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Watch the new trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One

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We got our first look at Steven Spielberg’s next big science fiction movie Ready Player One at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, and today, Warner Bros. released a new trailer on Facebook Live, with author Ernie Cline answering questions about the origins of the story.

Based Ernie Cline’s debut novel, Ready Player One is set in a dystopian world where almost everyone spends a majority of their time in a virtual reality system known as OASIS, where players can visit any conceivable world (allowing the book to mash up an incredible number of ‘80s pop culture references). The trailer opens with Wade Watts (played by The Tree of Life / X-Men: Apocalypse star Tye Sheridan) saying that he got his name because his father thought that it sounded like a superhero name. He then talks about OASIS, which allows people to do anything, and that people stay because they can become anyone.

The trailer then shows James Halliday, the founder of OASIS, who tells gamers that he’s died, but that he left behind a massive Easter egg hunt: whoever finds the three hidden keys will get control of the entire system. Wade is one such participant, who teams up with another competitor, Art3mis (played by Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke), to find the three clues before a major corporation does.

Along with the trailer, Warner Bros. released a retro poster for the film that harkens back to the novel’s paperback cover. As Kotaku pointed out, there’s one thing that’s a little... off about it.

 Image: Warner Bros

Ready Player One hits theaters on March 30th, 2018.

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hansolosays
8 days ago
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:)
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Ron Swanson tells Ajit Pai he has no honor for killing net neutrality

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Even FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s heroes can’t stand him.

Ron Swanson, the ornery small-government hero of Parks and Recreation, despises public officials who abuse their power. So when Pai showed off his signed “Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness” to Vice News, Swanson put him on notice.

Here’s what Nick Offerman, the man who played Swanson’s iconic role, had to say:

Pai plans to kill net neutrality next Thursday. Too bad he’s not making friends.

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hansolosays
9 days ago
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Norfolk, Virginia
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Old Man’s War in Development at Netflix

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For those who don’t know, yes, that’s the original of the Old Man’s War cover art. It’s on my office wall. And yes, that’s my hand.

So here’s some lively holiday news: An Old Man’s War movie is currently in development at Netflix. Surprise! Here are the details over at Deadline.com. I’m pretty happy about this.

And now, your questions:

Are you excited?

Hell, yes. One, because I would love to see an OMW movie. But also, two, Netflix is a place where a lot of fantastic entertainment is happening these days. It’s trying a lot of things and taking a lot of chances, and most people I know who are working with Netflix are thrilled about being there right now. It really seems like it could be a great place for the OMW universe.

So is this a movie or TV series?

It’s a movie. On your television!

(Or computer or phone or monitor or wherever you choose to watch Netflix, I don’t judge.)

But can a two to three hour movie truly hold the vastness and complexity of Old Man’s War?

I mean, yeah. It’s a pretty speedy story in that first book. And as to the rest of the universe of the series, if the first OMW movie works and people watch it and like it (hint, hint), we can have sequels. There are six books! We have lots to work with.

Who is going to be in the film? You should get [insert favorite filmmaker/actor here]!

Whoa, there. This is the development announcement, where we announce the studio (Netflix) and the producers (Jon Shestack Productions and Madhouse Entertainment). Now that we’re all on board with making the movie, we’ll start putting all the puzzle pieces together. Don’t worry; when we pick folks, we’ll probably do follow-up announcements.

Hey, wasn’t Old Man’s War in development as a movie, and a TV series, before?

Indeed it was. It was in development at Paramount for a while as a movie, and then at Syfy as a TV series.

What happened?

It just didn’t work out. Both times, really smart folks did a really excellent job and tried to make it happen, but the entertainment industry is what it is, and the stars didn’t align.

But this time will be different!

Well, yes, I hope so. It would be nice. I think we have the studio and producers to make it happen.

How long has this been percolating?

I got the rights to OMW back in the summer. We fielded pitches and offers and then in October, while I was out in California, I had a meeting with the producers. After that it was just waiting on contracts.

Man, lawyers, am I right?

In this case, I’m a big fan of lawyers. Mine (Matt Sugarman) has done very well by me. As has my film/TV agent, Joel Gotler, and my book agent Ethan Ellenberg has been part of this particular brain trust, too. It takes a village to make a good deal.

How involved will you be in the production?

As the article linked above notes, I’m an executive producer on the movie, so I’m pretty substantially involved. Which is nice! I have opinions, you know. I’m going to share them.

So can I have a job?

You’ll have to go through official channels.

You’re an executive producer! You’re an official channel!

Yes, but not that official channel.

Okay, well, can I give you this script of something entirely unrelated?

No.

Hollywood’s changed you, man.

It always does.

So, this is great, but what I really want is a film/TV version of [insert another book/story I wrote here].

I have a number of things in various stages of development, only one other of which (The Collapsing Empire) is currently public knowledge. When/if those other projects get to public knowledge stage, trust me, I’ll be talking about them. Just like this, in fact.

I will say that it’s an exciting time to be me, and that with the projects currently in play, I’m lucky to be working with some incredible people. I feel very fortunate that this gets to be my life. And today, I feel particularly fortunate that we’re working to get this Old Man’s War movie to you.

Arrrrgh I can’t wait HELP ME.

Well, there are the books. And Old Man’s War itself is just newly released in a delightful pocket-sized hardcover edition! Which, by the way, if you order from Jay and Mary’s Book Center through this Sunday, I will happily sign and personalize for you (along with any other book of mine you buy).

I see how you dropped an ad for yourself in there, Scalzi.

Yes, well. I’ve got bills, folks.

I have other questions or comments!

That’s what the comment thread is for. Note I’m on deadline (uuuhh, an actual deadline, not just the entertainment news site), so responses might not be immediate. But I’ll get in there.


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hansolosays
10 days ago
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I really liked that book... hopefully they can do it justice
Norfolk, Virginia
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10 days ago
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acdha
10 days ago
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Oooooh…
Washington, DC
Ferret
11 days ago
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Woooo!

Facebook’s unorthodox new revenge porn defense is to upload nudes to Facebook

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Facebook is testing a new preemptive revenge porn defense in Australia that may, at first blush, feel counterproductive: uploading your nude photos or videos directly to Messenger. According to the Australia Broadcasting Corporation, Facebook has partnered with the office of the Australian government’s e-Safety Commissioner, which works primarily to prevent the online abuse of minors, to develop the new system for combating the nonconsensual sharing of explicit media.

By uploading the images or videos you fear may be shared in the future in an attempt to shame or harass you online, Facebook can digitally “hash” the media, effectively giving it a digital footprint. This allows the social network to track the media using the same artificial intelligence-based technologies it uses in its photo and face matching algorithms, and then prevent it from being uploaded and shared in the future. This works only if you’re in possession of the original file, but it would seem to bypass any attempts from a malicious third party to alter the metadata by analyzing and tagging the actual content of the image or video.

Facebook first implemented a similar, although less preemptive, mechanism for preventing the proliferation of revenge porn back in April, with the implementation of a photo-matching system to prevent the spread of images that have already been reported and taken down. The company has also liberally banned accounts for revenge porn activities. But now Facebook seems to be asking users to think ahead and play it safe if they feel particularly vulnerable, which could be the case in a relationship that becomes abusive over time or only after it’s ended.

"We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly," e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told ABC. “They're not storing the image. They're storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies. So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded.”

Of course, there are a few concerns here worth mentioning. It’s not clear how exactly Facebook can identify a photo or video without having the image stored somewhere on its servers. And because it’s just a test right now, there’s no telling whether the system can be easily tricked by altering aspects of the photo, sometimes in subtle and even imperceptible ways, to trick Facebook’s filters.

Successful attempts at tricking machine vision systems are well documented. Hackers and researchers alike have been known to use what are called “adversarial images” that use digital manipulations to trick AI algorithms, either by making a facial recognition system think someone looks like someone else, or by forcing a piece of image recognition software to think it’s looking at an one object that is in reality just a noisy mess of geometric shapes. It’s not farfetched to think Facebook’s automatic revenge porn filtering system could be bypassed in similar ways, by inserting enough hidden data in between the lines of an image to make it seem different enough from the source to the eyes of an algorithm.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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hansolosays
40 days ago
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I wonder how that would affect the advertising you see....
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Changes in Password Best Practices

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NIST recently published their four-volume SP800-63-3 Digital Identity Guidelines. Among other things, they make three important suggestions when it comes to passwords:

  1. Stop it with the annoying password complexity rules. They make passwords harder to remember. They increase errors because artificially complex passwords are harder to type in. And they don't help that much. It's better to allow people to use pass phrases.

  2. Stop it with password expiration. That was an old idea for an old way we used computers. Today, don't make people change their passwords unless there's indication of compromise.

  3. Let people use password managers. This is how we deal with all the passwords we need.

These password rules were failed attempts to fix the user. Better we fix the security systems.

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popular
69 days ago
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hansolosays
69 days ago
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2 public comments
CallMeWilliam
69 days ago
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A meeting recently:
Developer Team: Our passwords require special characters, and max out at 30 characters.
Me: Why on EARTH did you do any of that? Why do you have a max?
Devs: Because ... it's hard to remember something long? How long do you want it to be?
Me: ... Get rid of the max. Get rid of the special characters.
CIO: Wait. Why do we have passwords at all? Can we link to google/linkedin/facebook and make it their problem? We are not in the security business.
Devs: Yes!
acdha
69 days ago
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I’ve been happy watching such sensible guidelines make it through the review process
Washington, DC

Watch the first trailer for The X-Files’ 11th season

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The first trailer for the 11th season of The X-Files is here, having debuted at New York Comic Con over the weekend.

It looks like the stakes are pretty high, as we get chilling voiceover threatening the extinction of the entire human race throughout the trailer, and Gillian Anderson as Agent Scully croaking vague commands to David Duchovny’s Agent Mulder from a hospital bed. There are guns, cigarettes, jump scares, and threats of “hell on Earth.” But don’t worry — “The truth still lies in the X-Files.”

Fox announced the limited 11th season of The X-Files back in April, promising the return of Anderson and Duchovny, as well show creator Christ Carter as an executive producer. The 10th season of The X-Files, which aired a full 15 years after the end of the original series’ run, was only six episodes long.

At the time, The Verge’s Liz Lopatto wrote that the new episodes fell short of the old show’s power to mystify and terrorize viewers, saying “It's a shame that a show that once dealt so well with symbols of cultural anxiety has retreated into trying to figure out how to fit aliens into the modern consciousness. The point of The X-Files was never the aliens, not really; it was the inexplicable phenomena of ordinary life, the feeling you never quite knew your neighbors or your own family as well as you might like, that the world was even stranger than you had imagined.” If anything, it looks like the new episodes will double down on aliens, but perhaps with another season and more space it can find a reason to exist again post-Black Mirror.

The new season of The X-Files will have 10 episodes and premiere sometime in January 2018.

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hansolosays
70 days ago
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:D love this show!
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