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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    YouTube Red subscribers can finally benefit from the platform's original programming promise as the first four shows hit the site on Feb. 10.

    The slate includes Lily Singh's A Trip To Unicorn Island documentary; Awesomeness feature film Dance CampPewDiePie's The Walking Dead-partnered adventure series Scare PewDiePie; and Rooster Teeth's Lazer Team, which was previously released in theaters.

    All the films and series will be available exclusively as part of YouTube's paid subscription service, YouTube Red, which launched last October. Users pay $9.99 a month for access to ad-free videos across the platform, as well as exclusive access to original programming. 

    For those in countries not yet supported by YouTube Red, fans will have a chance to purchase content directly through YouTube or via Google Play.

    The Feb. 10 launch is the first of many Red releases coming in 2016. Other announced content includes a scripted series from the Fine Brothers called Sing It!, projects from Joey Graceffa, College Humor, and more.

    Screengrab via iiSuperwomanii/YouTube


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    Mr. Robot star and up-and-coming hunk Rami Malek tweeted a photo from a red carpet on Wednesday in which he thanked the teleprompter technician for spelling his name phonetically. 

    The reason? Instead of leaving anything to chance, the phonetic spelling guaranteed that the host would pronounce the actor's name correctly on the first try.

    While Malek's tweet is all in good fun, it does raise an important point about POC actors' names: The burden of explaining a name pronunciation is often left to the actor him- or herself, rather than the journalist conducting the interview. 

    In the past few years, stars like Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, and Uzo Aduba have all spent the first 15 seconds of talk-show segments doing a little routine about how to pronounce their names correctly. It's a conversation that, say, Emma Watson or Andrew Garfield never have to have.

    Uza Aduba has a great story about her mom's attitude toward her Nigerian name, and it seems to mirror the sentiment Malek expressed in his tweet.

    My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means “The road is good.” Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future. So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.

    Screengrab via Rami Malek/Twitter


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    Kevin Bradley sat in front of his computer last week, and with the prospect of formulating the best, most fun, and most hilarious prop bets, he lost himself in the research.

    For two hours, Bradley studied the history of earthquakes in the Bay Area and the probabilities that one would occur on Feb. 7—otherwise known as Super Bowl Sunday. He pinpointed exactly where Levi's Stadium stands and how many earthquakes hit Santa Clara, California, per day. He Googled and studied and found earthquake tracker sites before finally emerging from the fog with a decision.

    Bradley—the sportsbook manager of Bovada.lv, one of the most popular online sports gambling websites in this country—was barely sleeping, and his staff of about 20 oddsmakers had spent all week racking their brains to come up with the best prop bets that money could buy.

    Bradley had spent his time researching and thinking and pondering whether the Earth would shake at the site of Super Bowl 50, and he decided that the odds were 10-to-1 that it would.

    Welcome to Super Bowl week for the online sportsbook oddsmakers, in which they have to establish point spreads, over-under predictions, and parlays. Yet, for this game, the final contest of the 2015 NFL season, the prop bets are king, and that's why Bradley spent hours with his oddsmakers and Bovada's marketing team to invent as many as they could.

    About 300 ideas were discussed. Some, Bradley said, were ridiculous. Some were impossible to quantify into gambling odds. Some ideas had too many questions to answer. For example, somebody had the idea to make odds on whether a rainbow would appear during the game. But then the questions: What happens if there's a rainbow but it's not shown on TV? What if somebody fakes a picture of a rainbow over Levi's Stadium? What if nobody finds the pot of gold? Too many questions, in fact.

    The rainbow idea was tossed into the trash.

    But you know what made the list? This.

    Later, Bradley admitted that the 10/1 odds were a bit low. "Maybe," he told the Daily Dot, "it should have been 100/1."

    But Bradley knows that these kinds of prop bets are a fun exercise that accomplishes three things:

    1) They get people excited, because some people will bet on anything. 

    They'll bet on which color of Gatorade will be splashed onto the winning coach at the end of the game. They'll bet on how long the National Anthem will take to be sung. They'll bet on whether an earthquake will swallow the Super Bowl. They'd probably bet on a rainbow.

    2) Bovada can distinguish itself from other online gambling sites—places like 5Dimes, BetOnline, and Sportsbook—with fun prop bets.

    Don't think that Bradley and his team aren't thinking about that when they're spitballing ideas and don't think the oddsmakers at the other online sportsbooks are doing their best to counter with their own exotic bets.

    3) For the neophyte fan—or the Super Bowl viewer who cares only about watching the commercials—these kinds of wagers make life a little more interesting. 

    And hey, maybe they'll open a Bovada account, plop down $5, and have a fun story they can tell between bites of seven-layer dip at the Super Bowl party they're attending.

    "We'll see a lot of people make their first [Bovada] bet ever on the Super Bowl," Bradley said. "It's largely in part because of all these crazy things we put in. They might not care about the game, but they can bet on the Gatorade color. For $5, it gets them interested."

    A site like OnlineBetting has a list of calamity prop bets that include:

    • Odds there is an earthquake in San Francisco during game (at least 2.0 magnitude within 50 miles of the stadium): 56/1
    • Odds the goal posts fall down: 75/1
    • Odds the game gets delayed (by anything): 7/2
    • Odds the power goes out in the stadium: 20/1
    • Odds a fan throws a burning effigy of [San Francisco 49ers general manager] Trent Baalke on the field: 200/1
    • Odds someone parachutes into the stadium: 9/1

    For sportsbooks throughout the land, the Super Bowl is their biggest day—Bradley said it accounts for about 2 percent of Bovada's action for the entire year—and it's getting bigger every season.

    Even though daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have been hammered by bad publicity, federal investigations, and finger-wagging state attorney generals, Bovada and other sites like it are allowed to continue unmolested because they're not headquartered in the U.S. (Bradley spoke to the Daily Dot from his office in Montreal.)

    More than $100 million has been wagered on the last two Super Bowls in Las Vegas sportsbooks—reportedly, more than $4 billion is bet illegally overall—and those casinos usually bring in a return of somewhere between 1 and 16.5 percent. (Reportedly, the only time Las Vegas has lost money on the Super Bowl in the past decade was when the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots in the final game of the 2007 season.)

    But in the last several years, mobile has become an important part of Bovada's game. Live betting online is well established for tennis and soccer—that might be why live betting, though it's growing in this country, is more popular in Europe—but during the Super Bowl, Bovada will have a team of oddsmakers in charge of updating bets throughout the game. Fans can watch the Broncos and Panthers on TV (or on their phones) and then decide right then and there to place another bet, especially if a player or team is close to an in-game milestone.

    "People will see that their team is down 14-0 and they think their team will make a comeback," Bradley said. "So, they'll put down $10 or $15."

    It's extremely likely online sportsbooks will make money during the Super Bowl, but oddsmakers like Bradley need to take a number of factors into consideration when setting the betting line. Ideally, Bovada, just like any sportsbook, would receive half the action on the Broncos and half on the Panthers. Then, they'd be assured to make money, thanks to the vigorish (or "vig")—basically, the money the bettors have to pay in order to play with that sportsbook. And because Bradley has been setting odds for a decade and was a gambler before that, he's rarely surprised with how customers bet on a particular line. He can't be surprised. That's not a part of his job description.

    After the conference championship games were finished last month and the Super Bowl participants were set, most of the books opened with the Panthers as a 4.5-point favorite, but more than 70 percent of Bovada gamblers put their money on Carolina. In order to even out the betting, Bovada tweaked the line and made the Panthers a 6-point favorite.

    "I am quite surprised how one-sided it is so early," Bradley said at the time. "But it seems our bettors would rather go with the Panthers offense against what is a very good Denver defense."

    In order not to get caught in a sticky situation, Bradley relies on his and his oddsmakers' experience as gamblers. If his team is coming up with prop bets, he wants them to answer one question: Would they put money on the bet? In other words, is the over/under too low? Is the line too high for the favorite? If the answer is yes—if the oddsmaker would put down his or her dollars, because the odds are skewed in either direction—it's probably not a good bet for the book.

    But with the props, it's difficult to know if a bet is good or bad. Ten-to-one odds on an earthquake occurring is probably too low, but what about this option?

    Carey is a former Super Bowl referee who's now employed by CBS to analyze the decisions made by the game officials. The perception is that he's oftentimes wrong when predicting whether a play that's being officially reviewed will be upheld or overturned. There's been so much rabid commentary, in fact, that CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus recently commented, "I’ve seen some of the criticism, and I think some of it is very hurtful, quite frankly."

    But in the world of exotic Super Bowl prop bets, this one is close to perfect. It's a newsworthy topic, Carey is a controversial figure among the more hardcore NFL fans, and it's pretty damn funny. 

    Until the Super Bowl is complete on Sunday, Bradley and his team will continue to feverishly think about odds and props and lines and ways for people to enjoy themselves in spite of the odds against them. The ideal scenario for Bovada, Bradley said, would be if the Panthers took home a one-point victory. The worst case would be if Carolina romped over the Broncos and easily surpassed the over-under total of 45.

    Either way, once Super Bowl 50 begins, the staff will take in the action, drink a couple beers, eat some food, and hope for the best. "And once it's done," Bradley said, "It's like, 'Thank god, it's over.'"

    But it's not over. It's never over. Because once the staff pays out its bets and drops the food and drinks into the trash well into the early morning, the work will continue hours later. There are four NHL games on Monday along with 10 NBA contests and three ATP Tour events. All will take action.

    And when Bradley clocks back into work on Monday, he'll unveil his latest predictions—the early odds for Super Bowl 51.

    Photo via Keith Allison/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    Ladies, if you've ever wanted to join the band M83, you're in luck—if you can sing and play the keyboard, that is.

    M83 frontman Anthony Gonzalez has taken to the Internet in a quest to find the band's newest member (preferably female; sorry guys). In 2011, Gonzalez successfully recruited guitarist/"part time synthetic cowbell smasher" Jordan Lawlor, who still plays with the band. "This time I am looking for a female singer who can also play keyboard to join us," Gonzalez wrote on the online application.

    The new band initiate will replace former keyboardist Morgan Kibby. Aside from the talent requisite, Gonzalez is calling for someone who can hit the ground running and show up to Los Angeles in March for rehearsals. M83 begins their North American and European tour in April, playing through until August, according to the released tour dates.

    Although the application remains open, it seems Twitter users already have a favorite in mind. Among the applicants include Victoria Asher, former keyboardist of Cobra Starship. Asher has received more than a handful of endorsements from netizens on Gonzalez's tweet alone, some praising her talent as well as expressing how perfectly they think she'd fit in with the rest of the group.

    Gonzalez hasn't announced when he'll make his decision, but with rehearsals about a month away, it's sure to be very soon.

    Photo via PeterTea/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)


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    The pseudo-doctor and the honorary doctor are in the house to offer plenty of contradictory advice.

    Prior to Dr. Phil’s Late Show appearance, Stephen Colbert encouraged his Twitter followers to send him questions that he could help solve despite having no license to speak of whatsoever.

    But when Colbert and Dr. Phil faced the questions, they found themselves at odds on just about everything. One offered some reasonable advice, but the other most certainly did not. It's probably easy to guess who was who.

    Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube


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    Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the weekly half-hour show from former Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee, doesn’t premiere until Monday night, but she’s already giving us an idea of what to expect with an old-fashioned takedown of last week’s GOP debate.

    Bee didn’t want to fall into the trap of discussing Donald Trump at a debate he didn’t even attend, so she took her arsenal of comments to the candidates on the stage. As she demonstrated, there’s a lot to say about the robot, Uncle Rosco, and “whiny little turd” Ted Cruz.

    It still might feel like 1992 for her, between the Bush and Clinton matchup and talk about the First Gulf War, but there’s a whole new crop of candidates for the taking—and mocking.

    And if this is how she takes on Iowa, we can’t wait to see what happens with New Hampshire.

    Full Frontal debuts Feb. 8 at 10:30pm ET across five networks.

    Screengrab via Full Frontal with Samantha Bee/YouTube


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    On a chilly fall day in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I came across a flyer hanging on the bulletin board at a local bike shop. Nestled among the ads for bike tours and the panniers for sale was a single sheet of copy paper with bubbly handwritten letters: “Ghost Problems???” A phone number and Facebook address were listed, encouraging me to contact the expert: Janice Gunter, Ghost Hunter.

    I don’t really believe in ghosts, but I snapped a picture of the flyer with my cell anyway. Why not?

    And I wasn’t alone: Janice Gunter’s ghost hunting ads were plastered all over Brooklyn last fall. Many of the New Yorkers who saw the flyers duct-taped to the street lamps or pinned to coffee shop doors actually called the phone number for help with problematic ghosts.

    Gunter, a self-taught spook sleuth from the remote, seafaring Bay Ridge neighborhood—home to so many Irish-Italian cops and firefighters—took to Facebook and YouTube to share some of the more interesting cries for help left on her voicemail. In the first month of her ghost hunting startup, Gunter’s voicemail received 259 calls from New Yorkers who stumbled upon the flyer.

    One of those voicemails, from a German-sounding guy calling himself Franz Gumper the Ghost Humper, suggested that Brooklyn was teeming with rival poltergeist pursuers.

    I began to wonder: Who were these ghost hunters and humpers? How long had they been here? Did they do anything besides call and leave each other funny voicemails?


    As it turns out, Janice Gunter: Ghost Hunter is a new webseries, a docu-para-dramedy-sci-fi-reality show that follows Gunter and her ‘Ma’ around as they build a business from scratch. Starting with a staple gun, a Sharpie, and a dream, Gunter and her Ma travel out of Bay Ridge and to stardom, eventually ending up as contestants on America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter.

    You don’t have to believe in the supernatural to find Gunter’s tinfoil-hat misadventures entertaining. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t believe in ghosts, despite the fact that one named Jerry is sitting right behind you trying to check his g(host)mail by inserting his invisible hands into yours. Maybe you ain’t afraid of no ghosts. But isn’t it better to be on the safe side, knowing that a spunky young professional is there waiting for your call?

    The Daily Dot spoke with Gunter—who bears an eerie resemblance to comedic actress Elizabeth Zephyrine McDonough, a veteran of the Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade—in between visits to the other side.

    “I’ve been seeing things since I was a little child,” said Gunter, explaining that sometimes the ability the mediate between the spirit world and the streets of Bay Ridge can skip a generation. “I would just see things that other kids didn’t see. Even playing hide and go seek, I would find someone. And the other kids would say, ‘There’s no one there.’”

    Gunter decided to market her specter-seeking gifts by going door-to-door in the neighborhood, visiting the local seniors who “might not be walking around seeing the flyers.”

    “When something really weird is going on, you can’t just call the police. You can’t just put handcuffs on a ghost,” Gunter said.

    Not only are ghosts difficult to apprehend in a traditional law enforcement sense, Gunter believes that a special skill set is needed just to communicate with the spirits of the deceased. And it’s not because they speak ancient languages or demand that shamanic rituals or blood sacrifice be performed in order to get their attention. According to Gunter, it’s because many ghosts just aren’t very bright.

    “Their brains are like 200 years old,” said Gunter. “They may not be the sharpest stick in the shed. For instance, they cannot Google something to like, solve a problem. Which is very sad. Ghosts do get lonely too. And I really feel sorry for them.”

    It must be especially lonely to be a ghost in these skeptical, science-driven times: when no amount of chain-clanging and caterwauling in the world can convince the living that you’re real. For those on the fence, perhaps the simplest way to handle the possibility of ethereal neighbors is to know where and how to stay out of their way. According to Gunter, certain areas—especially very old parts of town—are basically the supernatural equivalent of the gayborhood.

    “Anywhere with a lot of cobblestones, there’s a lot of ghosts. With more time, there’s more dead people,” Gunter said. “Take Wall Street, for example. There’s a lot of suits down there, and let’s just say a lot of them are stuffed.”

    But this ghostbuster isn’t just finding the haunted hotspots of the city. She’s haggling, New York-style, with the spirits in order to convince them to leave people’s apartments. It can take a few visits and some negotiation, which Gunter compares to buying something on installments of $19.95 apiece.

    On Facebook, where the Janice Gunter: Ghost Hunter page has close to 4,000 likes, the most commonly asked questions revolve around whether Gunter’s ghost-hunting abilities are real—and even whether Gunter herself might be some kind of elaborate character played by a professional actress. The paranormal investigator told Daily Dot she understood the skepticism, since she’s come across some imposters as well.

    “Once I got on the Internet, I found out a lot of stuff I didn’t want to know,” Gunter said. “First of all there are a lot of fakes out there. There’s these psychics who sit in their house eating a sandwich while they talk to you on the video. But like the great Ghandi said, be the change you wish to see. So I never eat sandwiches on the job.”


    The six-webisode series does indeed feature a sprinkling of professional actors and comedians who intersect with Gunter’s pursuit of phantoms. Two of the guest stars are familiar to fans of Orange Is the New Black: Constance Shulman (who plays OITNB’s yoga teacher) and Catherine Curtin (OITNB prison guard Wanda Bell) drop in as a Park Slope psychic and the imposing host of America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter, respectively.

    Part of the cast list reads like a who’s who of LGBT comedy, with out performers like John Early, Emma Willman, Jiggly Caliente (of Rupaul’s Drag Race fame) peppering scenes. Also on deck are Twitter star Aparna Nancherla, Moth storyteller Adam Wade, and Sunita Mali, the famous dance victim from Lil Jon’s hilarious Turn Down for What video.

    In one episode, Gunter comes across a flyer for a psychic development workshop and travels to the greener pastures of Park Slope (Brooklyn’s upscale granola neighborhood) to attend. Greeted by Shulman’s charismatic cult leader, the upstart ghost hunter finds herself in a circle of women balancing crystals on their faces and talking about how their spiritual transformations began after switching from coffee to Chai.

    Other episodes follow Gunter into sticky exorcisms, cat possession, paranormal gay bars, and the reality show-within-reality show America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter. It’s a lot of metaphysical adventures packed into 6 episodes, and for Janice Gunter, it’s all a labor of love. Asked if her new business had turned a profit yet, Gunter told the Daily Dot: “I guess it depends on your definition of profitable.”

    “If you’re talking about everyday dollars, OK, we haven’t been handed much of those,” said Gunter. “But you know, I heard that Steve Jobs he had to do a lot of free stuff just to get off the ground. So we’re in like, early Steve Jobs phase…where he was maybe in the ’80s.”

    The first season of Janice Gunter: Ghost Hunter is not yet available for streaming. Fans and phantom-riddled prospective clients who want to keep up with Gunter have to stalk her Facebook page and YouTube videos, where she shares some of the entertaining voicemails that come in on the ghostline, and espouses theories about the alleged death and reanimation of Donald Trump.

    But Stephanie Testa of One Glass Productions, the company that sends film crews to follow Gunter around on her supernatural sojourns, told the Daily Dot that the series is “exploring different digital platforms for the best fit” and that she expects to have an announcement soon. With an all-female Ghostbusters remake slated for summer 2016, it shouldn’t be too long before shows about chasing apparitions are all over the Internet. In the meantime, ghost hunting fans can watch the trailer.

    Screengrab via Janice Gunter Ghost Hunter/YouTube


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    Donald Trump isn't taking his second-place finish in the Iowa caucus too well.

    He’s accused the victory, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), of stealing his victory after Cruz's campaign released a misleading statement about Ben Carson. Trump has also called for a new caucus, referenced spending the least amount of money per vote in Iowa, and tried to convince everyone that second place is a good thing—unlike a certain tweet of his from 2014 that recently resurfaced.

    It's that last technique that earned him some help from Jimmy Fallon.

    Fallon, who’s been impersonating Trump for much of his campaign—even to Trump’s face—brought out the impression again to address Trump’s supporters following the Iowa caucus.

    Yes, Trump didn’t win, but that isn’t so bad. On The Tonight Show, Fallon, as Trump, demonstrated just how much better finishing second really is. After all, there isn’t an R1-D1, so arguments about first place being the best are invalid.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    Great news, everyone! 

    If you’ve been scouring Tumblr and Google for your The Simpsons reaction shots all these years, life is about to get a lot easier. 

    Buddies Sean Schulte, Paul Kehrer, and Allie Young have developed a search engine that allows you to search any quote from the first 15 seasons of the show and pair it with the corresponding screenshot. It’s called the Frinkiac (named after Springfield's Professor Frink), and it draws from a library of over 3 million searchable screengrabs to let you pick the exact moment you’re thinking of. 

    But that’s not all! Once you’ve found the perfect frame from the scene you’re thinking of, they give you the option to throw a caption on top in the signature Simpsons font. 

    So let’s say you're looking for Martin exclaiming, “I’ll be the queen of summertime!” while standing next to his new aboveground pool. You just pop “queen of summertime” into the search bar, hit enter, and bam! You’re greeted by a bunch of frames from that scene. 

    From there, you select your fave, click it, and are greeted with all of the information you could possibly want: season number, episode number, the timestamp where the quote occurs, and the actual transcription of the quote. 

    All that’s left to do is hit “Make Meme” and throw your caption on top. After that, you’re free to drag the results to your desktop and share however you see fit. 

    What a time to be alive.

    H/T Wired | Screengrab via Frinkiac


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    BY SAM GUTELLE

    Justin.tv is coming back. The live streaming platform founded by Justin Kan will return as a Snapchat channel, according to a job posting Kan shared on his website.

    When it launched in 2007, Justin.tv was one of the first services built entirely around live streams. By 2008, it had more than 30,000 registered users, and it turned a lot of heads–including ours.

    Justin.tv’s biggest moment, however, came in 2011, when it launched a video game streaming service called Twitch.tv. Twitch ultimately became much more popular than Justin.tv, and by 2013, its users were streaming more than 12 billion minutes per year. When Amazon purchased Twitch in 2014, the original Justin.tv service shut down, and Twitch’s parent company was renamed Twitch Interactive.

    Now, Twitch is back. In his post, Kan says he has become “obsessed with Snapchat,” and he wants to use the messaging app to chronicle his recent adventures and profile the startups he works with. While Snapchat doesn’t use the live streaming format Justin.tv was known for, it can certainly support the the sort of intimate, personal broadcasts for which Kan himself is known. “Restarting Justin.tv might be a terrible idea,” Kan writes. “I’m actually undecided. But, it worked out well the first time.”

    Screengrab via Tubefilter


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    Joseph Gordon-Levitt's company HitRECord is partnering with the American Civil Liberties Union on a video project documenting the intersection of technology and democracy—and Gordon-Levitt is using the money he made playing Edward Snowden to fund it.

    "Is today's technology good or bad for democracy?" Gordon-Levitt asked in his announcement video. "That's the question I'd like you to answer for this project."

    He followed up with questions about the specific ways in which future technology might be good or bad.

    Collaborative productions are nothing new for HitRECord, which has been producing content since 2004, but the funding source is: Gordon-Levitt's entire acting fee from the Oliver Stone film Snowden, in which he played the NSA-whistleblower-turned-fugitive.

    A portion of that money will compensate people whose contributions to the project end up in the final video, with the remainder going directly to the ACLU. 

    “Some people believe that the right to privacy is a cornerstone of democracy, and [that] without privacy, we don’t really live in a free country," Gordon-Levitt said in the video. "Other people, and especially perhaps people who are so open about their lives online anyway, don’t seem to mind being watched. So I’m curious how you feel about it.”

    Screengrab via hitrecord/YouTube


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    Verizon is making good on its promise to bring high-profile sports content to Go90. The telecommunications giant announced on Wednesday that its Verizon Wireless customers will able to stream Super Bowl 50 live on the mobile video platform this Sunday.

    The game, which pits the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos, kicks off on at 5:30pm ET at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and will be carried live by linear TV network CBS and streaming platforms Go90 and NFL Mobile.

    Leading up to the Super Bowl, Go90 will be livestreaming three concerts from the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, 45 miles northwest of the stadium. The sold-out shows—headlined by Hunter Hayes (Feb. 4), Fall Out Boy (Feb. 5), and Skrillex (Feb 6)—will be available to stream for free by all Go90 users, whether or not they’re Verizon Wireless customers, as part of the platform’s original streaming concert series.

    The Super Bowl comes to Go90 via its partnership with NFL Networks and CBS Sports. It also has a deal with the NBA to carry the league’s slam-dunk contest during All-Star Weekend, as well as highlights, original programming, and a handful of live games. Go90 is also dipping it toes into sports-related scripted programming. Last month, it announced Now We’re Talking, a new sports-themed comedy series produced by Warner Bros.’ short-form production unit Blue Ribbon Content, debuting in the spring.

    Launched last fall, Go90 features a wide range of content from companies such as AwesomenessTV, Comedy Central, Discovery Communications, Endemol Beyond, ESPN, Machinima, Maker Studios, MTV, New Form Digital, Nickelodeon, Scripps Networks Interactive, StyleHaul, Tastemade, and Vice Media.

    Screengrab via NFL/YouTube


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    Adnan Syed, the subject of Serial’s first season who is serving a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, is finally getting his day in court, and the podcast that brought his story to a new audience is continuing to tell his story.

    Serial fans who checked their podcast feeds this morning discovered two new episodes ready to download—the next installment of season 2, which is about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and an update about the three-day hearing in Baltimore, which will determine whether Syed will receive a new trial.

    “This week, I’m going to do something I haven’t done before, which is duck back into Adnan Syed’s case for a few days to report on a court proceeding that’s happening in Baltimore,” Serial host Sarah Koenig explained at the beginning of the episode.

    Instead of putting an update out every week or two weeks, as she’s done in the past, Koenig will put out daily updates about the hearings, which she is attending.

    Syed originally filed a petition for a post-conviction relief hearing in 2010—long before fans ever knew about Serial—but that was denied in 2012. He won that appeal and was granted the post-conviction hearing in November.

    The argument from Syed and his lawyers, which is covered in Serial, is that Syed’s original defense team failed him when he was convicted in 2000. They claimed that his defense attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, inadequately represented him because she was ill. (Gutierrez was disbarred in 2001 after receiving complaints from clients and died in 2004 after suffering from multiple sclerosis and diabetes.)

    According to Syed’s lawyers, Gutierrez also failed to contact Asia Chapman (née McClain) as an alibi witness for Syed. They will also argue that the cell tower evidence that largely helped convict Syed was “misleading and should have never been admitted at trial.”

    Syed appeared in court with his friends and family there to support him, including longtime advocate Rabia Chaudry, who is tweeting about the hearing. (She's also criticized Koenig for how she's presenting Syed in the podcast.)

    Lee’s family didn’t attend the first day of hearings. In a statement, they called Lee the “true victim” and they want to bring this chapter of their life to an end.

    Members of Lee's family did show up for the second day of proceedings.

    The first two days of testimony largely focused on Chapman’s story. She originally wrote letters to Syed offering help and noting that she had seen him in the library the day that Lee died. Although Rabia Chaudry, a longtime advocate of Syed, contacted her about the alibi, Gutierrez never did. When Brown contacted her in 2010, she was dissuaded from helping the case by prosecutor Kevin Urick, who told her that “[Syed] killed that girl.”

    Koenig interviewed her for Serial, but Chapman originally thought it was for an article. It wasn’t until after Serial came out that Chapman heard that Urick claimed she had been pressured sure write an affidavit about the day Lee died. Shocked at how she was represented, she decided to help Syed’s case.

    “It placed a great weight on my heart to make sure justice could be fairly evaluated,” Chapman testified.

    During Thursday’s hearing Chapman was cross-examined by the prosecution, which is trying to discredit her story. The court also heard from Chapman’s boyfriend at the time, Justin Adger.

    The court is now hearing testimony from an expert on cell tower technology. The hearing is still ongoing, and it’s unclear if a decision will be made at the end of the hearing or at a later date.

    Photo via stuart.childs/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III


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    What The Daily Show’s “Indecision: 2000” segment was for that presidential election, No, You Shut Up! will be for 2016.

    You don’t often see the showrunner of Hannibal debating with live-wire puppets about the topics of the day—reforming the criminal justice system, election coverage, you name it—but here it is, entering its fourth season on Fusion.

    Hosted by Paul F. Tompkins, No, You Shut Up! is a punditry-related, loosely paneled talk show that advertises argument as intellectual debate on various timely topics. Except here, the pundits are puppets. No, not metaphorical ones—they’re real, Jim Henson Company puppets that are operated and voiced by real Henson-trained pros.

    “By this point, everybody kind of already knows what their character would say,” said Tompkins of his crew. “We have a core group of five puppeteers, who play several different characters. The puppeteers all have backgrounds and training in improv, so they're a very versatile group of people.”

    Besides the experts behind the puppets themselves, the show lists 78 cast members from the past three years. That’s a lot of puppets, but also approximately one guest star per episode—a human who sits on the panel and tries his or her best to keep a straight face. Those humans have had some big names, like Bob Odenkirk, Tig Notaro, Jack Black, and Bryan Fuller.

    And that’s not all for its pedigree: That Daily Show comparison is no accident. No, You Shut Up!  was created by David Javerbaum, who was a former head writer of the Comedy Central staple; he’s since moved on to join the new Late Late Show with James Corden, but his influence lives on.

    “He created the show, and was with us for the first couple seasons, and now he’s working on the James Corden late night show,” Tompkins told the Daily Dot. The Henson Company signed on after the idea was presented, which then got Tompkins on board with no arm-pulling.

    Tompkins couldn't give too much away about the plans for this season—or its corresponding election coverage—but after 50 episodes, the core crew of puppets and Tompkins have cemented a dynamic that’s perfectly primed to make something like election coverage really shine. And even the few facts we do know make it worth sticking around for: This year’s election coverage includes debates by puppets such as “Dwayne Johnson,” who looks like a rock, and the show has Patton Oswalt running for president under the Republican ticket.

    All past episodes are available to Hulu subscribers, and during season 4, new episodes will air on Thursdays before coming up for free viewing on the official Fusion site eight days later. As with most of Fusion’s programming, the creators will be supplementing the online clips and episodes with online-exlusive content.

    “They’ve been nothing but supportive… it’s great to know they’re on our side," Tompkins said of Fusion. "I think they’re putting their money in the right direction.”

    At the very least, it’s a unique direction: It’s unlikely we’d see this material anywhere else.

    Screengrab via No You Shut Up!/YouTube


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    The players who win Super Bowl 50 on Sunday will enjoy receiving an extra $102,000 paycheck for their victory, while those on the losing team will have to make do with only an additional $51,000 payment for the 60-minute game.

    But Panthers safety Roman Harper, who is in the second year of a five-year, $10.6-million contract, is looking to make a little bit of extra change while he's working in California this weekend. At least, we're guessing that's why he offered his house offered his house on Airbnb.

    Harper is charging $5,000 per night for his one-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in uptown Charlotte, which he calls "A Panther's Dream Den." As he writes, "Come watch me play in the Super Bowl—from my own couch! I'm Roman Harper of the Carolina Panthers, and while I'm in Santa Clara on February 7, I'd love to invite you and a guest to experience Super Bowl 50 in my house."

    You can watch the Super Bowl on his 70-inch TV after you work out in the 4,000-square-foot health club (with a yoga room!) and sweat on the multi-purpose basketball and tennis court. But Harper is asking for his guests not to practice football in the hallways and not to wear their cleats on his hardwood.

    Oh, and apparently, he's got the same house rules as your parents.

    Harper says he'll donate all proceeds—which Airbnb will match—to his Hope 41 Foundation, which, in his words, "helps enable us to prepare today's youth for tomorrow's challenges." Oh, and he'll also throw in a signed football as a housewarming gift.

    But Harper probably won't let his guests hang out with any of his new friends from California.

    Photo via Airbnb


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    The Super Bowl has many timeless traditions, but Conan O’Brien is marking the big game by linking football fans and gamers with as much game-induced rage as the Super Bowl deserves.

    As he did before last year’s big game, O'Brien brought together Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman and Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller to play Doom. O’Brien had a bone to pick with Miller after he and the Broncos defense shut Tom Brady down in the AFC Championship game, but otherwise, it was a much more relaxed environment than either player will probably experience come Sunday.

    With a Marshawn Lynch cameo, some fur hats, and lots of stabbing monsters and holograms—Miller knew what it was because he saw Tupac at Coachella—the game quickly turns into a friendly bloodbath. But will the winner of Clueless Gamer be the winner of the Super Bowl?

    Screengrab via Team Coco/YouTube


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    Vaporwave, the musical genre born of the Internet, has been celebrated, scrutinized, and declared dead. Now it has its own radio station. 

    Today, Evan Hemsley—an L.A.-based musician and video game programmer—debuts vapor.fm, a 24/7 site devoted to all things vaporwave. 

    Hemsley says he was drawn into the world of vaporwave after a friend sent him a two-hour mix last summer called Vaporwave Mix #1, and it “spiraled” from there. He wrote a program that would grab vaporwave-related music from Bandcamp to feed his curiosity, which eventually made him long for a platform where one could go to seek out the genre. 

    Vaporwave incorporates easy listening-style music (or muzak), old-school Web imagery, glitch art, advertising and brand satirization, and ’80s/’90s aesthetics. Musician Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, is often namechecked for bringing the genre to a bigger audience with his 2010 collection under the name Chuck Person, but vaporwave has evolved in many directions since then. This is an art form born of an ever-shifting Internet remix culture, a phantom limb of weird SoundCloud.

    As narrator Wolfenstein OS X says in this handy explainer, “I first thought of [vaporwave] as a humorous gag, something that wouldn’t necessarily last for all too long in the music world. It was essentially a joke on music itself.” 

    While vaporwave’s origins are hard to pinpoint, it’s found its way into pop culture: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim often employ vaporwave aesthetics in their show, and its influence has seeped into Adult Swim promo as well. Vaporwave had an “ambassador” who signed to a label, and because the Internet is an ouroboros, the microscene has also been co-opted by corporations. 

    Hemsley says it was an intangible familiar feeling that initially drew him to vaporwave.

    “It sounded so familiar and yet different and weird,” he said. “It’s using these processes... and slowing stuff down and reverb and sampling—all techniques that have been used in creating electronic music for a really long time, but it’s just the source material they were using is so different from what I expected. They were sampling things like mall music and cheesy ’80s funk and old Japanese pop music and Italo disco and all this stuff I wouldn’t have expected to hear put through those processes.”

    Much of vaporwave hinges on nostalgia, and Hemsley recounts being in a mall in downtown L.A. and hearing muzak on the PA. (Vaporwave does allegedly have an offshoot focusing on mall music: mallsoft.) That type of “passive” music would usually bum him out, he says, but in the context of vaporwave, it found new meaning.

    “It’s taking these songs that are meant to be consumed so passively and without really paying any attention or giving any conscious thought to them,” he said. "Like a lot of those elevator music samples or corny jazz. They weren’t really meant to be seriously consumed like music, but then [it’s] being recontextualized into something that is enjoyable to listen to [and that’s] just fascinating to me.”

    The visual aesthetic is a big component with vaporwave, and while the music on the site comes from other artists, Hemsley created the visuals that appear on each channel. You progress through channels much like you would use a remote to flip through TV—another nostalgic touch—or you can use the site in shuffle mode. It’s a deviation from on-demand and streaming sites and, Hemsley says, a work in progress. 

    “I think what’s so interesting about vaporwave is that it is nostalgic, but I think there’s still a sort of tension between the past and present and future of vaporwave, where people are actively going back to these old sounds and using them as the basis for something new. And putting these old sounds through these processes that are only possible with modern technology.”

    Screengrab via vapor.fm 


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    With Super Bowl 50 just days away, Jimmy Fallon is turning to his most trusted advisors to predict the winner.

    It’s a time-honored tradition at Fallon’s Tonight Show to let puppies call the winner of major sporting events. Not only do they amuse us for sport, but they get to munch on all the kibble they want—and Fallon has a hell of a lineup.

    If the puppies have anything to say about it, it’ll won't just be a clear victory—it'll be a landslide.

    But how accurate are they? If you take a look at Fallon’s YouTube channel, you’ll see nearly 100-percent accuracy. The puppies called American Pharoah for the Kentucky Derby, the Broncos for the 2013 season opener, and the 2013 World Series.

    But they don’t always get it right. They made the wrong call for the 2015 College Football National Champion Game, Super Bowl XLIX, Super Bowl XLVIII, and the 2012 election. And most of those videos have since been made private on YouTube.

    There are exceptions to this. The puppies were completely off about Michigan State, and that video is still on YouTube, but they got Argo right, and that video’s gone.

    But make no mistake. Right or wrong, this year's puppies called the Broncos to win it all.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    The ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary are here to stay—for a few more seasons, at least. 

    Netflix announced Friday that hit show Orange Is the New Black has been picked up for an additional three seasons, meaning that we’re guaranteed seven total seasons of the show in the coming years.

    Showrunner Jenji Kohan released the following statement: “Three more years! Not quite a political term, but still plenty of time to do some interesting things. In some cultures, ‘May you lead an interesting life,’ is a curse, but I don’t live in those cultures. Here’s to keeping it interesting.”

    And in true OITNB fashion, cast members took to Twitter to celebrate: 

    Season 4 premieres on Netflix June 17.   

    H/T Variety | Screengrab via Netflix


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    On the heels of Netflix announcing its first original sketch comedy series and Seeso’s new slate of spring shows, Fox is set to debut its first late-night sketch show since MadTV

    The new series, Party Over Here, will run on Saturday nights and stars Girl Code’s Nicole Byer, SNL writer Alison Rich, and Jessica McKenna of Fox’s improv comedy show Riot. It’s the first show in the Lonely Island’s multi-year deal with Fox, which will allow the trio—Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer—to develop comedy programming for Fox and streaming platforms like Hulu

    The Lonely Island, which rose to fame on YouTube before becoming part of SNL’s viral and digital arsenal, said in a statement: “When we first conceived this idea, we thought of it as a spinoff of Empire. We failed miserably... now it’s much more of a sketch comedy show.” 

    It will be interesting to see how the series, which will be produced by the Lonely Island and The League’s Paul Scheer, fares against SNL. Party Over Here debuts March 12. 

    H/T Hollywood Reporter | Screengrab via ABC Television Network/Facebook


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