Gaming

Brad Pitt Bid $120,000 To Watch Game Of Thrones With Emilia Clarke And He Lost

Brad Pitt Bid $120,000 To Watch Game Of Thrones With Emilia Clarke And He Lost

During a charity auction this weekend, A-list actor Brad Pitt bid $120,000 to watch an episode of Game of Thrones with actress Emilia Clarke. Incredibly, that wasn’t enough. Pitt was outbid by an unspecified person during Sean Penn’s yearly charity event in Los Angeles to benefit Haiti. Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, also attended.

As reported by Variety, the Game of Thrones auction began at $20,000 before rising quickly to the $160,000 it ultimately went for. Here’s a cool story from the event, relayed by Variety:

“At one point, the auctioneer yelled out ‘Is the King of the North here?!’ But as it turned out, Harington had stepped out of the gala to go to the restroom. Meanwhile, Pitt bid $80,000 to watch an episode of GOT with Clarke. Then he outbid himself to $90,000. When Harington came back into the room, the actor offered to also sit in on the episode viewing. And that’s when Pitt raised his own bid to $120,000.”

The identity of the winner bidder, who paid $160,000 to watch a Game of Thrones episode with Clarke, was not mentioned in the report.

The event raised money for the J/P HRO & Disaster Relief Organizations and raised more than $3 million by the end of the night. Other famous people in attendance included Jeff Bezos, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jason Segel.

Game of Thrones is taking a year off and is now scheduled to return for its eighth and final season in 2019. Though the show may be coming to an end, HBO is producing multiple prequel series.

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Published at Sun, 07 Jan 2018 22:51:00 +0000

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NBA Playgrounds: Enhanced Edition Is A Completely Separate Download On Switch

NBA Playgrounds: Enhanced Edition Is A Completely Separate Download On Switch

Enhanced versions of video games are nothing new, from porting older titles to newer consoles, to updating them to 4K. NBA Playgrounds on Nintendo Switch is the next title to see one of these mid-generation updates, but it’s not actually an update to the base game–it’s an entirely new download.

For those who already own NBA Playgrounds on Switch, the Enhanced Edition is free to download, just don’t go thinking it’s going to be part of your base game file. It’s a different one that will need to be downloaded in the Nintendo eshop. NBA Playgrounds: Enhanced Edition is denoted by a golden frame on its icon.

The upside is the updated version includes all of the game’s previously released free content, and the file size is smaller. Once the new version is downloaded, you will be able to delete the original base game file. Any player who purchased the base title before June 10, 2017 will also receive a free copy of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn later this year.

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The downside is that if you choose to delete the original file, you’ll need to be careful to not delete your save files. As for online play, those still playing on the base version of the game will still have multiplayer functions, but won’t be able to play with anyone who has already downloaded the updated version.

NBA Playgrounds is currently on sale for $10 in the eshop until January 18. In addition, its first paid DLC, “Hot n’ Frosty,” is now available on Switch for $10. The DLC includes three new playgrounds, tournaments, and eight new rookies.

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Published at Sun, 07 Jan 2018 18:03:00 +0000

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Multiple Ubisoft Games Having Server Issues On PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

Multiple Ubisoft Games Having Server Issues On PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

If you’re looking to hop online with Rainbow Six: Siege or Ghost Recon: Wildlands tonight, you might not be able to. These two titles, and several other Ubisoft games, are currently facing connection issues on multiple platforms.

Ubisoft sent a message to its followers on Twitter confirming it is aware of the issues, and noted that it is working to resolve them.

Expect intermittent disconnections and longer queue waits for multiplayer, and don’t expect to be able to reach other online services, forums, and websites. Seven different Ubisoft games on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox 360 are being affected at the time of publication.

The following titles are currently facing connection issues:

Tonight’s connection issues seem to be following a recent string of server issues for Ubisoft titles. On January 4, it seems a similar issue occurred to several titles, including Rainbow Six: Siege, on Xbox One.

Ubisoft has not confirmed what the root cause of these issues are, but these titles are far from the only ones being impacted today. Fortnite and Fortnite Battle Royale are also facing service issues, but only after updates addressing Intel’s Meltdown vulnerabilities.

Ubisoft’s latest update at 8:30 PM EDT stated that the support team is still working to resolve tonight’s connection issues. More updates and information on the situation is available in a forum post here.

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Published at Sun, 07 Jan 2018 02:15:00 +0000

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Justice Department's policy shift may slow booming pot industry – NBCNews.com

Justice Department's policy shift may slow booming pot industry – NBCNews.com

America’s marijuana industry, already threading a thicket of conflicting state and federal laws, entered a new era of uncertainty this week when the Justice Department scrapped a policy that allowed pot to flourish in states that legalized it.

In his memo Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t directly order a federal crackdown on pot enterprises. But it was vague enough to leave that possibility open.

So while growers, sellers and their financial backers aren’t panicking, they know Sessions’ move isn’t good for business.

Sessions on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era guidance on federal intervention, essentially giving U.S. attorneys permission to aggressively enforce federal laws against marijuana.

The order may unnerve small banks that have begun to take on cannabis companies as clients, analysts said. Entrepreneurs and investors thinking of getting into the business may now back out. And if federal agents move to prosecute even one company that is otherwise complying with state laws, it could raise fears of raids, prison terms and seized property.

“It may spook enough of the support ecosystem around the cannabis business that will make it extremely hard for business to go forward,” said Sean O’Connor, who runs the Cannabis Law and Policy Project at the University of Washington School of Law.

Federal law prohibits growing, buying and using marijuana. But a growing list of states have legalized marijuana in some form within their borders. Twenty-nine allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Eight states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — have approved laws allowing the sale of recreational marijuana, although recreational sales have not yet begun in all of those states.

Image: Customers purchase marijuana at a dispensary in Oakland on the first day of legalized recreational marijuana sales in California

Customers purchase marijuana at Harborside, one of California’s largest and oldest dispensary dispensaries of medical marijuana, on the first day of legalized recreational marijuana sales on January 1, 2018 in Oakland, California.Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters

The Justice Department policy under the Obama administration sought to establish a balance between federal authority and states’ rights. It instructed federal prosecutors to leave legal pot activity in states alone, except in cases that involved the sale of marijuana to children, across state lines, on federal land, or by gangs or organized crime. States saw the policy as a guide to keep the feds out of their business.

Critics, however, viewed the Obama-era policy as giving “safe harbor for the industry to operate,” according to a senior Justice Department official.

Protections for medical marijuana remain in effect under a piece of the federal spending law that prevents federal authorities from trying to curtail that aspect of the industry. Sessions, a longtime outspoken opponent of marijuana, has asked Congress to remove it when it comes up for reauthorization this year.

State officials and industry leaders were defiant upon hearing the news of Sessions’ new policy, saying it would have little long-term affect on the cannabis market, which they see as too big to fail.

“Never underestimate the power of hundreds of millions of people who want to buy cannabis,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of the Arcview Group, an Oakland, California-based venture capital firm specializing in the marijuana market.

His firm estimates that legal cannabis spending on recreational and medical pot totaled $8.6 billion in 2017. “And never underestimate the power of states that don’t want to give up their tax money,” Dayton said.

Image: LIFSTYLE-US-HEALTH-BUSINESS

Tourist Laura Torgerson, visiting from Arizona, smells cannabis buds at the Green Pearl Organics dispensary on the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in California on Jan. 1, 2018, in Desert Hot Springs.ROBYN BECK / AFP – Getty Images

In Colorado, where the state pocketed more than $500 million in marijuana tax revenue last year, Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said the Obama-era memo “was foundational in guiding states’ efforts to regulate the production and distribution of marijuana.”

In Oregon, which collected more than $60 million, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in a statement called Session’s action an example of the administration’s “overreach” and vowed to “do everything within my legal authority to protect” the state’s pot industry.

Sessions seemed to be aware of the political and legal danger of pushing too hard against states where voters have approved the legal sale of pot, and where governments have built regulatory structures around the new industry, analysts said. Most of those states are largely Democratic, and some have fought prior Trump administration’s policies on immigration and health care.

“The unique thing about the marijuana industry, and capitalists in general, is they are activists, people who are not going to go down without a fight,” said John Hudak, who studies marijuana policy at the Brookings Institution. “A lot of them have too much to lose to shut down.”

Glenn Ballman, CEO of düber, a technology platform that allows marijuana consumers and sellers to exchange information, said the cannabis market had been expecting such a move from the Justice Department since Sessions was appointed attorney general.

“Sessions could have been more aggressive,” Ballman said, but added that without further guidance, “there is a lot of uncertainty right now” about whether small marijuana distributors will be allowed to thrive.

Robert Mikos, an expert in federalism and drug law who teaches at Vanderbilt Law School, said Sessions’ order could cause financial headaches for the industry. Banks, which are regulated by the federal government, have relied on the good will of the Justice Department to not punish them for providing services to cannabis businesses, Mikos said. Those institutions, mostly small entities, may now decide that it’s not worth the risk.

“The removal of these memos is going to make the banks even more skittish,” Mikos said.

How skittish remains to be seen. One bank in the cannabis business, Salal Credit Union in Seattle, said in a statement that it was “waiting to discuss potential impacts until we have a fuller understanding of the situation.” Another, Numerica Credit Union in Spokane Valley, Washington, said it was “currently reviewing what actions, if any, that need to be taken with our canna business accounts.”

Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said Sessions’ order “doesn’t instill a lot of confidence” among financial institutions, “but it’s important to understand that nobody wants to see the cannabis industry operating outside of the banking system.”

Published at Sat, 06 Jan 2018 10:55:00 +0000

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Alien Director Ridley Scott May Have Found His Next Epic Franchise

Alien Director Ridley Scott May Have Found His Next Epic Franchise

Ridley Scott is lining up his next directorial project. The man behind the Alien and Blade Runner franchises, as well as All the Money in the World, is looking to dip his toe into the world of magic.

According to a report from Variety, Scott is currently in negotiations with Disney to helm The Merlin Saga, which will follow the origin story of a young Merlin as his journey toward becoming King Arthur’s mentor is set in motion. The film will be based on the 12-book series The Merlin Saga by TA Barron. The author’s collection of novels were released between 1996 and 2011.

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Should Scott wind up directing the film, his production company Scott Free would produce the project with Disney. It’s worth noting this isn’t the only movie featuring Merlin that Disney has in the works. The company, which is currently in the process of acquiring 21st Century Fox, is also working on a Sword in the Stone live-action adaptation.

Interesting, this isn’t the only Disney project on Scott’s mind at the moment. Speaking with Digital Spy, the director says he hopes the company will make more Alien movies now that it will own the property. “I think they should because I think, when people have a hard and fast franchise which has ongoing interest, it’s crazy not to do something with it,” he explains. Then again, he also thinks Alien movies should be as popular as Star Wars. Given the response to Alien: Covenant, though, Disney might disagree with him.

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Published at Fri, 05 Jan 2018 22:29:00 +0000

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Game Of Thrones Author George RR Martin Gets Another TV Show

Game Of Thrones Author George RR Martin Gets Another TV Show

While Game of Thrones isn’t returning until 2019, this news might make the wait a little easier. Another series based on the works of George RR Martin has been ordered to series on Syfy.

Nightflyers, based on the 1980 Martin novella and the 1987 film, will star Gretchen Mol, Eoin Macken, David Ajala, and Brian F. O’Byrne. An official synopsis of the series reads, “Nightflyers follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer–a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain–in the hope of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other–and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.”

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The story sounds like a complete departure from Game of Thrones. For fans who are unfamiliar with Martin’s work outside of the HBO series, Nightflyers was first released in 1980, before being included in a short story collection in 1985.

Martin will serve as executive producer on the new series, alongside Jeff Bruhl (Jacob’s Ladder), Gene Kleinn (Suits), David Bartis (Suits), Doug Liman (American Made), and Daniel Cerone (The Blacklist), who will also serve as showrunner. While the series will air on Syfy in the United States, it will be available on Netflix internationally.

A release date for Nightflyers has not been revealed. Place your bets now on whether it will premiere before The Winds of Winter finally arrives in bookstores.

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Published at Fri, 05 Jan 2018 19:29:00 +0000

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Sons Of Anarchy Spin-off Mayans MC Is Finally Happening, First Image Released

Sons Of Anarchy Spin-off Mayans MC Is Finally Happening, First Image Released

Even before Sons of Anarchy ended in 2014, creator Kurt Sutter talked about potential future shows set in that motorcycle-fueled universe. Now, one of those shows is actually becoming a reality.

Spoilers for the end of Sons of Anarchy follow.

Mayans MC, which is set after the death of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) in the Sons of Anarchy timeline, has been ordered to series with a debut later in 2018. The new series will follow Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo) as a prospect in the Mayans, a rival club to the Sons. The original show’s cast is not expected to play a major rol–if any role at all.

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According to a press release from FX, EZ has just been released from prison and now “must carve out his new outlaw identity in a town where he once was the golden boy who had the American Dream within his grasp.” The series will be set on the border between California and Mexico.

Joining Pardo in the cast will be Edward James Olmos, Sarah Bolger, Clayton Cardenas, Richard Cabral, Michael Irby, Raoul Trujillo, Antonio Jaramillo, and Carla Baratta. Sutter will return to the universe as an executive producer on the series. He will be joined by Elgin James (Lowriders) and Norberto Barba (Preacher), who also directs the pilot–which was reshot in July.

“Kurt Sutter is a master storyteller and Mayans MC has the raw energy and intensity that are hallmarks of his signature style,” FX President of Original Programming Nick Grad says in a statement. “Thanks to Kurt, co-creator Elgin James, and this amazing cast, Mayans MC builds on the legacy of Sons of Anarchy, taking it in a thrilling new direction that we can’t wait for the world to see.”

Though a specific release date has yet to be announced for Mayans MC, chances are the new series will debut in the fall.

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Published at Fri, 05 Jan 2018 18:15:00 +0000

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Animaniacs Revival Happening, Complete With Pinky And The Brain

Animaniacs Revival Happening, Complete With Pinky And The Brain

Nearly 20 years after it ended in 1998, Animaniacs is ready to get zany to the max once again. The Warner Bros. animated series is being revived by Hulu and already has a two-season commitment from the streaming service. Based on the art released by Hulu, which you can see below, it looks like the revival will include fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain.

What’s more, the revival also brings the entire libraries of the original series, Pinky & the Brain, Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, and Tiny Toon Adventures to Hulu. In fact, each of those shows is available right now on the service, if you want to start preparing yourself for the new season. They join a long list of other shows and movies to arrive on Hulu in January. Sadly, new Animaniacs episodes aren’t expected to arrive until 2020.

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Steven Spielberg, who served as executive producer and namesake on the original series, which was called Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs, will return to that role in the revival. “I am so pleased and proud that Animaniacs will have a home at Hulu,” he says in a statement. “Together with Warner Bros., we look to bring new audiences and longtime fans into this wild world of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.”

There’s no word on who from the show’s original cast will be returning. However, Maurice LaMarche (The Brain) tweeted a link to the announcement on Twitter, writing, “Guess I can talk about this now…”

Perhaps, if this revival works out well, it’ll set Hulu on the path to revive Tiny Toons as well. That would certainly make the service–which is already home to much of the TGIF shows–the ultimate hub for anyone who grew up in the 1990s. It just needs to land the streaming rights to that DuckTales reboot.

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Published at Thu, 04 Jan 2018 22:20:00 +0000

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Xbox Live Is Down, Experiencing Issues Right Now On Xbox One

Xbox Live Is Down, Experiencing Issues Right Now On Xbox One

If you’re having issues with Xbox Live, you’re not alone. Microsoft has confirmed the service is currently suffering from problems affecting a variety of areas, which may prevent you from doing virtually anything. This impacts Xbox One, Xbox 360, and any other device that’s connecting to Xbox Live.

As detailed on the Xbox Live status page, Xbox Live Core Services; Purchase and Content Usage; and TV, Music, and Video areas are all listed as “limited.” As a result, almost anything you can think about doing that involves Live may prove difficult at the time of this writing. That includes signing in, downloading or buying content you own, or creating an account.

The most recent update from Microsoft states, “We believe we have identified the issue causing some members to have problems finding previously-purchased content or purchasing new content. Thanks for your patience as the team works to resolve the issue.” It’s unclear if that is related to the other problems that Live users are currently suffering from.

Fortnite experienced issues (including on Xbox One) earlier today that have since been resolved, but Rainbow Six Siege is currently listed on the Live status page as suffering from some kind of problem. Ubisoft’s support account on Twitter further confirms that “multiple titles” from the publisher have been hit with connection issues.

There’s no timeframe for when things will return to normal. We’ll update this story with more information as it’s shared.

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Published at Thu, 04 Jan 2018 22:30:00 +0000

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Fallout 4's New Vegas Mod Looks Impressive In New Video

Fallout 4's New Vegas Mod Looks Impressive In New Video

Much like Obsidian’s Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic II, the developer’s entry in the Fallout series, New Vegas, is particularly beloved by fans of the franchise. While there’s been no indication Obsidian will get to take another swing at Fallout, a group of modders are working to bring New Vegas into the more modern confines of Fallout 4.

To celebrate the new year, the team behind the Fallout 4: New Vegas mod recently released a new video (via PC Gamer) showcasing some of their work so far. As you can see below, we get a look at some perks from New Vegas as the player enters the perimeter of Goodsprings, the town where players start out in the old game. We also get to see some combat against a poor settler who was simply minding their business, which in turn shows off the returning Karma system. All of this happens while music from Radio New Vegas plays from the Pip-Boy.

While this video only offers a glimpse, the mod’s goal is not just to bring elements of New Vegas into Fallout 4, but to port the entirety of it into Fallout 4’s Creation Engine. Unfortunately, there’s not yet a date for when we’ll see it, although you can follow along with its development on the mod’s official Facebook page.

We don’t know if Fallout rights holder Bethesda will ultimately object to the mod on legal grounds, as the company has not commented on the matter. Obsidian, meanwhile, seems enthused about the whole thing, posting a gif on Twitter of WWE’s Daniel Bryan leading the crowd in a “Yes!” chant with the message, “That F4NV mod, though…”

As for where the series is officially headed next, Bethesda has made no announcements, though it does have multiple projects in the works. Fallout 4 VR debuted just recently; you can read all about it in our feature on whether it’s worth replaying Fallout 4 in VR.

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Published at Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:04:00 +0000

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