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Original Content podcast: We drop by Netflix’s ‘Terrace House’

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

Terrace House is a tough show to explain.

Like The Real World and other reality TV, the show puts a group of largely young and attractive strangers together in a house. But that’s about where the similarities end.

On Terrace House, most of the cast members genuinely seem to be rooting for each other. And while there’s drama, it’s scaled way back, so that passive aggressive remarks about soup can end up dominating an episode.

Darrell’s a big fan, so on this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, we checked out the latest season, Opening New Doors (a co-production of Netflix and Japanese TV network Fuji). Sadly, this is his final episode as a regular host, but at least he got to go out with a bang. (And we’re hoping to lure him back.)

We also covered the week’s streaming and entertainment news, like the (distant) launch date for Apple’s TV efforts, Netflix’s plans for Carmen Sandiego and new trailers for The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld. Plus, Jordan finishes watching the e..

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Uber is shutting down its on-demand delivery service, UberRush

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

Uber is shutting down UberRush, its on-demand delivery service, reports TechCrunch. The company said in an email to customers that it will be ending the program on June 30th, 2018.

The company launched the on-demand delivery service in 2014 in Manhattan, which allowed users to hire someone to pick up a package and deliver it to another location. The company later expanded the service to Chicago and San Francisco in 2015, but while it opened its Application Program Interface (API) for private businesses to use it as a delivery option, it never expanded beyond those three cities. In April 2017, Uber announced that restaurants would no longer be able to use the service, shifting food delivery over to another program, UberEats. A…

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Google is shuttering its URL shortening service, goo.gl 

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

Google announced that it is shutting down its URL shortening service, goo.gl. The company says that new and anonymous users won’t be able to create links through the goo.gl console as of April 13th, but existing users will be able to use it for another year, after which it will be discontinued completely.

Firebase Software Engineer Michael Hermanto says that the company introduced the URL shortener in 2009, and that since then, the ways in which people share information on the web has changed, while additional URL shorteners have grown in popularity. He notes that Google is refocusing its efforts by replacing it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL), which allow users to redirect to specific locations in iOS, Android or web apps.

Existing…

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Here are the 2018 Hugo Award nominees

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

The nominees for the 2018 Hugo Awards were announced today, representing the best science fiction and fantasy literature published in 2017.

The Hugo Awards are one of speculative fiction’s most prestigious prizes. Named for Amazing Stories editor Hugo Gernsback and first handed out in 1953, they recognize the best works in science fiction and fantasy literature each year. The awards are overseen by the World Science Fiction Society and are selected by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (known as Worldcon). Another set of prizes, the Retrospective Hugo Awards, recognizes works published prior to the beginning of the Hugos (this year, for works published in 1943).

Last year, women almost completely swept the awards: N.K….

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Report: Netflix is ‘in advanced talks’ to acquire Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp studio

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

Last year, French filmmaker Luc Besson released Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a glitzy, CGI-filled summer blockbusterwhich ended up being a disappointment at the box office for his studio EuropaCorp. According to a report in the French site Capital (via The Playlist andio9), Netflix is “in advanced talks” to purchase the studio.

Besson co-founded the studio in 1999, and since then, it’s been known for films such as Lucy, Taken, Lock-Out, The Circle, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The studio blamed the latter and other weak performers for an $83 million loss at the end of 2017, and weeks later, Variety reported that there were several buyers interested in purchasing the company, which was struggling…

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Does Ready Player One reveal the future of VR?

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

Maggie Lane
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Maggie Lane is a writer and producer of virtual reality experiences and covers the industry for various publications.

It was barely minutes after the Ready Player One premiere, and texts from my friends and colleagues in the VR community began pouring in…

“How was it?”

Those of us in the mixed reality industries have been waiting for this film like the VR messiah that will deliver us to public mass adoption. And the breathless prayer? “Please, oh please, let Ready Player One make VR look cool.”

To many, VR creators make expensive content that few will ever experience or have interest in experiencing. I have read dozens of articles in the last year announcing either the end or the beginning of VR.

I have seen VR portrayed as a portent for humanity’s most solitary, basic, and evil instincts over and over again in television and film. Most of all, I received questions from people that are confused by what this technology is and ..

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Arbtr wants to create an anti-feed where users can only share one thing at a time

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

At a time when the models of traditional social networks are being questioned, it’s more important than ever to experiment with alternatives. Arbtr is a proposed social network that limits users to sharing a single thing at any given time, encouraging “ruthless self-editing” and avoiding “nasty things” like endless feeds filled with trivial garbage.

It’s seeking funds on Kickstarter and could use a buck or two. I plan to.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Why would I give money to maybe join a social network eventually that might not have any of my friends on it on it? That is, if it ever even exists?” Great question.

The answer is: how else do you think we’re going to replace Facebook? Someone with a smart, different idea has to come along and we have to support them. If we won’t spare the cost of a cup of coffee for a purpose like that, then we deserve the social networks we’ve got. (And if I’m honest, I’ve had very similar ideas over the last few years and I’m eager to see how t..

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Mineko’s Night Market is a cat-filled spin on Animal Crossing

March 31, 2018 Alex 0

The world of Mineko’s Night Market is one obsessed with cats. Felines roam freely around its cartoony, cutesy island. Mini-games make sport of their adventures, and occasionally they’ll trail after you like ducklings behind their mother. On Mount Fugu Island, inhabitants even worship cat deities — specifically, the Sun Cat, a portly, upright creature called Abe. Developer Meowza Games has made no secret of its love of one specific animal, but the pleasing aesthetic of its upcoming game only lends to the friendly, approachable atmosphere of it all.

Mineko’s Night Market, launching this year, follows a girl named Mineko who’s recently moved to Mount Fugu Island. She currently runs a market, but it’s been in a financial pinch as of late….

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