Tech

‘What We Do in The Shadows’ Series Lands at FX…

The long-rumored “What We Do in the Shadows” series is moving forward at FX with a pilot production commitment, Variety has learned. Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi–the stars, writers, and directors of the 2014 film–will serve as executive producers, with Clement serving as writer and Waititi serving as director. Scott Rudin, Paul Simms, Garrett Basch, and Eli Bush […]

Netflix's success turns net neutrality into an…

With millions of subscribers still flocking to its services, Netflix no longer worries about being protected by net neutrality

Montana mandates 'net neutrality' for state…

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has signed an order prohibiting telecommunications companies receiving state contracts from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps

Historian discusses the evolution of social…

Niall Ferguson talks technology in the era of President Trump on 'Sunday Morning Futures.'

Facebook Basically Says Social Media Can 'Damage…

A critical post by a Facebook employee says the social media site is trying to answer the hard questions.

Get your stuff and go: Amazon opens store with no…

No cashiers, no lines, no registers _ this is how Amazon sees the future of in-store shopping

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Microsoft’s $189 Windows laptops are going to be…

For the past three years, Microsoft has watched as Google's Chromebooks have eaten away at the low-cost Windows PC market. Chromebooks have gone from being a rarity to a highly practical option for kids, college students, and anyone who doesn't need to use fancy software. The biggest component of Chrome OS's growth has been price. You can buy a usable Chromebook for under $200, and a fancy one goes for $500. Up until now, you've had to double those numbers for Windows devices. At an event in London, Microsoft and its manufacturing partners announced a new generation of cheap Windows 10 S devices aimed at the education market. The headliner is a $189 Lenovo laptop, powered by Intel's Apollo Lake-generation Celeron chips. It's black and plasticky and objectively not the prettiest computer around, but assuming that it's as serviceable as the specs suggest, it could be a game-changer for Microsoft, and introduce some much-needed competition into the cheap PC market. The $189 Lenovo 100e is the cheapest new machine being unveiled today, but it's certainly not alone. Lenovo also has the 300e, a 2-in-1 laptop with touch and pen support, which will retail for $289. Cheap Chromebooks have made waves for putting touch support into sub-$300 laptops, where it's perfect for working in classrooms or taking notes in lecture halls, so this also seems like a design targeted at Chromebooks. The new Lenovo laptops are also joined by two similar devices from JP. They're priced at $199 and $299 for the non-touch and touch versions respectively, so customers will have good choice between two different manufacturers at the same price point. Microsoft isn't just relying on software to take back the classroom, either. It announced a new version of Minecraft aimed at educators today, along with discounts on its augmented reality products, which it sees as another differentiator between Windows devices and Chromebooks.

Mexican Uber driver in US illegally charged with…

California prosecutors say a Mexican Uber driver living in the country illegally has been charged with raping, assaulting and robbing young women

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch says Facebook should…

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose companies own the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the New York Post and other media properties, says Facebook should pay fees to "trusted" news producers for their content

No More Grocery Cashiers? 'Amazon Go' Opens Monday

Amazon will open its high-tech grocery store to the public this week after a year of beta testing the no-checkout technology on employees. Amazon Go allows shoppers to simply take whatever they want to purchase and leave, eliminating the need for lines or cashiers. The concept store is slated to...

Netflix Blasts Past Q4 Subscriber-Growth…

Netflix reeled in 8.3 million new streaming subscribers — including almost 2 million in the U.S. — handily beating Wall Street estimates for the fourth quarter of 2017. The record subscriber results pushed shares of the company up more than 9% in after-hours trading. That came after Netflix shares closed up 3.2% Monday at $227.58 […]

Rocket launched in New Zealand deploys commercial…

A rocket launched from New Zealand has reached orbit carrying commercial satellites for earth imaging and weather and ship tracking

'Squirming on the Floor': Uber's Kalanick Had…

Bloomberg is out with a lengthy feature about the final, turbulent year of Travis Kalanick at the helm of Uber, which the story maintains was "a lot weirder and darker than you thought." As evidence of that, reporters Eric Newcomer and Brad Stone unearth a bizarre anecdote about Kalanick's behavior...

French Purists Don't Want Citizens To Say…

A society of high-minded French purists have deemed another English-derived word unfit for their language. According to the Local , Commission d'enrichissement de la langue française has zeroed in on the use of "smartphone." Known in English as the Enrichment Commission for the French Language, the group is affiliated with conservative...

Grammys Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New York…

The first New York Grammy Week in 15 years kicked off with a bang, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the organization’s new local headquarters, a stunning $13.5 million, 1860 townhouse across East 37th Street from the J.P. Morgan Museum. “This marks the first […]

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He Said He Was Innocent for 40 Years. Google…

Facebook may have been one criminal's undoing—Google was another's saving grace. The Guardian has the story of Stephen Simmons, a 62-year-old British businessman whose frustration over a 1976 conviction for a crime he maintained he did not commit had never dissipated. He and two pals were arrested in June...

He Becomes Twitter Sensation With Very First Post

Gary Lee had zero tweets to his name as of Jan. 12. That changed in a big way on Jan. 13, when he posted this series of tweets about his Korean heritage and suddenly became Twitter famous, reports Yahoo News . Lee once worked as a staffer in the Obama White...

Russian networks pushing conservative meme…

Russia-linked Twitter networks are pushing a conservative meme related to the investigation of Russian election interference, researchers say

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Dominates Social…

With its Jan. 26 opening looming, Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” topped social media buzz last week with 72,000 new conversations, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service. The traction took place with the first film reviews published as the action thriller opened in markets overseas, starting with South Korea, Australia and […]

Virtual Reality Chat Room Stunned as Robot Has Seizure

It was business as usual in the virtual reality chat room until the robot had a seizure. The Verge reports the unnerving incident happened Wednesday on VRChat, where users in the forms of avatars can interact with each other. According to the Daily Dot , "Morty, Sonic, Knuckles, a dude in...

Def Leppard, Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Nicks…

CSM Management, the music management firm launched by Craig Fruin, Sheryl Louis, and Mike Kobayashi, has opened its doors officially with offices in Nashville and Los Angeles. All three partners come from having worked with the late Howard Kaufman, founder of HK Management, who died in 2017. The CSM roster includes Lenny Kravitz, Jeff Lynne and […]

Josh Hartnett Sells Downtown New York City…

Though he settled for well below his last asking price of $3.8 million, not to mention nearly a million bucks less than his original, pie-in-the-sky asking price of $4.25 million, word on the New York City celebrity real estate street, via Mansion Global, is Josh Hartnett sold his custom renovated lower Manhattan pied-à-terre penthouse loft […]

Intel: Our Spectre patch might break your…

Ever since the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws were made public at the beginning of the year, tech companies have been scrambling to get users to update their software. But unfortunately, after sending the software patch to computer manufacturers and enterprise customers, chipmaker Intel discovered that its security fix caused reboot problems. Intel cautioned users about installing the patch in a blog post last week, but as of today, the company appears to have given up on this round of patches altogether. "We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors, and end users stop deployment of current versions on specific platforms,” Intel executive vice president Neil Shenoy said in a statement, “as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior.” Patching certain variants of the Spectre vulnearbility requires Intel to rewrite processor firmware, a challenging task that’s much harder than patching the security flaws at a browser and operating system level. Recent statements from Intel and Microsoft confirm that some patches may cause a reduction in system performance, as patching the vulnerabilities means fiddling with processes that are designed to speed up CPU performance. The reboot problems mostly affect Broadwell and Haswell processors, introduced in 2015 and 2013 respectively. However, Intel also revealed in a release last week that the reboot problems can occur on other processor generations, depending on the configuration. "We have determined that similar behavior occurs on other products in some configurations, including Ivy Bridge-, Sandy Bridge-, Skylake-, and Kaby Lake-based platforms," Intel said in a statement last week. Right now, it seems like the best course of action is to stop any Intel firmware updates until further notice. Intel said that "over the weekend, we began rolling out an early version of the updated solution to industry partners for testing, and we will make a final release available once that testing has been completed," so hopefully a bug-free security patch should roll out to customers within a week or two.

‘The Resident’ Consultant Under Review A…

Twentieth Century Fox Television is reviewing a sexual-harassment claim against Zachary Lutsky, a prominent Hollywood medical consultant who currently works on Fox’s “The Resident” and was the subject of a human-resources investigation while working on ABC Studios “Code Black,” Variety has learned. “We have only recently learned of these allegations through an inquiry from a […]

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‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan on…

“Breaking Bad” is one of the most acclaimed shows of the past decade, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing to create the hit series. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the “Breaking Bad” premiere, creator Vince Gilligan, and the show’s producers and writers sat down with Variety‘s Maureen Ryan to reflect on the show. […]

John Cho Lauds Asian-American Casting in New Film…

John Cho discussed the significance of showcasing an Asian-American family in his upcoming film “Search” at the Variety Studio presented by AT&T at the Sundance Film Festival. Cho said it was “exciting” to play a member of an all Asian-American family in the thriller. “I’m usually paired with someone who is not Asian, which is […]

Scientists discover rocks used in Empire State…

Researchers are constantly finding amazing fossils in places where you might not expect them, but a new discovery by scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) really takes the cake. After close examination of a popular building material known as oolitic limestone, scientists have declared that the grainy rocks were actually created by living microbes hundreds of millions of years ago. This specific type of limestone is easily recognizable due to its bumpy appearance. The tiny spherical grains, called ooids, that make up the rock were long thought to be the result of tiny pebbles rolling back and forth on the sea floor, building up concentric layers of sediment like a snowball rolling along a yard. Now, science has a new explanation. The research, which was published in Scientific Reports, doesn't so much debunk previous theories as supplement them. The researchers don't discount the idea that ooids are made up of random sediment, but rather attempts to explain how that sediment was gathered and solidified. The paper suggests that tiny microbes existing in a "biofilm" created the initial grains of material that act as the core of each small ooid sphere, gradually gathering additional material and solidifying it in a process called organomineralisation. Using mathematical models to support their hunch, the researchers successfully demonstrated that microbes could be responsible for ooid formation. Their work shows how a biofilm filled with microbes could sustain itself with nutrients from the outside and, as microbes die over time, create a hard mineralized "inner zone" which produced the small grains we see today. The unique rock is thought to have formed as far back as 340 million years. What's particularly interesting about all of this is that oolitic limestone is used all over the world, and in some of humanity's most impressive structures. As ANU points out, types of oolitic limestone are used in the Empire State Building, Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral, and even the Pentagon. It's been used for centuries, and until now it was just thought of as a quirky, decorative choice for designers. Now, it seems, all that material might actually be the fossilized leftovers of microbes that predated even the dinosaurs.