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  1. A leaked build of Windows 10 has revealed that Microsoft may be about to utilize BitTorrent-style tech to deliver updates to its new OS. Deep in the settings is an option to receive updates from multiple sources including Microsoft, local computers and those "on the Internet." Could this be BitTorrent or their own 'Avalanche' system? There once was a time when one could simply throw a disc – floppy or otherwise – into a machine and enjoy software functionality right off the bat. Those days have long gone. Massive complexity, online connectivity and associated cloud features have given way to a culture of almost continual updates with some component or other requiring a ‘fix’ or performance-based software upgrade on an annoyingly regular basis. While huge technology companies have plenty of bandwidth at their disposal, shifting data around doesn’t come free. It is relatively cheap, granted, but those bits and bytes soon cause the dollars to mount up. Much ‘better’ then, is to try and offload some of that load onto consumers. It could be that with its upcoming Windows 10, Microsoft is mulling doing just that. Deep in the settings of a leaked build spotted by Neowin, the company has introduced settings which give users the option of where to obtain updates and apps for their new operating system. DOWNLOAD APPS AND OS UPDATES FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES TO GET THEM MORE QUICKLY Of course, this is where distributed BitTorrent-like systems come into their own, with each user helping to share the load of shifting around data and providing excellent speeds, without any single entity (in this case Microsoft) footing the lion’s share of the bills. If Microsoft did choose BitTorrent, they would be in excellent company. Half a decade ago it was revealed that Twitter had implemented the protocol and in the same year Facebook confirmed deploying its own servers with technology. “It’s ‘superduper’ fast and it allows us to alleviate a lot of scaling concerns we’ve had in the past, where it took forever to get code to the webservers before you could even boot it up and run it,†the company said at the time. But even though Facebook is still having fun with torrent technology to this day, it seems likely that Microsoft has its own, more proprietary tricks up its sleeve. More than a decade ago with BitTorrent in its infancy, Microsoft also began looking at developing P2P distribution. Researcher Christos Gkantsidis published his paper Network Coding for Large Scale Content Distribution which begins with a now very familiar concept. “We propose a new scheme for content distribution of large files that is based on network coding. With network coding, each node of the distribution network is able to generate and transmit encoded blocks of information. The randomization introduced by the coding process eases the scheduling of block propagation, and, thus, makes the distribution more efficient,†the paper’s abstract reads. In 2006, Microsoft published Anatomy of a P2P Content Distribution System with Network Coding but by then the existence of a Microsoft equivalent to BitTorrent was public knowledge – Project Avalanche had been born. Named after traditional avalanches that start small but gain massive momentum as more snow (or peers) get involved, Avalanche claimed it would improve on BitTorrent in a number of ways. At the time, however, BitTorrent’s Bram Cohen criticized the project technically and concluded that it amounted to vaporware. But today in 2015, almost ten years on, things have definitely changed. Although there is no confirmation that Avalanche (or the Microsoft Secure Content Downloader as it was once described) is behind the Windows 10 update process option, there’s little doubt that Microsoft will have sharpened its tools. In addition, Microsoft owns patents (1,2) which describe DRM-protected P2P distribution systems which could potentially help to keep any P2P Windows 10 update system secure, a requirement predicted by Avalanche years before. “The Avalanche model includes strong security to ensure content providers are uniquely identifiable, and to prevent unauthorized parties from offering content for download. The project also ensures content downloaded to each client machine is exactly the same as the content shared by the content provider,†Microsoft said. Only time will tell if Microsoft takes the distributed update route for its eventual release of Windows 10, and whether avalanches or torrents cascade into (and out of) homes worldwide as a result. https://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-style-updates-revealed-in-leaked-windows-10-150316/
  2. All records that are part of the now-closed case between Hotfile and the MPAA will be unsealed in the interests of the public. In a decision that will be a disappointment to the industry group, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Williams declined a request from the MPAA who wanted to keep sensitive court filings sealed indefinitely claiming they may benefit pirates. More than a year has passed since the MPAA defeated Hotfile, but the case has still been stirring in the background. Hoping to find out more about Hollywood’s anti-piracy policies the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) previously asked the court to make several sealed documents available to the public. These documents are part of the counterclaim Hotfile filed, where it accused Warner of repeatedly abusing the DMCA takedown process. In particular, the EFF wants the public to know how Hollywood’s anti-piracy policies and tools work. District Court Judge Kathleen Williams sided with the EFF and ruled that it’s in the public interest to unseal the information. The MPAA, however, argued that this may hurt some of its members. Information regarding Columbia Pictures’ anti-piracy policies, in particular, would still be beneficial to pirates for decades to come, the Hollywood group argued. “Defendants have cited two specific pieces of information regarding Columbia’s enforcement policies that, if revealed to the public, could compromise Columbia’s ability to protect its copyrighted works,†the MPAA’s lawyers wrote. In addition, anti-piracy vendor Vobile feared that having its pricing information revealed could severely hurt the company. Judge Williams has now reviewed these and other arguments but ruled that sealing records indefinitely is not an option. In this case, the public interest in the records outweighs the concerns of the MPAA. “In reaching this conclusion, the Court has weighed the parties’ interests in maintaining the confidentiality of the sealed entries, including Plaintiffs’ assertions that disclosure of the sealed information would undermine the effectiveness of their antipiracy systems and copyright enforcement abilities, as well as third-party Voible’s argument that disclosure of the sealed data would unfairly put it at economic risk, against the presumption in favor of public access to court records,†Williams writes (pdf). As a result of this decision all sealed documents will be made public ten years after the case was filed, which is on February 8, 2021. Previously, Warner Bros. already released some of the confidential documents. Among other things the unsealed records showed that Warner Bros. uses “sophisticated robots†to track down infringing content. How damaging the other documents are to Hollywood’s anti-piracy efforts will become clear in five years. However, it’s unlikely to top the Sony-leak of last December, through which many sensitive anti-piracy strategies were already unveiled. http://torrentfreak.com/hollywoods-anti-piracy-secrets-must-be-revealed-court-rules-150309/
  3. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Multiplayer Revealed "Tactical Team Operations." The first footage and details of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's online multiplayer, called Metal Gear Online, was revealed during The Game Awards. The trailer opened with the player character instantly swapping between character skins, finally landing on the Big Boss himself. It quickly transitioned to dozens of player-controlled characters storming a base and using various tactics such as stealth takedowns, toy dogs that acted as distractions, and using the Fulton system to send enemies high into the sky. Click here to see the trailer. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Trailer The action-packed trailer ended with a cute moment of Snake himself taking a selfie with Revolver Ocelot, who happened to be in a choke-hold. This version of Metal Gear Online has the subtitle “Tactical Team Operations.â€
  4. If your New Year's resolution is to play D4, you're in luck.Microsoft on Monday announced January 2015's free Xbox 360 and Xbox One games for Xbox Live subscribers, and they are a pretty great bunch. D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and MX vs. ATV Alive will all be given away to subscribers to ring in the new year. Xbox One owners with an Xbox Live subscription will be able to download D4, which normally sells for $15, for free starting January 1. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 users can pick up MX vs. ATV Alive (normally $20) for free January 1-15, and then The Witcher 2 (normally $30) January 16-31. Now is also a good time to download EA Sports' extreme snowboarding game SSX, which is free on Xbox 360 through December 31. Xbox One owners, meanwhile, can download Worms Battlegrounds and Volgarr the Viking through the end of the month. Looking for more deals coverage? Check back later today with GameSpot for our regular Gaming Deals post.
  5. Sony on Monday announced a new PlayStation 4 bundle for Canada that includes a system and copies ofNHL 15 and LittleBigPlanet 3. The "Boxing Day" bundle will sell for $450. Canadian gamers will be able to preorder the new PS4 bundle starting December 24, while the system itself will go on sale December 26, Boxing Day. Though this bundle is exclusive to Canada, US shoppers can get a PS4 and their choice of four games for $400 through the new "Four Games, One Pick" bundle available now across the country. Check back later today for GameSpot's regular Gaming Deals post.
  6. Microsoft has launched a "Countdown to 2015" sales promotion for Xbox, offering a series of daily deals onXbox 360 and Xbox One titles. As the promotion's name suggests, Microsoft will unleash a new deal every day until January 1, 2015.Starting things off today are some discounts on various Lord of the Rings games. Microsoft's Countdown to 2015 sale also applies to various Xbox TV and movie programming. You can see all of the video content on sale through the Xbox Video website. Below are today's Xbox One and Xbox 360 deals. Notably, you don't need an Xbox Live Gold membership to enjoy the savings. Xbox One Deals Available Today (December 22) Only: Trials Fusion: Deluxe Edition (full game and DLC pass) -- $20 Xbox 360 Deals Available Today (December 22) Only: Slender: The Arrival -- $5 Trials Fusion -- $10 Trials Fusion DLC Pass -- $10 Previous deals have included: December 16 Lego: The Hobbit (Xbox One) -- $20 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Xbox One) -- $40.20 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor DLC Pass (Xbox One) -- $16.74 Lego: The Hobbit (Xbox 360) -- $9.89 Lego: The Lord of the Rings (Xbox 360) -- $5 December 17 Costume Quest 2 (Xbox One) -- $10.04 Costume Quest 2 (Xbox 360) -- $10.04 Tropico 5 (Xbox 360) -- $26.79 December 18 Outlast (Xbox One) -- $8 Moto GP 14 (Xbox 360) -- $26.79 MX vs. ATV Supercross (Xbox 360) -- $20.09 December 19 Murdered: Soul Suspect (Xbox One) -- $16.50 Murdered: Soul Suspect (Xbox 360) -- $12 December 20 Metro Redux Bundle (Xbox One) -- $33.16 Metro Last Light (Xbox 360) -- $10.19 Saints Row IV (Xbox 360) -- $11.89 December 21 Contrast (Xbox One) -- $7.50 Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition (Xbox One, Xbox 360) -- $7.50 Nutjitsu (Xbox One) -- $3.25 RBI Baseball 14 (Xbox One, ,Xbox 360) -- $5 Stick it to the Man (Xbox One) -- $5
  7. Steam page reveals the game's minimum and recommended PC system requirements; see them here. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Steam page has revealed the game's minimum and recommended PCsystem requirements. We already knew the minimum requirements, but this is the first time we're hearing about the game's recommended requirements. Interestingly, the Advanced Warfare page has since removed the requirements, though not before CVGwas able to capture them. You can see the full minimum and recommended requirements below. Minimum: OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit Processor: Intel Core i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 2.80 GHz or better Memory: 6 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 @ 1 GB / ATI Radeon HD 5870 @ 1 GB or better DirectX: Version 11 Network: Broadband Internet connection Hard drive: 55 GB available space Sound Card: DirectX-compatible Recommended: OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.30GHz Memory: 8 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 @ 4 GB DirectX: Version 11 Network: Broadband Internet connection Hard drive: 55 GB available space Sound card: 100% DirectX 9.0c Compatible 16-bit Additional notes: Field of View ranges from 65-90 Advanced Warfare launches November 4 (get it November 3 by preordering) for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One,PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4--but not Wii U. Activision recently announced a special promotion whereby last-generation Advanced Warfare owners can upgrade to current-generation for free, with some limitations. Despite Advanced Warfare's release still being two weeks away, Activision just recently debuted the game's launch trailer. For more on Advanced Warfare, check out GameSpot's previous coverage. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. Respawn Entertainment announces livestream reveal scheduled for 10am Pacific (6pm UK). Respawn Entertainment, the creators of the Xbox and PC exclusive FPS Titanfall, have announced that the game will soon be revamped with its "biggest update" yet. On Wednesday at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern / 6pm UK), the studio will reveal its newest update via a Twitch livestream. No further details were available, aside from Respawn's Twitter account claiming that the update will be the game's most comprehensive yet. Our biggest update is on the way! Tune in 10/22 10AM PDT for the reveal:http://t.co/j4FRREMchB pic.twitter.com/cqhRYlbuD4 — Titanfall (@Titanfallgame) October 21, 2014 Since Titanfall's release in March, the game has been updated with several premium DLC map packs, as well as various other patches and small additions. In August, a representative for Respawn claimed that, while the studio is still eager to support Titanfall, at some point the focus will need to shift to new projects. GameSpot's Titanfall review was highly positive, writing: "Titanfall reinvents what it feels like to play a competitive shooter. The high-flying action intertwines beautifully with the brutish, tactical titan battles, creating battlefields that crackle with possibility. Titanfall is a leap forward for shooters, a game that combines the vibrant and new with the tried and true to create something special." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  9. Respawn Entertainment announces livestream reveal scheduled for 10am Pacific (6pm UK). Respawn Entertainment, the creators of the Xbox and PC exclusive FPS Titanfall, have announced that the game will soon be revamped with its "biggest update" yet. On Wednesday at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern / 6pm UK), the studio will reveal its newest update via a Twitch livestream. No further details were available, aside from Respawn's Twitter account claiming that the update will be the game's most comprehensive yet. Since Titanfall's release in March, the game has been updated with several premium DLC map packs, as well as various other patches and small additions. In August, a representative for Respawn claimed that, while the studio is still eager to support Titanfall, at some point the focus will need to shift to new projects. GameSpot's Titanfall review was highly positive, writing: "Titanfall reinvents what it feels like to play a competitive shooter. The high-flying action intertwines beautifully with the brutish, tactical titan battles, creating battlefields that crackle with possibility. Titanfall is a leap forward for shooters, a game that combines the vibrant and new with the tried and true to create something special." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  10. You'll need 55 GB of free hard drive space and 6 GB of RAM to run Sledgehammer's upcoming shooter. By way of the Steam product page for Sledgehammer Games' upcoming shooter, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, we now know the game's minimum PC system requirements. See below. OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit Processor: Intel CoreTM i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD PhenomTM II X4 810 @ 2.80 GHz or better Memory: 6 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI Radeon HD 5870 @ 1GB or better DirectX: Version 11 Network: Broadband Internet connection Hard Drive: 55 GB available space Sound Card: DirectX-compatible Unfortunately, the recommended PC specifications for Advanced Warfare are not available. We'll have that information for you as soon as it becomes available. Advanced Warfare launches November 4 (get it November 3 by preordering) for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One,PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4--but not Wii U. Despite the game's release still being two weeks away, Activision just recently debuted the game's launch trailer (above). For more on Advanced Warfare, check out GameSpot's previous coverage. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  11. Producer Charles Roven spills the beans While we already knew that Wonder Woman would be making an appearance in Batman v Superman, it had previously been unclear what sort of origin story the character would be given. However, producer Charles Roven has now confirmed that Wonder Woman will be presented as “a demigodâ€, continuing to explain that she is “the daughter of Zeusâ€. That marks something of a departure from the Amazonian legend of the character’s initial origin story, which saw her created by Hippolyta from the soul of the unborn daughter of the first woman to ever be murdered by a man. Perhaps Warner thought that would be too outlandish a concept to portray on the big screen, although given its cast of characters, realism is a relative concept for a film like this… In any case, Gal Gadot will have godly blood running through her veins when she lines up alongside Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. Batman v Superman opens in the UK on 25 March 2016. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  12. Fame and Fortune, Supernatural, and other expansion pack ideas. Electronic Arts sent a survey to The Sims 4 players to gauge their interests in a number of potential expansion packs. Screenshots of the survey sent to Sims VIP reveal the expansions pack ideas in surprising detail. The survey first asked for fans' level of interest in an expansion pack's basic concept. For example, a description for a Supernatural expansion pack says that players will be able to "explore the mysterious world of the Supernatural where you'll be able to create vampires, elementals, or even supernatural friends to help you around the house." It then offers more specific features that each expansion might include. In the Fame and Fortune Expansion Pack, for example, players will be able to become a celebrity, manage their image and online persona, sign autographs, and hide from paparazzi. They'll also be able to choose from an acting, singing, and film directing career. Another interesting potential expansion pack was titled Active Careers, which would include "fully interactive" careers that let you "directly control your Sims' every action while they're on the job and watch as they create new inventions as a Scientist, help cure other Sims as a Doctor or solve crimes as a Detective amongst other career options." Of course, this is just a survey, so it's likely that most if not all of these idea will never be released as actual expansions. The Sims 4 was released on September 2. GameSpot gave it a 6/10 in its review for its colorful visuals and accessible building and buying tools. Be sure to read the full review and check out GameSpot's previous coverage. Which of these expansions are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments below. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  13. Check out the list of minimum and recommended PC specs for upcoming professional soccer game here. Publisher Konami has published the minimum and recommended PC system specifications for November'sPro Evolution Soccer 2015. You can see the both lists in the image above, which Konami shared on Twitter. PES 2015 launches November 11 for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. The FIFArival features World Cup hero Mario Gotze on its cover. In September, Konami revealed that the PS4 version of PES 2015 will run in 1080p, while the Xbox One version comes in at 720p. For more on PES 2015, check out GameSpot's previous coverage. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  14. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  15. Company's first wearable device launches in early 2015, and it requires an iPhone. Today during a special press event, Apple not only revealed new iPhones, but also a smartwatch product line. The Apple Watch is the most personal device Apple has ever created, CEO Tim Cook said, as reported by GameSpot sister site CNET. You can follow along with CNET's liveblog for up-to-the-second details about the device. "Because you wear it, we invented new intimate ways to connect and communicate directly from your wrist," Cook said, labeling the Apple Watch a "breakthrough" product. The Apple Watch represents the company's first wearable device. Other major personal electronics makers, including Sony, Motorola, Samsung, and LG, already have smartwatches available on the market. The Apple Watch line will include three main models: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. A variety of bands--six in all--will be available, including stainless steel and leather straps. These are interchangeable (using a proprietary strap design), meaning you're not locked into one style or another. The device has a built-in heart rate sensor and gyroscope, as well as haptic feedback. The Apple Watch can also determine the difference between a tap and a press, and features wireless, inductive charging. In terms of software, Siri makes the jump to the Apple Watch, and there are also maps and photo apps. Apple Watches will start at $349 when the product line launches in early 2015. In addition, Apple Watches require an iPhone because the two devices have been designed to work together. You won't need to buy a new iPhone 6 to use the watch, however, as Apple Watches are also compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5c models. Wall Street is responding positively to today's Apple news, as the company's stock is up around 3 percent today to $101.34. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  16. Poor Hawkeye. Marvel’s greatest archer can’t seem to catch a break in the film franchise. From a cameo appearance in Thor and a zombified role in The Avengers to not even making the cut for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Jeremy Renner has long talked about his desire to play the Hawkeye (real name: Clint Barton) he signed on for years ago, and in next year’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, he’ll be finally getting some spotlight attention. Rumor has it, he might even be a key part of Captain America 3 in 2016. He almost had a part in this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier as we learned from writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely but his role was minor and so he was cut. If you pick up Captain America 2 on Blu-ray (available September 9th), you’ll learn from the audio commentary on the deleted scenes one key sequence Hawkeye was originally going to be a part of. As Cap 2 (and 3) directors Anthony and Joe Russo tell us when they joined us on the latest episode of theScreen Rant Underground podcast, it was mainly scheduling that prevented Renner from having a role, but they had quite the epic plan if it did work out. I know listening to the commentary in the deleted scenes, there’s sort of a sequence there where the strike team is tracking down Cap to the city gym. I think one of you guys mentioned originally that Hawkeye was going to be chasing down Cap. Was he going to be somewhat of an antagonist in the early versions of this film? Joe Russo: What it was going to be, we were trying to complicate the relationship between Cap and his S.H.I.E.L.D agent friends. If Hawkeye got a call from S.H.I.E.L.D saying Captain America is a fugitive, would he listen to that call or not listen to that call? That sequence actually was heartbreaking for us to cut it. I think it ultimately might have been a conflict with Renner’s schedule. But there was a great sequence where Hawkeye was chasing Cap through Washington D.C. there was an awesome sequence where they confronted each other in a ravine on the outskirts of D.C. and Hawkeye was shooting a series of arrows closing in on Cap, Cap closing in on him. And then Cap took him down and he realized for the first time that Hawkeye was trying to trick S.H.I.E.L.D, where he whispered something into Cap’s ear that Cap had a tracker on his suit and to punch Hawkeye to make it look real, because there was a Quinjet hovering above where they were watching the feedback back at S.H.I.E.L.D. So it was a cool sequence. But look, there’s a million iterations of films, and especially when dealing with Marvel movies where characters can come in or come out during the creative process. And you keep working and working like a Rubik’s Cube till you find the right configuration where everything lines up. So even though we lost that sequence, I think we may have streamlined the movie and made it a little bit more propulsive. With the way Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shaped up, it’s only Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner (Hulk) and Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton (Hawkeye) who didn’t get a role. Banner of course, did pop up in a post-credits button for Iron Man 3. They’re both set to get a lot to do in Age of Ultron but we can only hope both live through the film and get a significant roles in Phase 3. As for what Hawkeye’s been up to since the Battle of New York, we’ll learn about his mission in The Avengers 2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases on Disney Movies Anywhere August 19, 2014, and on 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand September 9, 2014. Captain America 3 opens in theaters May 6, 2016. http://screenrant.com/hawkeye-captain-america-2-role-explained/
  17. The Doctor returns at last this Saturday, with the premiere of the eighth season of the modern Doctor Who TV series. Season eight’s debut episode, “Deep Breath†(watch the trailer), will properly introduce Peter Capaldi as the Doctor’s latest regeneration, after his brief appearance at the end of the 2013 Who Christmas special (and his forehead’s even briefer cameo in the Doctor Who property’s 50 anniversary special). To mark the occasion, today we can offer the full rundown of season eight, including each individual episode title plus the individual writer(s) and director involved. rrent Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has, in the recent past, expressed a desire to mix things up far more in season 8 than he did on his previous three seasons as the series’ head writer. Going by a more dramatic and darker trailer for this season, Capaldi’s “less human†Doctor is a far cry from Matt Smith’s boyishly absent-minded Doctor. As Jenna Coleman (who’s back for season 8 as the Doctor’s human companion Clara) has put it, “You can quite access him the same way.†As such, it feels all the more appropriate that Doctor Who season 8 was overseen by a number of directors who’re new to the Who-verse, yet are very much experienced at crafting more adult-oriented entertainment. Indeed, when you look at the films (A Field in England, Tank Girl) and TV series (Strike Back, Da Vinci’s Demons) on the collective resume for this season’s helmers, it’s an interesting mix of intense dramatic material and mature genre fare. Here is the complete list of directors for Doctor Who season 8 (via BBC One); we’ve also included some of their previous directorial efforts. Episod 801 and 802: Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England) Episode 803 and 806: Paul Murphy (Casualty, Hollyoaks) Episode 804, 805, and 809: Douglas Mackinnon (“The Sontaran Stratagemâ€,“Cold Warâ€) Episdoe 807 and 808: Paul Wilmshurst (Strike Back, Da Vinci’s Demons) Episode 810: Sheree Folkson (Hit & Miss, Truckers) Episode 811 and 812: Rachel Talalay (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare,Tank Girl) Equally intriguing is the fact that a handful of Doctor Who season 8′s directors know their way around horror territory - be it grounded in nature, like Ben Wheatley’s work, or more fantastical, like the Nightmare on Elm Street feature by Rachel Talalay (Doctor Who‘s first female director in some time). That is to say, the ominous tone of those initial season 8 teasers could prove to have been rather prophetic of what lay ahead. Bear in mind, saying that Doctor Who season 8 will be “darker,†we’re talking relative to recent seasons. As you can see below, the season’s episode titles alone indicate the show is not abandoning its identity as a whimsical sci-fi/fantasy adventure – since, really, an episode titled “Robot of Sherwood†can only be soserious. (“Mummy On The Orient Expressâ€, though, now that sounds like an intense hour of viewing material… yes, I’m kidding.) It looks as though iconic Who villains The Daleks will be popping up as soon as the second episode this season, though we know there are other classic Who baddies waiting in the rafters for their turn to fight the Doctor once more. On that note, here is the full episode rundown for Doctor Who season 8 (along with the writer(s) for each one). The roster of newcomers to the world of writing forDoctor Who this year include Peter Harness (Case Histories), Jamie Mathieson (Being Human), and Frank Cottrell Boyce (The Railway Man). Episode 1: Deep Breath – Written by Steven Moffat Episode 2: Into The Dalek – Written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat Episode 3: Robot Of Sherwood – Written by Mark Gatiss Episode 4: Listen – Written by Steven Moffat Episode 5: Time Heist – Written by Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat Episode 6: The Caretaker – Written by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat Episode 7: Kill The Moon – Written by Peter Harness Episode 8: Mummy On The Orient Express – Written by Jamie Mathieson Episode 9: Flatline – Written by Jamie Mathieson Episode 10: In The Forest Of The Night – Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce Episode 11/12 Dark Water/Death In Heaven – Written by Steven Moffat One last thing to note – the BBC One‘s episode list confirms that Samuel Anderson (Doctors, Casualty) will be introduced to the Who-verse in the episode “Into The Dalekâ€. He will be playing Danny Pink, who is one of Clara’s fellow teachers at Coal Hill School – not to mention, someone who will occasionally be joining The Impossible Girl and The Doctor on their adventures through space and time. Whether or not Danny will eventually become the Doctor’s full-time companion once Clara’s run with The Doctor draws to a close (rumor is that will happen during the 2014 Christmas Special) – that very much remains to be seen. Generally, the human companions are only able to keep up with the Doctor for a couple seasons, at most, before their time is done; which is to say, even if she makes it past Christmas, it’s unlike that Coleman will remain on the show after season 9. One thing at a time, though, as we’ve yet to see how different (or not) life is, exploring the galaxy with Capaldi’s Time Lord. Doctor Who season 8 premieres on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014. http://screenrant.com/doctor-who-season-8-episodes-titles-directors/
  18. Platinum Dunes’ live-action movie reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesfranchise is now playing in theaters (read our review) – and so, Turtles fans are now able to properly weigh in with their thoughts on the film. Reactions have varied to the movie’s physical designs of such characters as the Turtles and Splinter (brought to life via motion-capture performance and/or CGI), though overall the response to this iteration of the principal TMNT players – including the villainous Shredder – has only improved, since the comparatively hostile reaction prompted by the initial reveal(s). TMNT concept artist Kelton Cram has also contributed to several other 2014 blockbusters that offer tweaked designs of previously-established characters and/or properties, including Amazing Spider-Man 2, Maleficent, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. CBM interviewed Cram about his experience working on the TMNT reboot - shedding new light on why, ultimately, director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) settled on the designs that are used in the final movie product. We previously interview Liebesman, along with TMNT producers Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller, about how the balance was maintained between renovating the Ninja Turtles property and honoring previous iterations of the series. Cram offered some additional food for thought on that process, during his CBM interview (see below). Jonathan Liebesman had a lot of the ideas in his head about the different personalities of each Turtle, and how that would determine the size, costume, and accessories. It was all based on the original TMNT, but with a more cinematic approach. Donnie, the brain with the gadgets, Mikey the surfer, Leo the traditional one, and of course Raph the rebel. The process was very thought out and took about 6 months. I was fortunate enough to work with Liebesman very early on and help design the Turtles in 2D. once the basic silouettes and ideas were approved, we quickly moved into 3D, where we sculpted and resculpted the different Turtles multiple times. Liebesman loved being able to go into Zbrush with the artists and push and pull the anatomy. Ultimately he was able to achieve exactly what he wanted through this process. Cram’s TMNT artwork, like the example featured below (via Movies.com), illustrates just how much the Ninja Turtles’ anatomy changed over the course of development on the reboot. CLICK FOR LARGER VERSION One element of the Ninja Turtles live-action movie reboot that has, in general, been well-received, is how the film manages to aptly distinguish the Turtles in terms of their personalities – something that, ultimately, the somewhat controversial accessories that Cram referenced, helped to accomplish. However, although the Turtles ended up being virtually identical in shape/size, originally the plan was to instead make each individual Turtle unique in that respect – ranging from “tall and skinny to short and stalky to even more brutish,†as Cram put it, and as the pic above shows in full.- If you go to the link above, you’ll find additional TMNT artwork depicting the Ninja Turtles’ alternate physical designs; that includes a version of Raphael who is noticeably slimmer and less bulky than the one in both the above concept artworkand the actual movie. Similarly, alternate designs for Shredder’s armor reveal that, at an earlier stage in development, the villain’s outfit bore a closer resemblance to the armor worn by the Foot soldiers in the film reboot – albeit, with blade attachments (not so many as he ultimately ended up having, though). Cram, during the CBM interview, said that the TMNT script underwent a number of“big rewrites†that resulted in the Shredder armor’s functional abilities and general look being completely overhauled. Indeed, that makes sense, seeing how the film’s version of the iconic Ninja Turtles baddie was shrouded in secrecy, throughout the marketing; even in the final weeks leading up to the movie’s theatrical debut, it wasn’t altogether clear who, exactly, would actually be donning Shredder’s gear. How do you feel about the alternate designs for the Turtles and/or Shredder in theTMNT reboot? Are you glad the filmmakers ultimately went a different path, or do you suspect one (or more) of the abandoned designs would’ve proven to have been superior in action? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is now playing in theaters. http://screenrant.com/tmnt-2014-alternate-designs-turtles-shredder/
  19. liek old black water that keeps on rolling, details have been leaking about Southbound, an upcoming album that pairs the Doobie Brothers with some of country music's biggest acts. We now finally know what songs Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band and the other country collaborators will be performing, as Rolling Stone Country has the exclusive reveal of the album's track list, along with its album art. (See below.) Due November 4th, Southbound mixes the reverence of a tribute album with the back-and-forth collaboration of a duets record, as the Doobies share vocals and trade instrumental duties on 12 new recordings of their own hits. Along with the cover art — a portrait of an empty bar illuminated by a jukebox, presumably stocked with Doobie Brothers hits — the album's premise is straightforward. Each country artist takes the reins for one song, sharing vocal leads with either Tom Johnston or Michael McDonald — the Doobie Brothers' two frontmen, performing on the same album for the first time since 1976's Takin' It to the Streets — while an all-star session band kicks up plenty of twang, dust and old-school guitar riffage in the background. Joining that backup band are Vince Gill and Hunter Hayes, who perform one song apiece as guitar slingers rather than vocalists. "Country has changed since the days of Hank Williams," Johnston tells Rolling Stone Country. "It's taken on a rock tinge. Truthfully, the traditional style of rock & roll has kind of gone away. No one is representing it the way it used to be represented. Country music has sort of picked up the slack. That's why those artists are huge right now." For decades, the Doobie Brothers' hits have been go-to cover songs for bands on both sides of the country/rock divide. Luke Bryan performed "Long Train Running" — with help from the Doobies themselves — during the pair's 2011 taping of CMT's Crossroads. Dolly Parton sang "China Grove" on her Dolly! variety show in 1976. Lady Antebellum tackled "Black Water" multiple times during the group's Own the Night Tour, often with help from their opening bands. Before he joined the Doobie Brothers in April 1975, Michael McDonald even covered his future band's material during bar shows. "The first gig I ever played with these guys," McDonald says, "I realized, 'I just played this song two days ago at the Brass Rail in Pasadena!'" Southbound isn't the only upcoming album that bridges the distance between veteran rockers and modern-day country stars. Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crüe hits stores in early August, with artists like the Cadillac Three, the Mavericks and Justin Moore putting their stamp on the hard-rockers' catalog. The Doobie Brothers, Southbound Track List: "Black Water" with Zac Brown Band "China Grove" with Chris Young "Jesus Is Just Alright" with Casey James "Listen to the Music" with Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes on guitar "Long Train Runnin'" with Toby Keith "Nobody" with Charlie Worsham "Rockin' Down the Highway" with Brad Paisley "South City Midnight Lady" with Jerrod Niemann "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" with Tyler Farr "Takin' It to the Streets" with Love and Theft "What a Fool Believes" with Sara Evans "You Belong to Me" with Amanda Sudano Ramirez of Johnnyswim, and Vince Gill on guitar
  20. Ahead of the August 1st premiere of the fourth and final season of The Killing, Netflix has released a preview clip and two new posters from the series to accompany the previously released previously released trailer. The Seattle-based crime drama centers on homicide detectives Sarah Linden and Stephan Holder, played respectively by Mireille Enos (World War Z) and Joel Kinnaman (the RoboCop reboot). The video picks up directly after the events of season 3’s finale. A panicked Linden hurriedly sheds her pants and trademark sweater before stepping into a shower and letting blood and mud wash from her body and down the drain. After scrubbing the bathroom with bleach and packing the incriminating articles in a Hefty bag, the beleaguered detective burns them in a trashcan. And then Holder arrives and says: “We’ve just got to keep out story straight Linden. No one’s gonna find out. No one’s got to know what we did.†The sound of the shower from the beginning of the video immediately draws us into the clip, perfectly mimicking the seemingly endless Northwest rainstorms that often set the stage for the first three seasons of The Killing. And as Linden disrobes, she tosses away her warm, comfy clothes in exchange for a grey, streamlined outfit. Gone is her decorative Norwegian sweater, her mom-look, everything that made us trust her character implicitly even as we watched her world crumble around her because of her maniacal devotion to her cases throughout the previous seasons. There’s no returning to this, the preview seems to say, no going back to what was. Or as the accompanying posters proclaim: The Past Can’t Be Washed Away. The Killing first debuted on AMC back in 2011. The premiere drew the second largest audience for a new show on AMC behind The Walking Dead and earned critical high marks. It also launched the careers of its two stars, who were both highly praised for their work on the show (Enos even received an Emmy nomination forOutstanding Lead Actress). Subsequent episodes were not quite as well received, and season 1’s cliffhanger finale drew such ire from critics, viewers, and the Internet in general, that there was little hope for the series continuing once the killer of Rosie Larson was uncovered at the end of season 2. Then, in July of 2012, AMC announced The Killing would not be renewed for season 3. But as they did with Arrested Development, Netflix arrived to breathe life into the show, which had a small but feverish following. AMC broadcast season 3 of The Killing in the summer of 2013 and then, almost immediately after it’s finale, Netflix was given the rights to the entire show. Now, season 4 will be hosted exclusively on the streaming video juggernaut. Centering on a murder at an all-boys military academy – while also dealing with the actions of the leads in the season 3 finale – season 4 looks to be every bit as dark and moody as its predecessors. The show’s slow, methodical pace is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but for that small following of devotees, August 1stcan’t come soon enough. The Killing season 4 will be available August 1st, 2014 on Netflix. Seasons 1-3 are currently available.