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Posted by Eugene Volokh

Students rally against President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15, 2016. (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

A New York Times headline from March 16 reads, “Amid ‘Trump Effect’ fear, 40% of colleges see dip in foreign applicants.” And the story’s opening paragraphs echo this; the first three mention a specific incident aimed to illustrate this, and then the article goes on to say:

Like many universities across the country, the Oregon university[Portland State] is getting fewer international applications.

Nearly 40 percent of colleges are reporting overall declines in applications from international students, according to a survey of 250 college and universities, released this week by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The biggest decline is in applications from the Middle East.

Many officials cited worries among prospective students about Trump administration immigration policies. “International student recruitment professionals report a great deal of concern from students all over the globe,” the study said.

Only in the third sentence of the 10th paragraph does the story note that, “many schools, including New York University, the University of Southern California and Northeastern University, reported that their international numbers are up.” How many? The article doesn’t say.

But the survey that the article cites does say, in its first “key finding,” on its first page:

39% of responding institutions reported a decline in international applications, 35% reported an increase, and 26% reported no change in applicant numbers.

Yes, that’s right: The headline could equally well have read, “Despite ‘Trump Effect’ fear, 35% of colleges see rise in foreign applicants.” Indeed, in a survey of 250 institutions, there is no meaningful difference between 39% and 35% — the more accurate headline would have been, “About as many colleges see rise in foreign applicants as see decline.”

To be sure, it’s possible that the Trump administration’s policies have led the number of international applications to level out, after what appears to be 10 years of increases in international students studying in U.S. universities. (The article signals that briefly, but only in the second sentence of the 9th paragraph.) Or maybe not — the survey that the New York Times article cited didn’t report on the change in the total number of applicants, only the number of universities that report a net increase and the number that report a net decrease. As the article suggests, changes in application numbers don’t necessarily change the total student numbers (though if a university wants to enroll the same number of students from fewer applicants, it may have to dip lower in the application pool). In any event, that would be an interesting inquiry; but the headline for that would be something like, “‘Trump Effect’ may be causing foreign college applications to level out.”

Thanks to Tyler Cowen (Marginal Revolution) for pointing this out.

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Posted by Ethan Anderton

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales Featurette

Even though the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise officially wore out its welcome for me with the abysmal sequel On Stranger Tides, there are still plenty of fans who are excited to see what the next installment of the franchise has to offer. A new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales featurette gives us a good idea of the action in store as it takes us behind the scenes of the next adventure from Kon-Tiki directing duo Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning.

Watch the Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales featurette below.

There’s not much of Johnny Depp in this glimpse behind the scenes, which further indicates that we might be looking at a franchise that starts to distance itself from Captain Jack Sparrow. Or maybe Disney doesn’t feel the need to show much of him since we already know what to expect form his performance. However, we do finally get confirmation that Brenton Thwaites is playing Henry Turner, the son of Orlando Bloom‘s William Turner and Keira Knightley‘s character Elizabeth Swann.

There is something to be said for the amount of practical action there appears to be in this movie, even if it is coupled with even more computer generated ghastliness, this time in the form of Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar, who is out for revenge against Captain Jack Sparrow. But the action will mean nothing if the story isn’t interesting, something that the last two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels had difficulty delivering.

It’s not clear how Henry Turner’s story ties into everything or where his mother and father are in all of this, but there’s bound to be some kind of friendly rivalry that develops between him and Jack Sparrow, not to mention a romance with Kaya Scodelario‘s character.

The rest of the cast includes Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and of course, Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. If you’d like to see more from the movie, watch the trailer right here.

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea – notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifull small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has never faced.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales arrives on May 26.

The post ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ Featurette Brings Epic High Seas Action appeared first on /Film.

Psychotherapy for Screenwriters

Mar. 28th, 2017 03:03 pm
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Posted by Itai Jabangwe

A pernicious cold has stolen John’s voice, so he and Craig reach into the vault to unearth their conversation with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo, in which they discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a can’t-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.

In fact, this was most-reviewed episode in the still-nascent Listeners’ Guide. We’ve included a few of the reviews to give you a taste.


Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

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Posted by summerheat


Over 14,000 SSL Certificates issued to PayPal phishing sites
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Posted by Liz Bourke


Logan is a strange sort of superhero film. It made me laugh for all the wrong reasons, so determined as it was to embrace its postapocalyptic Western mood that it wandered into some fairly ridiculous territory—despite its at-times touching interest in, and commentary on, filial bonds and caregiving.

There are two things about Logan that I want to comment on. One is really interesting, and maybe unprecedented in superhero films; the other falls into an existing pattern that has a track record of annoying me. It’s fascinating to see them juxtaposed.

In Logan, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is cast in the role of caretaker to an elder father-figure, nonagenarian Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Charles is suffering from some form of degenerative brain disorder. He alternates periods of lucidity between peevish confusion: a formerly very knowledgeable and extremely competent man rendered vulnerable and occasionally childish by age. Wolverine, meanwhile, is also suffering the effects of aging, and can no longer rely on his body and healing powers the way he used to.

Wolverine’s usually the symbolic epitome of one kind of masculinity: strong, violent, not very good at talking about his feelings. Where Wolverine’s emblematic of a violence-focused masculinity, Charles Xavier is emblematic of professorial, intellectual masculinity, a character whose physical disability is never seen as impinging upon his competence. But in Logan, Charles’ intellect is no longer reliable, much as Wolverine can no longer count on his strength as he used to. Wolverine has to take care of Charles, both physically and emotionally. (He’s not very good at being a reassuring caretaker.)

The role of caretaker for an elder is usually one that falls to women, both in fictional narratives and real life. But in Logan, the quintessentially masculine (though now somewhat decaying) Wolverine occupies this role. He does not necessarily perform its requirements well, but it’s really interesting that the narrative puts him in this role at all. It’s a break in the pattern of superhero films, which are usually not at all concerned with aging and the care of elders except, possibly, as obstacles to be overcome.

Wolverine’s care of and for Charles Xavier is paired with his reluctance to care for the child Laura (Dafne Keen), also known as X-23, the half-feral girl who shares Wolverine’s mutations: the claws and the healing powers. She doesn’t need anyone to save her, or to care for her in a physical sense, and Wolverine’s use to her is mostly in smoothing her interactions with other humans. (He does not do this very well.)

Laura’s superhuman powers and her facility with violence—and her seeming lack of regret for killing—make her an unusual figure. Women are not usually shown as super-soldiers in visual media, and on the rare occasions where they are, their facility with violence is almost always secondary to their sexual appeal. Prepubescent Laura is not, of course, shown in a sexual light, and the narrative embraces her destructive skills—juxtaposing them against Wolverine’s decaying competence and his role as a caretaker. (Would a Wolverine still at the height of his powers have been shown as a caregiver to this extent? It’s an interesting possibility to ponder.)

Both examples of the unsexualised female supersoldier that I can think of—Laura in Logan and Saoirse Ronan’s Hanna in the 2011 film of the same name—are prepubescent: children, endowed with a kind of moral innocence. This is the pattern that annoys me. The viewer may sympathise with a mature, self-destructive Wolverine, haunted by his many and various traumas, but we are never allowed to see a woman supersoldier in that same light.

It seems as though sexual maturity in women renders them automatically other: we are only allowed to see female supersoldiers when they, by virtue of their age and inexperience, are part of a class we-the-audience will always see as requiring protection. Despite Logan’s unusual willingness to play around with masculinity and caregiving, in this respect it’s conservative in its approach to traditional gender roles. An adult healthy competent Laura/X-23 cast opposite a decaying Wolverine, Charles Xavier’s caregiver, would have disrupted the paradigm entirely, and—however much I enjoyed Logan as a film—I’m left regretting that this isn’t something it was interested in giving us.

Liz Bourke is a cranky queer person who reads books. She holds a Ph.D in Classics from Trinity College, Dublin. Find her at her blog. Or her Twitter. She supports the work of the Irish Refugee Council and the Abortion Rights Campaign.

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Posted by Ryan F. Mandelbaum

The past few years have been incredible for physics discoveries. Scientists spotted the Higgs boson, a particle they’d been hunting for almost 50 years, in 2012, and gravitational waves, which were theorized 100 years ago, in 2016. This year, they’re slated to take a picture of a black hole. So, thought some…


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Posted by Ilya Somin

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

In an e-mail written while he was working in the George W. Bush administration, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch denounced Kelo v. City of New London, a terrible Supreme Court property rights decision that Trump himself has often praised. Kelo ruled that the government has the power to take private property and transfer it to another private owner in order to promote “economic development.” Although the Fifth Amendment indicates that government may only take property for a “public use,” the Court ruled that virtually any potential public benefit qualifies as such, even if the government fails to prove that the supposed benefit will ever materialize.

I. Gorsuch’s Opposition to Kelo.

Gorsuch’s e-mail endorsed Justice Clarence Thomas’ hard-hitting dissent in the case:

Thomas was livid about the decision.

“Today’s decision is simply the latest in a string of our cases construing the Public Use Clause to be a virtual nullity, without the slightest nod to its original meaning,” Thomas fumed.

Gorsuch thought the dissent was so powerful that he sent an email to two friends who were former Thomas clerks.
“I am blown away by Thomas’ dissent,” Gorsuch said.

“Brilliant stuff that completely demolishes the majority,” he wrote. “Reminds us of the plain textual meaning of the Constitution and then breathes life and vital purpose into it, explaining the weaknesses of misguided judicial glosses.”

As I describe more fully in my book on the Kelo case, Thomas’ dissenting opinion makes a strong originalist argument for a narrow interpretation of “public use,” which limits the use of eminent domain to taking land for publicly owned projects and private entities that have a legal duty to serve the entire public, such as public utilities.

Conservative originalists like Gorsuch and Thomas are not the only critics of the Kelo decision. The ruling was also denounced by many liberal living constitutionalists, including Ralph Nader, the NAACP, Howard Dean, and even socialist Bernie Sanders. That’s because economic development and “blight” condemnations tend to victimize the poor, racial minorities, and the politically weak for the benefit of politically connected developers and other powerful interest groups. It is no accident that Kelo generated a massive political backlash that cut across conventional partisan and ideological lines.

II. Gorsuch vs. Trump.

Not everyone opposes the Kelo decision, of course. Many judges and legal scholars endorse the decision because of a general suspicion of judicial review of “economic” policy decisions. Among the most prominent longtime defenders of Kelo is one Donald Trump, who has a history of eminent domain abuse during his career as a developer, says he agrees with the Kelo decision “100%”, and believes that the use of eminent domain to transfer property to private interests is “wonderful.” During the presidential campaign, Trump offered a series of increasingly absurd defenses of his position on the issue. Despite pressure from conservatives, Trump refused to indicate any willingness to appoint an anti-Kelo Supreme Court justice.

I wonder if Trump knew of Gorsuch’s position on the issue before he chose to nominate him. I suspect the answer is “no.” Gorsuch had no public record on the subject or any other significant constitutional property rights issues. His stance was only revealed in an e-mail from his tenure at the Justice Department (since turned over to the Senate, after he was nominated), which Trump presumably did not have access to until he became president on January 20, just eleven days before the nomination was announced. I doubt that Trump had time to study those thousands e-mails in detail that quickly, or even that his advisers did. Even if the latter found this information, they may not have chosen to share it with Trump, who is famously uninterested in the details of political and legal issues. Be that as it may, liberals should take note that this is an important constitutional issue where Gorsuch opposes Trump and agrees with Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, Howard Dean, and the NAACP.

III. Gorsuch’s Potential Impact on Kelo and Public Use.

Gorsuch’s nomination is a lucky break for property rights advocates and opponents of blight and economic development takings on both left and right. In the short run, it may not change the balance of power on the Court. Justice Antonin Scalia, the man Gorsuch would replace, was also a critic of Kelo, and repeatedly called on the Court to overrule it.

But, unlike Gorsuch, Scalia did not endorse Justice Thomas’ dissenting opinion. He only joined Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s considerably weaker dissent. The latter did not make the strong originalist case that Thomas advanced. Unlike Thomas, O’Connor would have struck down “economic development” takings without also reversing the Court’s 1954 decision in Berman v. Parker, which first endorsed an ultra broad definition of “public use” and upheld “blight” and “urban renewal”takings that transfer property to private parties.

Much more than Kelo, Berman is the real root of the Supreme Court’s badly flawed public use jurisprudence. In addition to mangling the meaning of public use, it authorized takings that led to the forcible displacement of hundreds of thousands of minorities and poor people from their homes and businesses. Its legacy continues to wreak havoc on the poor and politically weak even today. Even in the aftermath of Kelo, many states continue to take a permissive approach to blight takings, which continue to victimize the poor and minorities, albeit on a smaller scale than the heyday of urban renewal takings fifty years ago, when James Baldwin dubbed the policy “Negro removal” because of its tendency to displace African-Americans.

Justice Scalia had a pretty good, even if still imperfect, record on constitutional property rights. Gorsuch could turn out to be better.

If the 2005 e-mail is at all reflective of Gorsuch’s current attitudes, his appointment should strengthen efforts to limit and eventually overrule Kelo, and perhaps also Berman. Such efforts are not likely to succeed quickly, since there is unlikely to be an anti-Kelo majority on the Court merely because one opponent of Kelo is replaced with another. But Gorsuch is only 49 years old, and could be on the Court for many years. During that time, he will probably have many opportunities to cut back on Kelo or even get rid of it. On both right and left, younger jurists are often more open to enforcing a narrow definition of public use than the older generation. Future appointees could potentially join with Gorsuch on these issues, even if the majority of the current justices might not.

As with his opposition to Chevron deference, Gorsuch’s critique of Kelo is a good reason to support him from the standpoint of both originalism and leading versions of living constitutionalism. Both are also good reasons to back him if you want to curb the kinds of abuses of government power that Donald Trump particularly loves.

Not everything revealed in Gorsuch’s Justice Department files is reassuring. Like Jameel Jaffer, I worry about what some of his record may portend for his attitudes on wartime executive overreach. Gorsuch certainly is not an ideal nominee in every way. But his newly revealed opposition to Kelo is a notable point in his favor.

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Posted by Chris Evangelista

best streaming movies handmaiden

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a monthly column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

The forests of streaming movie services are deep and overgrown. It can be dangerous to navigate them – to find the right path and follow it to something worthwhile. Half the time, your destination will take you toward entertainment you probably would’ve been better off skipping to do something more worthwhile, like build a ship in a bottle or stare blankly into space. How are you to manage the plethora of streaming titles available? That’s where this column comes in. Let us guide your way. Here are some of the best films to stream in April, along with where to stream them.

1. The Devils

Now Streaming on Shudder

Ken Russell’s The Devils is the stuff of cult movie legend: a wild, controversial historical drama with trappings of horror and sexploitation, shot through with religious ecstasy. Upon release, the film was protested, lambasted and chopped down. The Devils was, and is, especially hard to come by in the U.S. So it was a pleasant surprise when the horror streaming platform Shudder quite suddenly dropped the film onto its service near the end of March. The version streaming on Shudder is not, sadly, the original unedited version, but it’s still a film worth seeing. In fact, The Devils has to be seen to be believed.

Russell’s film draws on the true story of a case of mass demonic possession in 17th century France, and views it through his particularly warped eye. Despite the film’s historical setting, set designer Derek Jarman concocted modernist, and in some cases futuristic, backdrops for Russell to wreak havoc in, giving the film an eye-popping visage. Oliver Reed stars as Father Urbain Grandier, the most handsome and most mustachioed priest who ever lived, and Vanessa Redgrave is Sister Jeanne of the Angels, the hunchback nun who lusts after him. Passions flare, accusations of witchcraft fly, and nudity abounds – and then the Inquisition comes to town. Simply put, The Devils is one of the most delightfully deranged films ever made. It’s a must-see, even in its slightly abridged form.

For fans of: The Wicker Man, The Crucible, Witchfinder General, Oliver Reed’s glorious mustache.

2. The Handmaiden

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting 4/13

Few films are as breathtaking as Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden. An erotic revenge thriller inspired by Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, the Oldboy director transports the novel’s Dickensian London setting to 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea, with remarkable results. It would take charts and graphs to break down The Handmaiden’s twisting, labyrinthine plot, but getting lost in the movie is part of the fun. Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) takes a job as the new handmaiden for the wealthy, alluring Lady Izumi Hideko (Kim Min-hee). If Sook-hee seems out of depth in her new job, that’s because she is: she’s actually a pickpocket and con artist recruited to bilk the Lady out of her fortune. But things get complicated when the the thief develops romantic feelings for her mark, and vice versa. And things get even more complicated when other characters, like Hideko’s lecherous Uncle Kouzuki (Cho Jin-woong) and slick Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), get involved. Park plays things close to the ornately decorated vest, revealing truths and falsehoods in increments while jumping back and forth in the film’s timeline. The end result is a dizzying, unforgettable modern masterpiece.

For fans of: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, Stoker, plot twists and octopi.

3. The Love Witch 

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting 4/14

A sexy, funny and flat-out-gorgeous Technicolor dream, Anna Biller’s The Love Witch defies true classification. Some may be quick to throw around terms like “pastiche” or “parody,” but that’s not quite right. Instead, Biller has concocted a film that pays tribute to ‘60s melodramas and lurid, cheeky pulp magazine covers. Samantha Robinson is equal parts droll and bubbly as Elaine, a beautiful witch who moves to a coastal town as part of her never-ending quest for true love. But Elaine’s love comes with deadly consequences, and she leaves a trail of bodies in her alluring wake. There’s so much to love about The Love Witch, and almost all of it is thanks to Biller’s hand: she not only wrote and directed the film; she also shot it, scored the music, edited it, and handled art direction, costumes, sets, and overall production design. Lush, hilarious and feminist, The Love Witch is a shock to the system and an overall delight.

For fans of: Bell Book and Candle, Belle de Jour, Black Narcissus, the films of Mario Bava, some really fantastic blue eyeshadow.

4. Five Came Back

Streaming on Netflix starting 3/31

Netflix brings Mark HarrisFive Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War to vibrant life with its three-part docu-series Five Came Back. The series chronicles five filmmakers – Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens and William Wyler – who joined the war effort during World War II to make propaganda films for the military and the public. Narrated by Meryl Streep and featuring interviews with filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass and Lawrence Kasdan, Five Came Back is a fascinating story for both cinephiles and students of world history, brimming with archival footage and interviews.

But perhaps what’s most remarkable about Five Came Back is that the way the film highlights issues that aren’t just a thing of the past. It’s impossible to witness chilling footage of Charles Lindbergh giving a speech to the anti-semitic America First Committee and not be reminded of where we are today. While all the filmmakers chronicled here are given special attention, Five Came Back seems most interested in Capra, and the series almost presents a redemptive arc for the It’s A Wonderful Life filmmaker through his trials and tribulations to his eventual acclaim and renown. There’s sorrow in Five Came Back, but there’s also light, and hovering over all of it is the undeniable power of movies. “Yes, we do have nightmares,” Capra says in an archival interview near the series’ end, “But we also have dreams.”

For fans of: The Best Years of Our Lives, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Master, Mrs. Miniver, John Huston’s soothing voice.

5. Heaven’s Gate 

Streaming on FilmStruck starting 3/29

The film that brought down a studio and sounded the funeral bell for the New Hollywood era, Michael Cimino’s sprawling epic Heaven’s Gate got a bit of a bum rap when it hit theaters in 1980. To be clear: the film is a mess, but it’s a fascinating mess, full of big, sweeping romanticism mingled with deconstructionism. Cimino, who was very much in demand after The Deer Hunter, was given free range to realize his ambitious dreams for Heaven’s Gate. Ambitious and costly. After running over budget and schedule, Cimino delivered a film over five hours long, much to the chagrin of United Artists. Cimino was able to reign the runtime in (to a lean 219 minutes!), but the film flopped hard at the box office and with critics. Time can soften things, though, and in the years since its release Heaven’s Gate has found its defenders. You may not end up being one of them, but you’d be doing yourself a favor by at least checking the film out from the comfort of your living room. An anti-western about immigrant farmers violently clash with wealthy cattle ranchers, Heaven’s Gate boasts a killer cast including Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Sam Waterston and Brad Dourif.

For fans of: The Deer Hunter, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Deadwood, ice skating.

Continue Reading The 10 Best Streaming Movies For April 2017 >>

The post Now Stream This: The 10 Best Movies Streaming in April 2017 appeared first on /Film.

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Posted by Minimalist


Kaspersky Lab launched the new Lab ICS-CERT
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Posted by Masterblaster

For all of you non-experts out there…..
I needed to backup my HDD. I went away from RRX and AX64 due to technical issues that would not allow me to use either.
I tried Macrium Reflect but found it a bit confusing relating Windows PE versions and the partitions I needed to backup. Once I figured it out, it did work but I still found it confusing.
I did more research and ran across AOMEI Backupper and AOMEI Partition Assistant (both free).
AOMEI is so easy to use. The setup wizard makes...

AOMEI Backupper & AOMEI Partition Assistant
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Posted by Minimalist

Close to 1.4 billion data records compromised in 2016
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Posted by Bryan Thomas

Bad Brains: Live at CBGB 1982 — now streaming over on our Night Flight Plus channel — captures rare footage of one of Washington D.C.’s best hardcore bands at the legendary CBGB club in New York City, culled from filmed concerts shot over a period of three nights, during what was billed as the Hardcore […]
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Posted by George Dvorsky

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced a new venture called Neuralink, a startup which aims to develop neural interface technologies that connect our brains to computers. Musk says it’s the best way to prevent an AI apocalypse, but it’s on this point that he’s gravely mistaken.


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Posted by Germain Lussier on io9, shared by Sophie Kleeman to Gizmodo

The Dark Tower will hit theaters in July but a trailer has yet to be released. Well, that changed at CinemaCon 2017 where Sony showed about four minutes from the film—a featurette leading into a trailer and an extended scene. Here’s what happened in the footage.



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let me hear your voice tonight

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