Tech

First Look: ‘Victoria’ Star Jenna Coleman in…

Production has begun in Melbourne, Australia on psychological drama “The Cry,” starring “Victoria” actress Jenna Coleman. The BBC also released first look images for the four-part drama which is produced by Synchronicity Films for BBC One. Co-starring Ewen Leslie the new drama sees Coleman star as a woman travelling with her husband and baby from […]

Paul Ryan Challenger Banned From Twitter Over…

Paul Nehlen is vying for Paul Ryan's Wisconsin House seat, and he won't have Twitter to help him in his quest. The man described by the Washington Post as a "fringe challenger" who lost to Ryan 16% to 84% in 2016 had his account permanently suspended in a move he...

Indictment: Social media firms got played by…

Indictment shows how Facebook and Twitter got seriously played by Russian agents

India Could Have Its Own Hyperloop Soon, Thanks…

The hyperloop would connect the cities of Pune and Mumbai in just 25 minutes. It currently takes more than three hours to make the trip.

He Saves Our Electronics From the Dump, Now Faces Prison

Eric Lundgren is known for impressive and admirable feats, with his e-waste recycling company putting 14,000 cellphones in the hands of US soldiers abroad; the 33-year-old's company handles 41 million pounds of e-waste annually. Now, he's fighting a 15-month sentence. The Washington Post explains the jargony situation, which involves...

Sony tries to steal the MWC hype with this curved…

Samsung and the Galaxy S9 are already shaping up to be the winners of the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The Galaxy S9 is on everyone’s lips, as it's featured in more rumors and leaks than any other handset supposed to be unveiled at the show. But Sony just released a puzzling teaser for its own MWC 2018 press event. The company posted a 23-second clip on Twitter and Instagram, that shows a hand reaching out to hold what appears to be a curved device. https://twitter.com/sonyxperia/status/965511954935803904 Last year, Sony unveiled an interesting Xperia XZ Premium phone, which was named the best new smartphone at MWC 2017. Sony indeed surprised the audience with its announcement, taking advantage of the Galaxy S8’s absence from the same show. But no matter how great that device looked like, and no matter how powerful it was supposed to be, the Xperia XZ Premium had one major handicap. It was stuck in the past when it comes to design. MWC 2017 brought us the LG G6, an all-screen handset with minimal bezels, and we already knew the Galaxy S8 and iPhone X would introduce the same type of design. Fast forward to a year later, and it’s next-gen design that Sony’s teaser alludes to. Sony’s video, posted on social media a week before its customary early Monday MWC press event, suggests the next flagship will feature some sort of curvature, likely on the outside. It’s probably too early to dream of a foldable Sony handset. Instead, Sony is perhaps teasing a device that’s more comfortable to hold thanks to a curved rear shell. We’ll tell you exactly what it is come February 26th, as soon as Sony unveils its new smartphone models.

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Russians charged with meddling in 2016…

The U.S. special counsel has accused 13 Russians of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election

The Latest: 13 Russians accused of plot to…

The U.S. special counsel has accused 13 Russians of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election

SpaceX Taking First Steps To Provide Internet To…

SpaceX plans to launch two satellites equipped with internet technology to test the company's internet-in-space project.

Israel successfully tests advanced missile defense system

Israel says it's successfully tested system capable of defending against ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere

There’s something wrong with NASA’s Mars…

NASA has had an incredible streak of good luck as of late with spacecraft that have far outlived their expectations. Cassini at Saturn, the Opportunity rover on Mars, and several other pieces of high-tech space hardware have performed for much longer than was initially expected of them. Unfortunately, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which was launched in 2005 and has delivered more data on the Red Planet than any other Mars mission, is starting to cause some headaches. According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the spacecraft has been put into "precautionary standby status" after it alerted its handlers of low battery voltage. The craft is equipped with solar panels that power its instruments, but when it swings to the dark side of the planet it relies on rechargeable batteries to keep it up and running. Now, NASA has to figure out exactly what is wrong, and do so from over 30 million miles away. "We're in the diagnostic stage, to better understand the behavior of the batteries and ways to give ourselves more options for managing them in the future," MRO Project Manager Dan Johnston explains. "We will restore MRO's service as a relay for other missions as soon as we can do so with confidence in spacecraft safety, likely in about one week. After that, we will resume science observations." NASA is optimistic that they can iron out whatever issues are leading to the spacecraft's battery woes, but it's not exactly shocking that the hardware is having problems when you consider its age. Launching in 2005, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbit was slated to have a two-year mission window which it completed with flying colors. Following that success, NASA has issues extended missions five times, allowing the orbiter to continue gathering and relaying a treasure trove of data about the planet. According to NASA, the MRO has delivered over 317 terabits of data thus far, which is more than all other Mars mission combined. In just a couple of years, NASA is slated to launch its Mars 2020 mission which will feature the delivery of a new rover to the Red Planet. The rover will be a cutting-edge piece of scientific hardware capable of making advanced observations about the composition of the Martian surface.

Andrea Riseborough’s Thriller ‘Nancy’ Sells to…

Samuel Goldwyn Films has purchased North American rights to the thriller “Nancy,” which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival in U.S. Dramatic Competition and won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Samuel Goldwyn will give the film a traditional theatrical release later this year. “Nancy” stars Andrea Riseborough as a woman who becomes increasingly convinced […]

Fergie Acknowledges National Anthem Snafu…

Fergie’s performance of the national anthem at Friday’s NBA All-Star Game didn’t exactly go over well, with her sexy take causing observers to take to Twitter in confusion and dismay. The singer released a statement Monday responding to the backlash, admitting that “clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone.” “I’ve always been honored and […]

Watch Overwatch’s bizarre Puppy Rumble live rig…

Blizzard is going big for the Overwatch Year of the Dog celebration. Not only has the game rolled out new seasonal skins and a new game mode complete with brand-new map, the company is also hosting some kind of Overwatch-themed puppy derby. We don't know exactly what to expect, but based on the teaser trailer, cute dogs in Overwatch costumes doing cute things for the camera is a pretty safe bet. Tune in below at 6PM ET/3PM PT to find out. https://twitter.com/PlayOverwatch/status/964937496583749633 The event will be streamed live on Twitch, and we've embedded the channel below for your easy viewing pleasure. The Lunar New Year event is live right now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, bringing with it a handful of new legendary skins and the first-ever dedicated Capture The Flag map. The new skins are for Pharah, Widowmaker, Genji, McCree, Mercy, and Zarya. There are also new Victory poses, Highlight intros and Emotes for many of those characters. The biggest change for this event, however, is the introduction of a new Capture the Flag map, and Competitive Capture the Flag. The Overwatch team has tweaked the game-mode a little to make it more fun and less likely to end in a draw, with the hope of making Capture the Flag a more permanent fixture in Arcade. The full patch notes are below: PATCH HIGHLIGHTS New Seasonal Event: Lunar New Year 2018 Get ready to ring in the Year of the Dog! This year, we’re celebrating Lunar New Year with over 50 new seasonal items including legendary skins like Red Phoenix (Zhu Que) Mercy, Black Tortoise (Xuan Wu) Zarya, White Tiger (Bai Hu) Genji, and Black Lily Widowmaker. Experience our updates to our Capture the Flag mode—including a competitive Capture the Flag mode and Sudden Death—on a brand-new map, Ayutthaya. To learn more about the new Capture the Flag changes, click here. Hero Skin Selection Fashion-forward heroes, rejoice! Players can now change hero skins with the “Select Skin” dropdown menu in the Hero Select screen at the start of a match. Show off your favorite unlocked skins when playing solo or coordinate with your friends to be the best dressed on the battlegrounds of tomorrow. HERO UPDATES Doomfist Hand Cannon Damage reduced from 11 to 6 Number of bullets fired increased from 6 to 11 Spread pattern made more consistent Developer Comments: We have made a lot of progress with Doomfist’s movement in recent patches but we wanted to revisit his Hand Cannon. While the damage per bullet has been lowered, the number of bullets he fires per Hand Cannon shot has been increased which makes his overall damage output unchanged. Overall, these changes will help his Hand Cannon feel much more consistent. Reaper Death Blossom Now fires at players behind barriers Developer Comments: Previously, Reaper’s Death Blossom would target barriers but not the players hiding behind them. This change will make it more effective against shields and consistent with how other auto-target abilities work (e.g. McCree’s Deadeye, Symmetra’s Sentry Turret). USER INTERFACE UPDATES General Matchmaking UI now displays the game mode players have queued for while waiting for players Competitive Play leaver messages now display as a chat notification The Hero Select screen now displays the game mode and map type Heroes Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony will now display its target’s hero name BUG FIXES General Fixed a bug that caused the mouse cursor to lose focus when using third party overlays (e.g. Discord) Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented the Overwatch League scheduled matches of the day from loading AI Fixed a bug that prevented bots from voting on cards at the end of the match on Hybrid and Control maps Competitive Play Fixed a bug that prevented capture progress UI on Assault and Hybrid maps from displaying the correct team colors Fixed a bug that allowed players to use the Hero Select screen during the loading screen at the start of a match Deathmatch Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Infra-sight from functioning if it was used at the same time as another Widowmaker’s Infra-sight Fixed a bug that caused Torbjörn to collide with his turret Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets to continue targeting Junkrat’s Steel Trap after it was destroyed Fixed a bug that prevented players from being able to stand on top of enemy players Fixed a bug that allowed backfilling players to enter at 9th place during the match Fixed a bug that caused targets hacked by Sombra to appear purple instead of red Fixed a bug that caused the displayed hero on the lobby screen to appear in low detail when entering and exiting the Overwatch League screen Game Browser and Custom Games Fixed a bug that allowed players to summon infinite bots in custom games Fixed a bug that caused D.Va to lose her Self-Destruct ultimate if she died out of her mech when the “Spawn with Ultimate Ready” option was enabled Fixed a bug that caused the Victory voice line to play when a match ended in a draw while spectating Heroes Fixed a bug that caused airborne heroes to lose speed when changing direction Fixed a bug that prevented golden weapon visual effects from displaying when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused heroes’ scoped shots to be calculated as misses in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s Candy emote from displaying when viewing Kill Cam footage Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to impact with D.Va’s mech before it materialized during her Call Mech ability Fixed a bug that prevented kills caused by Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from receiving environmental kill credit Fixed a bug that allowed D.Va’s mech to take damage before it materialized when using Call Mech Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from sheathing his katana after using his Whirlwind emote Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from using his Cyber-agility occasionally Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Dragonstrike to be calculated in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Hanzo’s Wall Climb from activating occasionally Fixed a bug that prevented Junkrat’s Concussive Mine from dealing damage if it was deflected by Genji Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Caduceus Staff to disappear when using the Parasol emote Fixed a bug that caused Mercy to fly in an unintended direction if she was stunned during Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that prevented Mercy from destroying breakables she collides with in her flight path when using Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Valkyrie flight controls to not be precise when using Resurrect Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s Biotic Grasp’s hits against barriers to be calculated as misses in her accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that extended the cooldown of Orisa’s Halt! by one second if it successfully pulled an enemy Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to block Reaper’s Death Blossom if she used her Marioneta emote Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to have a blank expression during his Toast victory pose Fixed a bug that allowed projectiles to sometimes penetrate Reinhardt’s Barrier Field Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Charge bonus damage from being dealt if the target was sandwiched between a charging friendly Reinhardt and a charging enemy Reinhardt Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to knock back a target instead of pinning them if he collided with an enemy at the start of his Charge Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s canister from appearing when viewing Overwatch League skins Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Chain Hook to clip the first-person camera when pulling in a target Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra’s EMP from canceling an enemy Sombra’s Hack if it was in progress Fixed a bug that prevented Symmetra’s Shield Generator from displaying in the Overwatch League skin preview screen Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn’s lava ball from appearing in his Batter Up emote if his hammer was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s hair to not hang properly in the Hanging Around Highlight Intro when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s Venom Mine to use Overwatch League team colors when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook animation from playing when using the ability Fixed a bug that caused Winston to lose some upward momentum when using Jump Pack off small inclines Fixed a bug that caused Overwatch League team decals to disappear from Winston’s suit when he used Primal Rage Fixed a bug that caused Zenyatta’s Discord Orb to fly in an odd direction if its target died before arriving Hero Gallery Fixed a bug that prevented players from purchasing non-hero sprays Maps Fixed a bug that caused some heroes to get stuck behind the lamp post directly outside the first Defender spawn room in Blizzard World Fixed an issue that allowed players to reach unintended locations in Blizzard World Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s Micro Missiles from passing through piñatas on Dorado Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat’s RIP-tire to travel under the trailer at the final point on Hollywood Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s Biotic Orbs from bouncing off the wooden pillars on Hollywood Fixed a bug that caused the UI to show a fraction of a meter to go when reaching checkpoints on Escort and Assault/Escort maps UI Fixed a bug that prevented the hero portrait from displaying when watching Highlights when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented player portraits from displaying during the Play of the Game, Kill Cam, Spectating, and Highlights

Watch a Japanese hypercar go from 0-60 MPH in 1.9…

For reasons that are mostly arbitrary, evaluating a car's 0-60 MPH time has become the de facto standard for measuring a car's raw acceleration. Indeed, the only reason we even pay attention to 0-60 times is because it's the closest approximation to the 0-100 km/h standard used elsewhere in the world. Now you might be wondering: why was 100 km/h chosen as a benchmark in the first place? Well, who doesn't like a nice round number. Although there are a number of other performance metrics which are far more instructive than an impressive 0-60 time, that's the reality the automotive world operates in. That's the metric we all have a frame of reference for. That being the case, you'll undoubtedly be impressed by the Aspark Owl, a hypercar out of Japan that can go from a full stop to 60 MPH in just 1.9 seconds. While the next-gen Roadster Tesla unveiled a few months back can accelerate just as fast, the car isn't set to be available until 2020. And given Tesla's storied history of missing deadlines, it wouldn't surprise us in the slightest if the release date gets pushed back to 2021. The Owl, meanwhile, exists today and was recently captured on video doing its thing in what seems like a back lot of some random building. And while the Owl reportedly achieved the feat using racing tires, Aspark notes that future iterations will be able to hit that same impressive 0-60 time with street legal tires. https://youtu.be/7H6uhtbwx1k Motor Authority adds: Powering the Owl is an electric motor at each axle delivering a combined 430 horsepower and 563 pound-feet of torque, which is sent to all four wheels. That might not seem like much but the Owl only weighs 1,874 pounds. Powering its electric motors is a combination of batteries and supercapacitors, said to be capable of delivering a range of 93 miles on a single charge. If you're interested in picking up an Aspark Owl for yourself, you better have extremely deep pockets. The company is planning to manufacture about 50 units at a planned price point of $4.4 million.

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Your photos will look so much clearer thanks to…

It’s so weird how a tiny little gadget that costs next to nothing can end up being one of the best purchases you make. Such is the case with the AmazonBasics Lightweight Mini Tripod, a compact tripod that works with action cameras, web cams, and especially smartphones like the iPhone or any flagship Android phone you might be using. It has metal legs so it’s nice and sturdy, and you can also adjust the height and angle to perfectly frame your subject. Trust is, it’ll be the best $7 you spend this week. Here are some highlights from the product page: Mini tripod with adjustable-height metal legs and rubber feet Compatible with small digital cameras (not DSLRs), GoPro devices, and smartphone adapters (not included); Works well for a webcam on your desk Recommended max load weight is 1.1 lbs (0.5kg) for optimal performance Small and lightweight for travel; extends from 4.76-inches to 7.5-inches Mini ball head for 360-degree rotation and 90-degree tilt Mini tripod with adjustable-height metal legs and rubber feet Compatible with small digital cameras (not DSLRs), GoPro devices, and smartphone adapters (not included), Works well with most of the webcam on your desk

Ridley Scott Tells Aspiring Filmmakers They Have…

Acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott told young filmmakers Monday night that they had “no excuses” not to be able to go out and make a movie. Speaking at a special BAFTA: A Life in Pictures event celebrating his career, Scott said the availability of modern technologies, such as digital cameras and computer editing programs, meant many […]

Amazon Boards Marjane Satrapi’s Marie Curie…

Amazon Prime Video has partnered with Studiocanal for Marjane Satrapi’s “Radioactive,” a biopic of two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie that stars Rosamund Pike. As part of the deal, Amazon is co-financing with Studiocanal and has taken international rights outside of France, Germany, Australia/New Zealand and the U.K., where Studiocanal has direct distribution operations. The […]

Berlin Film Review: ‘7 Days in Entebbe’

The word “fascist” is bandied around a lot in José Padilha’s recreation of the 1976 hijacking of Air France flight 139 from Tel Aviv to Paris. Two of the hijackers are German revolutionaries, and they know that they’ll be seen as fascists on a par with Nazis, for holding a planeload of Jewish people at […]

iOS 11.2.6 is available for download, and it…

Apple has released iOS 11.2.6 to everyone running iOS 11, one month after the last iOS 11 update. This edition appears to be purely a bug fix for the Teluga character bug, which caused messaging apps and iOS to crash. The bug centers around one character from the Teluga language, a Central-Southern Dravidian dialect spoken in India by about 70 million people. Receiving the character will crash whatever messaging app sees the character, forcing you to force-close the app. If you reopen the app and the character is still there, it will crash the app again. The bug will only crash the entire iPhone if a notification card or banner containing the character pops up on the device. If that happens, the Springboard software, which serves as the iOS app launcher, appears to crash, forcing you to reboot or reset your device in order to make it work again. The bug affects most messaging apps, including iMessage, WhatsApp, Gmail, Outlook for iOS, or Facebook Messenger. Apple's update notes confirms that the bug fix should be universal, so the Teluga character shouldn't crash any apps or Springboard any more: iOS 11.2.6 includes bug fixes for your iPhone or iPad. This update: Fixes an issue where using certain character sequences could cause apps to crash Fixes an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external accessories To apply the update, you need to be on a device already running iOS 11. You should also be connected to Wi-Fi, and be either connected to a charger or have greater than 50% battery life remaining. Assuming you’ve done all that, just go to Settings–>General–>Software Update, and your device should prompt you to download and install the update.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be dying, and could…

With the exception of Saturn and its iconic rings, Jupiter is probably the most recognizable planet in our Solar System. Its long, thick stripes are unlike anything else in our little celestial neighborhood, but its the massive swirling storm called the Great Red Spot that really catches our eyes. It's been raging for centuries, but that might be about to change, as scientists now believe that the storm is actually dying down, and could disappear entirely within a couple of decades. The incredibly intense storm, which is large enough that it could swallow Earth whole, is being closely watched by NASA's Juno spacecraft. Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for over six years, and in since arriving it's made some stunning observations regarding the planet's impressive weather patterns. The Great Red Spot is a result of powerful jet streams which spin in opposite directions, but they won't be able to keep churning forever. "In truth, the GRS has been shrinking for a long time," Glenn Orton of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Business Insider. The storm was once as large as four times the diameter of Earth, but more recent observations have shown that it's rapidly losing steam. "Now it's something like 13 degrees wide in longitude and only 1.3 times the size of the Earth," Orton says. "Nothing lasts forever." Late last year, Juno revealed some surprising information about the huge storm, including how deep into the planet it goes. The data showed that the storm is up to 100 times deeper than Earth's oceans, and the base of the storm is significantly hotter than the rapidly-moving winds we see in Jupiter's upper atmosphere. Researchers still don't know many of the specifics of what drives the storm, but it's obvious that it's beginning to breath its dying gasps. Within the next decade or two, the storm is likely to die out completely. Juno makes its observations during what are known as "science passes," which is just a fancy way of saying that all of its instruments are up and running as it cruises around the planet. The spacecraft's current planned mission is slated to wrap up in less than a year, but if it's still returning valuable data there's a good chance that it will get an extended mission which will keep it up and running for a while longer.

Watch a drone crash into Apple’s new spaceship…

We've been watching footage of the brand new Apple Park in Cupertino, California filmed by drones for months, but over this past weekend, the inevitable finally occurred. A drone crashed into the complex. Matthew Roberts, who has been filming the progress of the Apple Park for years, was contacted by someone who lost control of their drone as it was hovering over the Apple Park this weekend in an attempt to find out where it had crashed. After some time searching with his own DJI Phantom 4 Pro, Roberts eventually found the drone wedged between two solar panels on the roof of the facility. The original pilot got in touch with Apple to tell the company what happened, but there's no word yet on whether or not he will get his drone back. The good news is that, regardless of the drone's future, the footage of the crash landing will live on. Roberts uploaded the footage on his channel, along with the video of him finding the crashed drone on the roof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7NFnJDcb50 The pilot explained to Roberts that there were no signs of premature failure. The drone just suddenly plummeted to the ground, with the roof of the Apple Park breaking its fall. This is the first incident of its kind (or at least the first one we've heard of), so it might prompt Apple to crack down on allowing enthusiasts to fly over its campus in the future. While there doesn't appear to have been any damage, the drone could have just as easily hit an employee. That might hurt even more than walking face-first into a glass door.

Variety Lights Up London Honours Bash with 10…

The BAFTA Awards weekend in London started early Thursday (Feb. 15) when the fourth annual Newport Beach U.K. Honours evening, which packed the ballroom of the Rosewood Hotel with celebrants, luminaries and awards season contenders. Industry leaders on hand to be feted in the celebration of U.K. film creative talent included Sir Patrick Stewart, Gurinder Chadha, Jason […]

A mattress topper that basically turns any bed…

I recently spent almost a month shopping for the perfect mattress. When I finally picked one out and took delivery, it really wasn't as good as I was expecting. Thankfully, a friend put me onto eLuxurySupply Pressure Relief Mattress Pads, which are fantastic hypoallergenic mattress toppers that add a layer of luxurious comfort to any mattress. In fact, I sort of wish I knew about these before I spent all that money on a new mattress. These great mattress toppers are Amazon's deal of the day today and every single size has been discounted, from Twin all the way up to Queen and King. Here are some bullet points from the product page: THE PERFECT PRESSURE RELIEF SOLUTION - Tested and proven to reduce pressure and provide extra comfort to any bed EXTRA SOFT HYPOALLERGENIC FILL - Generously filled with advanced hypoallergenic cluster down fiber AUTHENTIC GOOSE & DUCK DOWN FEEL - Get the same goose and duck down feel without the feathers, poking, or allergies STAIN AND MOISTURE RESISTANT - 160 Thread Count PolySoft Cover - Machine Washable REVITALIZE YOUR MATTRESS WITH EXTRA PRESSURE RELIEF - Perfect for Restoring Older Mattresses, Softening Firm Mattresses, or Cooling Hot Mattresses

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‘Black Panther’ Is A Legit Phenomenon, but Will…

“Black Panther” came, saw and conquered, and it’s barely been in theaters four days. In that amount of time it has already outgrossed, domestically, what DC’s superhero team-up “Justice League” managed to conjure in three months. It has taken on a cultural significance unmeasurable to anyone who’s never wrangled with a lack of representation on […]

Lionsgate Intl. Set to Sell Out on Participant…

Lionsgate Intl. is on track to sell out at the Berlin Film Festival on one of the hottest tickets on the market: Viggo Mortensen-starrer “Green Book,” which is produced and financed by Participant Media. Directed by Peter Farrelly, and co-starring Mahershala Ali and Linda Cardellini, “Green Book” has sold to leading distributors in multiple major […]

Giant rodents are invading the West Coast

No populated area is without its share of mice, rats, and other pesky pests, but the West Coast is dealing with an influx of supersized rodents that are unlike anything you've seen scurrying down a dirty alley. Nutria, a type of large, rat-like rodent with large bucked teeth, has decided to make California its newest home, and researchers have discovered that the pests are breeding in massive numbers all along the coast. The rodents, which can grow to be as large as 20 pounds, were once big business for fur traders in South America, and they're being considered a dangerous invasive species here in the United States. That's a big problem, because just one female can produce as many as 200 offspring in just a year's time, and their numbers in California are now booming. "This is a very significant threat in terms of the environmental damage and our agriculture industry," Peter Tira of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told National Geographic. "It's a very frightening situation in terms of impact." The first hints that something was amiss came in early 2017 when officials caught one of the rodents and discovered it to be a pregnant female. As with most rodents, breeding populations can expand at a breakneck pace, and that appears to be exactly what is happening right now on the West Coast. Large numbers of the oversized rodents can wreak havoc on vegetation, not to mention damaging human infrastructure. A nutria boom in the southern US caused serious damage to drainage systems, and officials suggest the same could happen in coastal communities in California. "Nutria are destructive, wasteful feeders that destroy up to 10 times the vegetation they consume," the California Department of Fish & Wildlife explains. "Signs of presence typically include cut, emergent vegetation (e.g. cattails and bulrushes), with only the base portions eaten and the stems left floating." Wildlife officials in California are urging everyone to call in if they spot one of the rodents, and they're currently planning "an eradication plan" to stem the spread of the Nutria before things get too out-of-hand.