraph reported in November.

    Netflix has built an impressive catalog of hit British TV shows licensed from networks in the UK, or co-produced with them. But with its latest British series, Netflix started from scratch — and it seems to have paid off.

    "Sex Education" debuted on the streaming giant on January 11 and stars Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson. Netflix describes the series like this: "Insecure Otis has all the answers when it comes to sex advice, thanks to his therapist mom. So rebel Maeve proposes a school sex-therapy clinic."

    Netflix said in its 2018 fourth quarter earnings report on Thursday that it estimated "Sex Education" will be viewed by 40 million accounts in its first four weeks. It counts a view if an account watches at least 70% of a single episode. 

    READ MORE: Lifetime's creepy TV show 'You' has risen dramatically in popularity since debuting on Netflix, and season 2 will be a Netflix exclusive

    People on Twitter praised the show's positive and "healthy" portrayal of male friendships that lack "toxic masculinity," and its "complex characterization of a gay teen of color," among other things.

    Below are some Tweets commending the show:

    Critics love it, too, and it has an 90% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. The Atlantic's Sophie Gilbert wrote that the show is "patched together so perspicaciously from pieces of existing hits that you can virtually see the stitches ... it works so well is almost annoying."

    Allison Shoemaker wrote for RogerEbert.com that the show is "willing to experiment and find a balance that works. And like sex—like good sex anyway—it’s often an absolute pleasure."

    The series features a primarily international cast and was filmed in South Wales. But what makes "Sex Education" different than some other hit Netflix British shows as of late is that it didn't originate on a UK TV network.

    Unlike "Bodyguard," "The Last Kingdom," or even "Black Mirror" — all of which Netflix acquired streaming rights to (or picked up as originals) after they had aired on BBC networks — "Sex Education" is purely a Netflix original. This is a sign of Netflix bulking up its output of international originals.

    Netflix will increase the amount of European shows it produces in 2019 by a third, The Telegraph reported in November. The move comes on the heels of the head of the UK's broadcast regulator pushing British networks to create a streaming service to compete with Netflix, according to The Telegraph.

    SEE ALSO: Netflix has been smacked with a lawsuit over 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' that claims it 'tarnishes' the 'choose your own adventure' trademark

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A drag ballet troupe has been performing around the world for nearly 50 years


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    you netflix

    • Data show that online conversation for "You" has increased significantly since it debuted on Netflix.
    • The show's audience demographic has shifted, as well.
    • The series originated on Lifetime, but Netflix will exclusively air its second season.
    • Netflix said on Thursday that it estimates 40 million accounts will view the series in its first month. 

    Like with so many shows before it, "You," Lifetime's creepy drama, has found new life on Netflix.

    The series debuted on Lifetime in September and became available to stream on Netflix on December 26. Since then, the series — about a book-store manager named Joe (Penn Badgley) who goes to great lengths to make struggling writer Beck (Elizabeth Lail) fall for him — has risen dramatically in popularity.

    Read more: Netflix says its hit British series 'Sex Education' will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and it has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes

    Netflix said during its 2018 fourth quarter earnings report on Thursday that it estimates 40 million households will watch "You" in its first four weeks on the platform. Netflix counts a view for a TV show as an account watching at least 70% of a single episode.

    Data from consumer-insights company Crimson Hexagon provided to Business Insider supports the view that "You" is a hit for Netflix.

    The data shows that daily social-media posts for "You" were declining before it went to Netflix. But as soon as it was available to stream, the show saw a big spike. The online conversation around the series has been consistent and has seen 15,000 total posts since December 26.

    you lifetime netflix data

    Netflix has helped expand the audience demographic for the show, too. The show still skews toward women, as it did while on Lifetime, but more men have now watched the series on Netflix (28% of its audience) than they did while it was on Lifetime (23%).

    Viewers 18 or younger were the biggest age demographic for the show on Lifetime. On Netflix, the primary demographic has shifted to ages 18 to 24, as seen in the graph below.

    you netflix lifetime data

    "You" will return for its second season exclusively on Netflix, rather than on Lifetime.

    It's not the first show to get a big boost from Netflix. "Breaking Bad" was the first major show to feel the "Netflix Effect." When the second half of its final season premiered on AMC in 2013, it doubled the ratings of the first half's premiere with a series' best of 5.9 million viewers, according to Variety. The show's past seasons had been streaming after AMC signed a licensing deal with Netflix in 2011. 

    The second season of "Riverdale" premiered to series-best ratings in 2017 — 67% above the series premiere and double the first season finale — after the first season had been available on Netflix, according to Vulture.

    SEE ALSO: Netflix and Hulu are releasing competing documentaries on the Fyre Festival debacle, but Netflix is dominating Google search interest

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the extreme workout regimen of a professional ballerina


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    Sub Zero Mortal Kombat 11

    • "Mortal Kombat 11" will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on April 23, 2019. 
    • The latest entry in the violent fighting-game franchise will feature new and returning characters for an all-new story, alongside the series' signature "fatalities" — the ultra-violent finishing moves that made the original game an object of controversy. 
    • New gameplay mechanics include a character-customization system that lets players choose their moves and change their outfits.

    One of the most violent video-game franchises of all time will return for another round with "Mortal Kombat 11," arriving on April 23.

    NetherRealm Studios revealed the first gameplay footage from "Mortal Kombat 11" during a live event on Thursday, showing off the gorgeous new game and a handful of the series' signature "fatalities" — the ultra-violent finishing moves that once made the original "Mortal Kombat" the object of controversy.

    "Mortal Kombat" has been the flagship title for gratuitous video-game violence since the first game was released in 1992, and NetherRealm intends to make "Mortal Kombat 11" the goriest game in the series thus far.

    As in previous "Mortal Kombat" games, every character will have multiple fatalities, offering a variety of ways to execute or otherwise dismember their defeated opponent after a match. Every character will also be able to perform a cinematic "finishing blow" when their health gets low during the fight.

    Read moreAll of the fatalities in 'Mortal Kombat X'

    Of course, there's more to the game than just gore: "Mortal Kombat 11" has refreshed the series' core mechanics and will bring back fan-favorite characters, such as Skarlet and Baraka. During the live reveal, "Mortal Kombat" creator Ed Boon showed off a detailed character-customization system that will allow players to choose their moves and personalize their outfits before each fight.

    The game will also continue the series' story from where it left off in "Mortal Kombat X," with a new antagonist named Kronika manipulating time to pit the deadly warriors and assassins of the "Mortal Kombat" universe against each other.

    "Mortal Kombat 11" will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on April 23, 2019. Premium and standard editions of the game are available for preorder.

    SEE ALSO: All of the fatalities in 'Mortal Kombat X'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: All smartphones look the same today for 2 key reasons


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    black mirror bandersnatch

    • Netflix plans to make more interactive TV shows in the format of "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch," company officials said Thursday.
    • The movie was popular with viewers and excited video content makers, officials said.
    • Company officials see an opportunity in offering the system Netflix created to produce "Bandersnatch" to content creators.

    The choose-your-own adventure format of "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" was a novelty when Netflix debuted the movie last month. 

    But it'll soon become a lot more common, if the streaming video giant has anything to say about it.

    "You should anticipate we'll do more of those [interactive shows] as we start to explore that format," Greg Peters, Netflix's chief product officer, said on a webcast Thursday following the company's fourth-quarter earnings report.

    Read this: Netflix falls after slight Q4 revenue miss and solid subscriber-growth numbers

    "Bandersnatch" is nominally about 90 minutes long. But viewers can determine the outcome of the movie by choosing different alternatives along the way. In total, the creators of the show produced five hours of video for it, giving viewers "countless" ways to experience the story, Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, said.

    The interactivity of the movie excited and engaged consumers, company officials said. It also enticed video content makers.

    The show "has got storytellers salivating about the possibilities," Sarandos said on the webcast."We've got a hunch that [the interactive format of "Bandersnatch"] works across all kinds of storytelling," he continued, "and some of the greatest storytellers in the world are excited to dig into it."

    Netflix sees an 'opportunity' in interactive video

    Netflix is also excited about it, and not just because such choose-your-own adventure shows could have viewers tuning into its service for longer periods.

    Creating "Bandersnatch" was an intensive and challenging effort, company officials said. Netflix ended up creating a system called Branch Manager to make the process of producing the episode more manageable, company officials said in a letter to shareholders. The company plans to use Branch Manager to produce future episodes, officials said in the letter. 

    But Peters seemed to imply that Netflix could eventually offer Branch Manager as a paid service to content creators or license it to them.

    "In that challenge [of creating interactive shows] is an opportunity," he said. "It's an opportunity to bring technology to bear to create a tool set for creators to make that process easier and more effective."

    Netflix posted mixed fourth-quarter results. Although it reported a strong rise in paid subscribers, its revenue fell shy of Wall Street's expectations and its own forecasts. The company's stock fell 4% on the news.

    SEE ALSO: Netflix's 18% price hike shows it got too comfortable being the only game in town, and it could be a costly mistake

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We compared Apple's $159 AirPods to Xiaomi's $30 AirDots and the winner was clear


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    bodyguard

    • "Bodyguard," a hit British TV series Netflix is streaming outside of the UK, was viewed by 23 million households in its first four weeks. 
    • The show stars "Game of Thrones" actor Richard Madden and has a 94% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
    • Netflix regularly works with international production companies to nab global distribution rights, and has acquired a number of other British shows, including "The End of the F---ing World."

     

    Netflix added to its impressive catalog of British TV series in October with "Bodyguard," a thriller starring "Game of Thrones" alum Richard Madden. And it's paid off for the streaming giant.

    "Bodyguard" was viewed by 23 million households in its first four weeks of release, Netflix's content chief Ted Sarandos said during Thursday's fourth quarter earnings call. Netflix counts a view for a TV show as an account that watches at least 70% of a single episode. 

    The series debuted on Netflix on October 24 and has a 94% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. Netflix describes the series this way: "After helping thwart a terrorist attack, a war veteran is assigned to protect a politician who was a main proponent of the very conflict he fought in."

    The show won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama series (Madden) and was also nominated for best drama series.

    READ MORE: Netflix says its hit British series 'Sex Education' will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and it has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes

    Indiewire called it "a gripping and thoroughly entertaining adventure that’s emotionally deft." The Hollywood Reporter said it's "six-plus hours of pulse-pounding action and brain-bending twists."

    The show originally premiered on the UK's BBC network in late August and grabbed viewers with its twists and turns. It's the latest British series to be streamed outside of the UK by Netflix, which regularly works with international production companies to acquire global distribution rights, according to Deadline, which first reported the "Bodyguard" deal in September.

    Other British shows that Netflix has acquired include cult hit "The Frankenstein Chronicles," which stars another former "Game of Thrones" actor, Sean Bean; "Collateral," starring Carey Mulligan; "Wanderlust," starring Toni Collette; and "The End of the F---ing World," which Netflix recently renewed for a second season.

    It's a strategy that has worked in both Netflix and UK networks' favor, as Netflix is able to introduce the shows to a wider audience. Some series don't manage to grab audiences in the UK, but once streamed on Netflix, shows like BBC's "The Last Kingdom" found success. Its third season debuted November 19.

    SEE ALSO: Netflix says its creepy series 'You' will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and data supports that the show is a massive hit

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A drag ballet troupe has been performing around the world for nearly 50 years


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    hulu netflix fyre

    2017's Fyre Festival became a viral sensation when hundreds of people expecting to party with celebrities on an island in the Bahamas showed up to an event in complete disarray.

    Now two documentaries, Netflix's "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened" and Hulu's "Fyre Fraud," recount the experience of being there and shed light on the person behind it who is now in prison for fraud.

    Here's what we think the movies' strengths are and which one is the best to watch.

    SEE ALSO: Netflix's Fyre Festival director hits back at Hulu's whitewashing criticism and says Fyre Festival founder wanted $125,000 for an interview

    Billy McFarland, the Fyre Festival founder, is in the Hulu doc, but don't expect anything revealing.

    McFarland is all over both movies thanks to archival footage, but "Fyre Fraud" is the only one that interviewed him on camera. (Hulu paid McFarland to be in the movie.)

    However, don't expect much from the footage. Outside of one time when he and the filmmakers have a little back-and-forth over how truthful he's being — at one point he said his team lost a box of keys that would have housed many of the attendees — most of the footage used is of him avoiding answers.



    The Netflix doc gives you a deeper look inside the promo video that made Fyre Festival go viral.

    Both movies touch on the infamous Fyre Festival promotional video that went viral thanks to its beautiful island location and its inclusion of models like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. But "Fyre" gets a lot more detailed thanks to the footage it obtained from Matte Projects, the company behind the shoot. The B-roll of the shoot in the documentary gives an incredible glimpse inside not just the making of the video, but how unprepared to pull off the festival McFarland and his team were.



    The Hulu doc gives a deeper look into McFarland's past.

    It seems McFarland was a born hustler, and "Fyre Fest" does a great job of showing that, going all the way back to his wheeling and dealing in grade school.

    It also goes into greater depth about his ventures before Fyre, including his Black Card wannabe, Magnises, which was touted as a membership club for young professionals in which they would be invited to lavish parties and hard-to-get-into events.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Bird Box Netflix

    • Netflix said it's more worried about "Fortnite" and other types of entertainment than it is about competing streaming services like HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
    • A letter to shareholders reported that the company had 139 million subscribers at the close of 2018, and that Netflix accounts for about 10% of all television screen time in the U.S.
    • "Fortnite," the world's most popular video game, reportedly generated $2.4 billion in 2018, and more than 200 million people have played the free game.

    As more and more movie streaming services crop up, Netflix says it's not concerned with comparing itself to the competition. Instead, Netflix is more worried about keeping members watching instead of choosing another type of entertainment entirely — like video games.

    In its Q4 earnings report out Thursday, Netflix said it accounts for roughly 10% of all television screen time, with viewers streaming 100 million hours of content per day. By the close of 2018, the company had 139 million subscribers and had raised revenue by 35%, but still fell short of their earnings expectations for Q4. And in an increasingly diverse entertainment landscape, Netflix is now facing stiff competition from the likes of "Fortnite." 

    "We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors," the quarterly earnings statement read. "We compete with (and lose to) 'Fortnite' more than HBO."

    Read more: Netflix falls after slight Q4 revenue miss and solid subscriber-growth numbers

    "Fortnite," the world's most popular video game, has had 200 million registered players since launching in June 2017, and generated more than $2.4 billion in revenue as a free-to-play game last year. News outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Axios have noted that "Fortnite" has become akin to a social network for young gamers, with the average player spending six to 10 hours a week online.

    While Netflix may not be able to match the interactive allure of video games, the company plans to continue improving the user experience so that existing members are happy to carve out more time in their day.

    "Our growth is based on how good our experience is, compared to all the other screen time experiences from which consumers choose," the earnings report reads. "Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members."

    Those improvements will come at a cost though, as the company recently announced that subscription costs will be increased by up to 18%

    Netflix has made comments in the past regarding competition and its drive to capture more time from viewers. During a 2017 earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings said that one of Netflix's biggest competitors is sleep.

    "You know, think about it, when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night," Hastings said on the call. "We’re competing with sleep, on the margin. And so, it's a very large pool of time."

    With multiple digital streaming services on the horizon, Netflix will still have to compete for content, but the battle for customer attention may be just as important.

    SEE ALSO: Netflix says more 'choose your own adventure' shows are on the way after the success of 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch'

    NOW READ: The best streaming services you can sign up for online

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    Bird Box Netflix

    • Netflix rolled out its biggest price hike ever this week, raising its most popular US plan from $11 to $13 per month.
    • Wall Street is bullish that the streamer will be able to effectively manage the price increase, and Netflix's projections for Q1 subscriber growth suggest it won't have a huge negative effect.
    • New survey data suggests, however, that Netflix might start to run into trouble at $15 per month.

    In general, customers begin threatening to cancel a service because of increasing prices long before they actually do.

    Netflix's 2016 price hike is a perfect example. At the time, analysts at UBS surveyed customers and 41% said they would accept no price increase for Netflix. None. But UBS estimated that roughly 3% to 4% would actually cancel.

    "41% of respondents in our survey were not willing to accept any price increase for Netflix, which is actually very positive when compared to 68% for pay TV," the analysts wrote at the time. "Consider pay TV costs have been rising 3-5% annually and the industry is now losing only ~1% of customers each year, relative to 68% of pay TV customers in our survey indicating no tolerance for price increases."

    People simply don't like the idea of price increases, but often tolerate them when they happen.

    Now Netflix has raised prices again, introducing its biggest price hike ever this week, which raised the cost of its most popular US plan from $11 to $13. Its lowest tier is now $9, while its highest is $16.

    Wall Street isn't worried people will cancel.

    "We are bullish on the company’s ability to execute the pricing increase," Stifel analysts wrote last week.

    Compared to its competitors, "Netflix still offers the best value, even at these higher price points," RBC analysts argued.

    The RBC analysts elaborated:

    "There is the basic point that Netflix offers a flat-out compelling value proposition – a massive content catalog with an increasingly large amount of original content at a very low price. You and a date want to go out to the movies Gonna cost you $17.66 at your local U.S. movie theater (average price per tick of $8.83). Or you could Netflix and chill and watch Bird Box for ... effectively way under a dollar (depending on how much time you spend on Netflix during a typical month). And you can use the $16 in savings and buy a nice Chianti ... So yes, we believe the price increase will stick."

    This view seems to be backed up by Netflix's own projections for subscriber growth in the first quarter. Netflix estimated that it would add 8.9 million paid subscribers this quarter, topping Wall Street estimates that it would give guidance of 8.5 million.

    But Netflix can't raise prices indefinitely without any effect. There is some price at which customers will actually start to revolt. And new survey data suggests Netflix will face its next big challenge at $15 per month.

    Business Insider used SurveyMonkey Audience to ask at what price Americans would consider canceling their Netflix account.

    Here is a chart of what we found:

    Netflix price & canceling

    As you can see in the chart, there is a big jump when you hit $15, from 22% considering canceling at $14 (or below), to 52% at $15. (Currently, Netflix's highest tier price is $16 per month, but it's much less popular.)

    Just because these Netflix subscribers are considering canceling doesn't mean they will. But it does demonstrate that there seems to be a psychological jump at $15. That's perhaps a reason why HBO's standalone service, HBO Now, is priced at $14.99.

    And for Netflix, a similar jump also happens between $19 (64% would consider canceling) and $20 (85% would consider canceling).

    Netflix has indicated that it will periodically raise prices, but hasn't said whether there will be a price ceiling. The company did say on its earnings call that it hopes to one day be able to self fund without relying heavily on debt.

    To get there, Netflix will have to balance subscriber growth and price hikes. And these survey results suggest that certain price points might be more difficult for customers to stomach than others.

    But Wall Street sees a path. At least 15 firms raised their price targets following Netflix's Q4 earnings.

    Here is more detailed info about how the survey was conducted:

    "SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,095 respondents, a margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points with a 95% confidence level."

    SEE ALSO: Netflix falls after slight Q4 revenue miss and solid subscriber-growth numbers

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    Fortnite_missile_face building

    • A 41-year-old Florida man has been arrested and faces charges of unlawful sex with a minor and 22 counts of child pornography, among other charges.
    • Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said the suspect, Anthony Gene Thomas, allegedly used the video game "Fortnite" to meet the 17-year-old victim.
    • Moody said that a search of Thomas's phone uncovered multiple images and videos of the underage girl, and investigators believe there could be more victims.

    A Florida man arrested and facing charges of unlawful sex with a minor and 22 counts of child pornography allegedly used "Fortnite" and an accomplice to meet the victim, prompting a response from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

    In a statement posted to the Florida Office of the Attorney General website, Moody said that Anthony Gene Thomas, 41, of Broward County, used the video game "Fortnite" to meet a 17-year-old girl and have sex with her. Moody said pictures and video of the sexual encounter were discovered when police executed a search warrant on Thomas's phone. 

    “This case is disturbing not only because it involves child pornography, but also because a popular online game was used to communicate with the victim," Moody said in the statement. "We have reason to believe there could be additional victims, and I am asking anyone with information about the recruiting of minors for child pornography, or any other type of sexual exploitation, to call law enforcement immediately."

    Read more:Microsoft's Bing search engine reportedly had a child porn problem

    Moody's statement did not specify whether images of other underage victims were found on Thomas's phone, but there's been a call for any victims to come forward, and she wrote that "authorities believe there could be as many as 20 additional victims."

    The Attorney General's office says a co-conspirator first met the victim on "Fortnite" and eventually introduced her to Thomas. Moody alleges that Thomas "manipulated" the 17-year-old by offering her gifts, credit cards, and a cell phone after she told him she was having a hard time at home.

    Eventually, Thomas and his co-conspirator allegedly coordinated an in-person meeting with the victim on Aug. 25, 2018. Moody says the pair picked the victim up and drove back to Thomas's home, where he allegedly had sex with her. The 17-year-old's parents reported her missing the same day; police located her at Thomas's residence and brought her home on August 26th. Moody says that Thomas stayed in contact with the teen after the encounter, and the search warrant that would uncover the child pornography was eventually executed on October 11th.

    Thomas faces charges of soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct using computers, traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sexual activity, possession with intention to promote sexual performance of a child, 22 counts of child pornography, and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Police have not identified the name or age of the co-conspirator, or whether they will be facing criminal charges.

    Like popular social networks, games like "Fortnite" put young players shoulder to shoulder with adults with few barriers to communication. As Moody suggests, parents should be monitoring their children's online activities to ensure they're not being exposed to physical and emotional violence. 

    "Parents need to know that predators will use any means possible to target and exploit a child," Moody's statement reads. "I am asking parents and guardians to please make sure you know who your children meet online, and talk to them about sexual predators.”

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft's Bing search engine reportedly had a child porn problem

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    MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and Helios and Matheson Chief Executive Ted Farnsworth.

    • MoviePass parent Helios and Matheson on Friday said it would seek — again — to get shareholder authorization to reverse split its stock.
    • The company is in imminent danger of having its stock delisted from the Nasdaq; the market is hearing the company's appeal of its delisting decision later this month.
    • The proposal is basically the same one that the company withdrew in November in the face of widespread investor opposition.
    • Just as with that plan, the new proposal would give the company room to issue billions of new shares.
    • Even after massively diluting shareholders, the company is alerting investors that it likely would issue new shares after a split to raise funds to continue its operations.

    You've got to give the folks who run MoviePass credit for at least two things: They're persistent. And they've got a lot of chutzpah.

    Two months ago, Helios and Matheson — MoviePass's parent company — cancelled a special shareholder meeting at which it hoped to get investor approval to reverse split its stock. The company backed away from the effort because shareholders were openly hostile to the plan. Indeed, in a regulatory filing, the company said it expected investors would vote down the proposal. 

    But late on Friday, the company announced new plans to hold a special shareholder meeting. And you'll never guess what it wants investors to approve.

    Yup. Authorization to do a reverse split.

    Helios and Matheson's "board has unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing, approving, declaring advisable and recommending to the company’s stockholders for their approval an amendment to the company’s certificate of incorporation to effect a reverse split of the outstanding and treasury shares of the company’s common stock in a ratio of 1 share-for-2 shares up to a ratio of 1 share-for-500 shares," the company said in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The company hasn't set a date for the meeting, but even it acknowledged that this effort sounds like déjà vu. It first pitched a similar plan in September, then twicedelayed holding a vote on it before withdrawing the plan amid objections from investors. 

    Helios and Matheson officials are pressing the plan again, because they feel they have to. The Nasdaq national market warned the company last month that it planned to delist Helios and Matheson's stock for failing to meet its $1-a-share price requirement. The company appealed that decision, it confirmed in the regulatory document. But its appeal will be heard by the Nasdaq on January 31, and it needs to be able to show regulators that it has a plan to get its stock price back above the $1 threshold.

    Read this:MoviePass's parent company is in dire danger of having its stock delisted by the Nasdaq

    "We believe that a reverse stock split could increase the market price of our common stock sufficient to satisfy [Nasdaq's] minimum bid price requirement in the near term," the company said in the statement.

    The company already reverse split its stock in July

    That "near term" line is important to note. Because this effort to do a reverse split doesn't just call to mind last fall's aborted effort to do the same thing. It also resembles the actual reverse split the company actually effected in July— and the results of that weren't good. Indeed, it's what led directly to Helios and Matheson being in the position it's in today, risking delisting.

    Helios and Matheson's stock price peaked in October 2017 at nearly $39 a share — or $9,715 a share if you take into account the effect of the reverse split. After that, it fell in fits and starts as the company's losses ballooned, thanks to the growing number of consumers taking advantage of MoviePass's all-you-can-eat $10 movie ticket subscription plan, and as it flooded the market with new shares, which it sold to replenish the cash it was rapidly burning through.

    By May, Helios and Matheson's stock had fallen below $1 a share. After the company's stock spent 30 days trading for pennies, the Nasdaq sent Helios and Matheson a warning letter that it faced delisting if it didn't get its shares above the $1 threshold on a sustained basis.

    So, Helios and Matheson announced that it wanted permission to do a reverse split, offering a range of possible split ratios of between one new share for every two old ones to one new share for every 250 old ones. At the same shareholder meeting, it sought permission to increase its number of shares outstanding from 500 million to 5 billion. With the company nearing the limit of its authorized share count, the expansion would give it the ability to sell billions of new shares to continue to fund its business to the point where it could ostensibly narrow its losses and boost its share price.

    At the meeting, company CEO Ted Farnsworth seemed to suggest that the company would do one thing or the other — sell more shares or reverse split the stock. The reverse split was an "insurance policy," in case investors didn't pass the share expansion, he said.

    Officials took advantage of the leeway to sell more stock

    But if investors passed both proposals, they would give Farnsworth and company lots of new latitude to flood the market with additional shares. That's because while a reverse split would reduce the number of shares Helios and Matheson had already issued, it wouldn't affect the total number of shares it could potentially issue — the 5 billion number of authorized shares would stay the same regardless of the ratio by which the company reverse split its stock.

    As it turned out, that's just what happened. Investors passed both measures, and Farnsworth and his team took advantage of their new powers. They reverse split the stock by the maximum ratio allowed under their proposal — 250 to 1 — and then promptly started selling new shares. In less than two months, the company share count went from less than 2 million immediately after the split to nearly 1.4 billion.

    And the company's stock? Within a week, it had fallen from $22.50 to below $1 a share. Within two weeks of the reverse split, it was below 10 cents a share. Lately, it's been trading at closer to a penny a share.

    You can understand, then, why, when Helios and Matheson in September proposed a second split, investors resisted it. The results of the past one had been disastrous. The company had destroyed gobs of shareholder value.

    Helios and Matheson is warning of more dilution ahead

    But investors had another reason to be wary of another split. While the company was seeking to decrease its share count, it wasn't planning to decrease its authorized share count or to stop selling new shares. Indeed, it told investors that it likely would continue to sell shares to raise money to fund its business.

    Shareholders rejected that idea. But Helios and Matheson's executives don't seem to have learned anything from the experience. The reverse-split plan they proposed Friday is basically the same idea, just warmed over. It would give the company the power to reverse split the stock by as much as a 500-to-1 ratio, but it wouldn't reduce the authorized share count or limit sales of new shares. So it would be freed up to issue up to nearly 5 billion shares of the newly split stock.

    And that's not just a theoretical possibility; Helios and Matheson is again stating that it likely will resort to selling new shares.

    "Although MoviePass recently has implemented significant cost cutting measures ... the company believes it will continue to need to raise capital to fund MoviePass until MoviePass becomes cash flow positive or profitable (of which there is no assurance)," Helios and Matheson said in the regulatory filing, adding that it could sell shares or issue debt.

    Helios and Matheson has shown that it will do both over and over. Just last week, the company announced that it had increased the share count by another 20% and by potentially as much as 80% by selling additional shares and issuing warrants for certain investors to buy additional ones.

    Its share count now stands at 2 billion shares. That an increase of nearly 119,000% just since its first reverse split. Pretty much every time it's been freed up to issue more shares, it's done that — and existing investors have paid the price.

    Investors don't seem to have mellowed since November

    The thing is, even Helios and Matheson, which announced this week plans to spin off MoviePass, acknowledged in the regulatory filing that the reverse-split effort is something of a Hail Mary. The Nasdaq could delist its stock even if it believed shareholders would pass the measure. Thanks to the decline of its stock price, Helios and Matheson now isn't meeting another listings standard.

    It's market capitalization is now about $26 million, which is significantly below Nasdaq's $35 million requirement. And if that wasn't enough, the market regulators could decide that enough is enough, and that Helios and Matheson shouldn't have the freedom a listing on the Nasdaq would give the company to further dilute shareholders.

    Its possible that investors have calmed down and have mellowed their attitudes about a reverse split since Helios and Matheson backed away from the previous effort. But probably not.

    Late last month, the company finally held its annual meeting for 2018, and investors were given a chance to vote on Helios and Matheson's board and on Farnsworth's pay. The result: Shareholders overwhelming voted against the four directors who were up for reelection and voted against approving Farnsworth's salary.

    Both votes were just advisory, so they didn't change anything at the company. But they give a sense that investor ire hasn't gone away. 

    SEE ALSO: Investors seem to be balking at MoviePass' parents' plans to reverse split its stock again — and for good reason

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Kamala Harris 2

    • Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California dropped more hints about her rumored 2020 presidential bid during an interview with KTTV newsman Elex Michaelson on Friday.
    • "I know that we've said that you cannot say anything about it ... but they didn't say anything about body language, so blink if you're running for president," Michaelson said with a grin.
    • He added: "I think I saw a blink."
    • Harris laughed it off: "I'm going to ... just keep my eyes open and not even blink," she said.

    Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California dropped more hints about her rumored 2020 presidential bid during an interview with KTTV newsman Elex Michaelson on Friday.

    "I know that we've said that you cannot say anything about it ... but they didn't say anything about body language, so blink if you're running for president," Michaelson said with a grin.

    He added: "I think I saw a blink."

    Harris was inside the Senate building during the interview that aired Friday night. Per Senate rules, she could not openly discuss any potential campaign matters. So, she laughed off Michaelson's inquiry instead.

    "I'm going to ... just keep my eyes open and not even blink," Harris said.

    Harris embarked on a book tour in support of her memoir, "The Truths We Hold: An American Journey." She made numerous media appearances during her trip but has yet to officially declare her candidacy for the 2020 presidential election.

    Harris joked about it on ABC's "The View" earlier in January, saying "I'm pleased to announce on 'The View' that I'm not ready to make my announcement,"

    "I'm very tempted, but I'm not yet ready," she said.

    Harris, an Indian American and a first-term senator, has exploded in popularity among Democrats in recent months, particularly after scrutinizing Trump's immigration policies and political nominees, namely Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    The Democrat made headlines for her intense line of questioning during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing to the Supreme Court and demanded the FBI to thoroughly investigate the sexual-misconduct allegations his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, leveled against him.

    Prior to becoming a senator, Harris served as California's attorney general as well as the district attorney of San Francisco.

    Watch a clip from Harris' interview here »

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert got Kamala Harris to give the strongest hint yet that she may run for president in 2020

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Project xCloud

    • Microsoft is making a big push to develop a streaming service for gaming.
    • The service, which is planned for a public trial this year, aims to deliver high-end, blockbuster gaming experiences on whatever device you're using.
    • Microsoft calls the service "Netflix for games" internally, as a shorthand for what the service intends to do.

    Microsoft's ambitious vision for the future of gaming doesn't involve a high-powered, expensive box sitting underneath your TV.

    Instead, it's as simple as Netflix. 

    Just as Netflix allows you to watch movies and TV shows from any device, a streaming gaming service would let you play high-end, blockbuster video games anytime, anyplace and on any device — your phone, or tablet, or laptop, or TV. No game console required.

    Project xCloud Touch controls

    With "Project xCloud," Microsoft aims to establish itself as the de facto standard in video game streaming services. And, in 2019, the service goes public.

    Here's everything we know about Microsoft's ambitious plan to change how we play games:

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella just laid out the company's vision for its 'Netflix for games'

    The goal: to reach more people who play games.

    "There are 2 billion people who play video games on the planet today. We're not going to sell 2 billion consoles," Xbox leader Phil Spencer told Business Insider in an interview in June 2018. "Many of those people don't own a television; many have never owned a PC. For many people on the planet, the phone is their compute device," he said. "It's really about reaching a customer wherever they are, on the devices that they have."

    The best way to do that is by lowering the barrier to entry — stuff like owning a TV, nonetheless owning a game console and having a stable internet connection, are barriers to entry for the potential userbase Microsoft is targeting with its streaming initiative.

    The same could be said for the move from DVD — physical media — to streaming services and digital entertainment. Far, far more people are able to watch TV and movies thanks to smartphones and the digitization of so much media. 

    Since games can require serious processing power, digitization alone only opens the door so much — making high-end, processor-intensive games available through streaming services kicks open the door.

     

     



    The competition: Several major tech companies, from Amazon to Verizon to Google and Sony, either already have game streaming services or are working on game streaming services.

    Nearly every major tech company is working on a form of video game streaming technology right now.

    Some have been announced or are already operating, like Google's Project Stream and Sony's PlayStation Now, while others are little more than whispers at the moment, like streaming services from Verizon and Amazon.

    The competition is stiff, to put it very lightly.

    Broadly speaking, the next two years appear to be the general launch target for most of these new game streaming services. Both Microsoft and Google have been testing their streaming services with limited, invite-only audiences, while Amazon's and Verizon's streaming services are little more than talk at this point.

    Google's Project Stream demonstrated the ability to stream blockbuster games — "Assassin's Creed Odyssey," specifically — in web browsers. A public, limited test ran from late last year until mid-January 2019.

    Microsoft promised "public trials" of Project xCloud in 2019, but has yet to give specific dates; it's otherwise testing the service privately on an invite-only basis.

    Sony, meanwhile, has been operating a subscription-based video game streaming service in PlayStation Now for five years. The service enables players on PlayStation 4 and PC to stream PlayStation 2, 3, and 4 games without a download. It costs $20/month or $100/year.



    How Microsoft plans to do it:

    As seen above, Microsoft already has data centers all over the world — and that helps tremendously given the demands of video game streaming. 

    It's relatively simple for Netflix or Hulu to stream video data to your television, smartphone, laptop, PC, or whatever other device. If you have a stable internet connection, even if you're on a smartphone, you can probably stream video. Occasionally it might need to buffer, or maybe it'll drop in resolution in an attempt to mitigate buffering, but those stutters aren't such a big deal if you're just watching an episode of "The Office" idly during your lunch break.

    Those stutters matter much more if you're playing a game, and can mean the difference between playable and unplayable in some cases.

    Microsoft intends to offset those issues as much as possible by harnessing its worldwide data centers, matching players geographically with the connection closest to them.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    01310702(6)

    • Actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard have listed their four-story Brooklyn townhouse for $4.59 million.
    • They purchased the home 12 years ago for $1.91 million, as The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • The past several months have seen an assortment of high-profile real estate transactions in Brooklyn, including Matt Damon purchasing Brooklyn's most expensive apartment in late December.

    Hollywood power couple Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are selling their 3,600-square-foot Brooklyn townhouse for $4.599 million.

    As The Wall Street Journal reports, they purchased the home at 36 Sterling in Park Slope in 2006 for $1.9 million. The couple moved in while Gyllenhaal was pregnant with their first daughter; now that both daughters are attending schools outside the neighborhood, they're listing the house.

    According to the Sotheby's listing, the house has four bedrooms, a fireplace, and a south-facing garden.

    Read more: Shaq is selling his lakeside Florida mansion for $22 million, and it comes with a 17-car garage and a 6,000-square-foot basketball court — here's a look inside

    The past several months have seen a variety of high-profile celebrity real estate transactions in Brooklyn. Matt Damon bought the borough's most expensive home — a $16.7 million penthouse— in December. And, in January, Curbed reported that celebrity couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski splashed out $11 million for a condo in the same building as Damon.

    Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard's four-story townhouse is listed with Debbie Korb of Sotheby's International Realty.

    Below, take a look at the property.

    SEE ALSO: Hollywood-style trailers, exclusive dinner parties, and 'Instagram museums': The CEO of a real estate PR firm dishes on how he sells multimillion-dollar mansions to the super-rich

    READ MORE: A SoHo triplex penthouse got a $5.5 million price chop, but it could still break the record for the most expensive apartment ever sold in downtown NYC

    Celebrity couple Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard got married in May 2009 and, in 2012, purchased a Park Slope, Brooklyn, townhouse for a reported $1.9 million.

    Source: People, The Wall Street Journal



    The couple has two daughters and, according to The Wall Street Journal, is selling the house because both girls are going to school outside of the neighborhood.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal



    The couple's home is in Park Slope, an expensive Brooklyn neighborhood that borders Prospect Park to the east.

    Source: Google Maps



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Pikachu

    • While video games have blossomed into a multi-billion dollar industry, most attempts to adapt popular games into movies have failed.
    • In spite of terrible reviews, recent video game-based movies like "Rampage," "Warcraft," and "Assassin's Creed" have seen high international earnings, perhaps thanks to their recognizable brands.
    • At least three video game movies will be released during 2019, and there are more than a dozen currently in production.

    There's no denying the impact video games have on pop culture. But despite decades worth of attempts, only a handful of movies have been successful in bringing the fun of gaming to the big screen.

    A trio of recent big budget video game adaptations, "Rampage, "Warcraft," and "Assassin's Creed," were all commercial and critical failures in the U.S., but managed to take advantage of their recognizable brands to earn hundreds of millions of dollars overseas. Their performance proved that there remains a market for video game movies, no matter what the critics say. 

    So, more movies based on video games are on the way! At least three video game-based movies will be released this year, and more than a dozen adaptations are currently in the works.

    These are the upcoming video game-based movies to look out for:

    SEE ALSO: The new 'Detective Pikachu' movie trailer features cute and creepy 'real-life' versions of Pokémon — here they all are

    SEE ALSO: A 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie is on the way, but fans think his new design looks awful

    "Detective Pikachu" (May 2019)

    "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu" is easily the most anticipated of the upcoming video game movies. An early trailer showed off Nintendo's iconic Pokémon characters in live action for the first time, and "Deadpool" star Ryan Reynolds will voice the titular character.

    It seems the movie is mostly inspired by the story of the "Detective Pikachu" video game, released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016, but details are sparse.



    "Angry Birds Movie 2" (August 2019)

    This year will mark the the 10th anniversary of "Angry Birds," the smash hit mobile game that has grown into a monster licensing vehicle. While the "Angry Birds" fad is over, the characters do still have their fans. 

    The first "Angry Birds" movie is actually the third highest-grossing video game movie of all time, with more than $352 million box office earnings worldwide. Only "Warcraft" and "Rampage have earned more.



    "Sonic the Hedgehog" (November 2019)

    Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most iconic video game characters in the world, and after multiple cartoon series and nearly three decades worth of games, he'll be getting a live-action film later this year.

    So far Paramount Pictures has only offered glimpses of Sonic's live-action look, but fans have been less than pleased. Sonic will be voiced by Ben Schwartz of "Parks & Recreation," with legendary comedian Jim Carrey playing Sonic's nemesis, Dr. Robotnik.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Fyre Netflix

    • Despite Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland currently serving a six-year prison sentence for fraud charges related to the disastrous music festival, Netflix's "Fyre" director Chris Smith thinks we haven't seen the last of McFarland.
    • Smith told Business Insider he feels that way because of how easy it was for McFarland to rebound after Fyre. 
    • But Erik Bernstein, vice president of Bernstein Crisis Management, told Business Insider most people going forward are not going to trust something that McFarland is involved in.

     

    Despite being known as the face of the biggest music festival failure in recent memory, there are some who believe we have not heard the last of Billy McFarland.

    This week McFarland — who was touted as an entrepreneur on the rise before his brainchild Fyre Festival imploded — is the focus of not one but two documentaries released on streaming services. Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud” and Netflix’s “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” both, in their own ways, delve inside the disaster and give a deep look at McFarland's shady business practices.

    And though he’s currently serving a six-year prison sentence for wire fraud charges, you could make the argument that due to the amount of people who will watch both documentaries, McFarland will have a bigger profile in the public eye than ever when he’s eventually released.

    Billy McFarlandIn Netflix’s “Fyre," the movie even suggests that we may have not seen the last of McFarland, as the movie ends with Marc Weinstein, a music festival consultant who was hired on to do Fyre, saying:

    “I actually wouldn’t be surprised if ten years down the line we’re going to be hearing about Billy McFarland starting some kind of other venture that’s imaginative and gets some serious momentum and this all happens in some form again.”

    Read more: We watched both Netflix and Hulu's docs about the doomed Fyre Festival, and one gives you a better look inside the fiasco

    Chris Smith, the director of Netflix’s “Fyre,” told Business Insider he agreed with what Weinstein said, and added that McFarland didn't even need these two documentaries to land back on his feet after doing time.

    "I think he would have that status regardless," Smith said.

    Fyre 2 NetflixSmith based this on what stood out to him while making “Fyre” — seeing how easy it was for McFarland to rebound after the festival went up in smoke.

    “He didn’t miss a beat,” Smith said. “He was continuing to move forward and seemed to be living the lifestyle that he had before Fyre."

    "He’s a very smart, very focused, industrious person,” Smith added.

    But not everyone is convinced it's a sure thing McFarland will make a comeback.

    "Though McFarland may well try to raise his reputation from the ashes of the Fyre Festival fiasco, there were enough folks burned the first time around that I would expect to see concerted efforts to raise awareness of McFarland’s involvement in any future events," Erik Bernstein, vice president of Bernstein Crisis Management, told Business Insider. "Name recognition is great in many cases, but the large-scale misery broadcast by Fyre Festival attendees should be enough to scare people from spending their money on anything McFarland is involved in."

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