Top reads for the week: The Light Eaters, Paranoid Gardens, and I Was a Teenage Slasher

We have been intrigued by the latest fiction, nonfiction, and comics that have been released. I Was a Teenage Slasher by Stephen Graham Jones Stephen Graham Jones is something of a slasher expert. The author has tackled the genre in several of his novels (most notably the Indian Lake trilogy, which features a slasher-obsessed protagonist) and has an ongoing Fangoria column devoted to his influences, so it’s no surprise to see that he’s published another take on the canon. But this time we get a different perspective: that of a…

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YouTube/20th Century Studios News 

The latest trailer for Alien: Romulus is intense, gory, and impressive.

The recent Alien films have been generally well-received, but many fans feel they lack the intense, visceral tension of the original movies. The new trailer for Alien: Romulus suggests a return to the franchise’s dark and claustrophobic origins. Alien: Romulus features an all-new crew of doomed spacefaring souls who encounter a deadly Xenomorph in an abandoned spaceship. This time it’s a crew of space colonizers scavenging for resources from abandoned ships and stations. This Alien movie is written and directed by Fede Alvarez, the filmmaker behind cult horror movies like…

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Paramount+ News 

Paramount+ has canceled the live-action Halo series.

In 2013, renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg collaborated with Microsoft to develop a live-action Halo TV series. After a decade of anticipation, the show has been axed by Paramount+ after just seventeen episodes. The first season premiered in 2022, with the second following earlier this year. Despite our initial ambivalence towards the series, its cancellation marks a disappointing end to the high-profile production. According to an unnamed Variety source, the show’s creators plan to shop the project and look for a new home with the Master Chief and Cortana chronicles. “We…

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But you might have to pay extra to watch March Madness on the platform. News 

Max to provide free live sports streaming for a limited time

In the upcoming weeks, Max appears poised to enter the realm of sports streaming. Warner Bros. Discovery is considering enticing users by providing live sports content at no additional expense for a few months, with the intention of eventually introducing an additional charge for such services. When WBD unveiled the new-look Max (formerly HBO Max) in April, it said it would unveil plans for live sports at some point this year. The company broadcasts NBA, MLB and NHL games on its linear networks, and according to Bloomberg, it has been…

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You may also see exactly how long you have to wait until you can skip the remaining ads. News 

YouTube Experiments with Longer Commercial Breaks on TV Apps

YouTube is currently conducting trials on smart TVs, Apple TV, and game consoles to explore a new advertising strategy. The platform is testing the concept of reducing the frequency of ad breaks while extending their duration on these devices, collectively known as connected TV or CTV experiences. The idea is to display ads in a way that fits better with each YouTube viewing environment. On mobile, you may be more inclined to watch content like Shorts in smaller chunks, so shorter, quick ad breaks may make more sense. However, YouTube…

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'Heart on my Sleeve' may be eligible for songwriting honors. AI 

Grammy Awards to Take into Account Drake and The Weeknd’s Viral Song with AI Vocals for Nominations

The individual responsible for a popular AI-generated song has entered the track for consideration at the Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy has specified that certain awards are not applicable to such works. Nevertheless, Ghostwriter, the anonymous creator of “Heart on My Sleeve,” has submitted the song in the categories of best rap song and song of the year, which are both recognized for songwriting excellence. The Academy has indicated a willingness to acknowledge compositions primarily composed by humans, even if the recording itself is predominantly AI-generated. Ghostwriter composed the lyrics…

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The company’s also consolidating office space and reducing related expenses. News 

Roku Cuts 300 Jobs and Removes Streaming Content to Cut Costs

Roku appears to be significantly reducing its spending. According to Variety, the company is letting go of 300 employees, which accounts for ten percent of its workforce. Additionally, Roku is implementing various cost-cutting measures such as eliminating streaming content, consolidating office space, and reducing expenses related to external services. The objective is to achieve a significant decrease in the rate of operating expense growth compared to the previous year. The company hasn’t announced what content it plans to remove from its various streaming platforms, and whether those cuts will come…

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This seems to be another move to attract more paying users. News 

Spotify Tests Restricting Access to Lyrics Behind Premium Paywall

Spotify is currently conducting tests on its Premium service by making changes to its offerings. Recently, a number of Spotify users who were on the free tier observed that they could no longer access in-app lyrics. Instead, they received a notification bubble stating, “Enjoy lyrics on Spotify Premium,” along with a sign-up link. Spotify explains that this move to place in-app lyrics behind a paywall is simply a part of its regular testing process. “At Spotify, we routinely run a number of tests, some of which end up paving the…

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The move will impact podcasters' earnings and boost the company's bottom line. News 

White Noise Podcasters Allegedly Excluded from Spotify Advertising Program

According to Bloomberg, Spotify’s relationship with white noise podcast creators has been difficult, and the company appears to be intensifying its actions against them. Starting from October 1, white noise podcasters will no longer qualify for Spotify’s Ambassador Ads program. As part of the program, Spotify pays podcasters to read ads for the company’s own products. Its goal is to get more people to make presentations on the platform. Bloomberg previously reported that some white noise podcasters were making as much as $18,000 a month, largely due to Spotify itself…

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It’s in theaters and on Peacock starting October 27th. News 

Five Nights at Freddy’s Movie Trailer Reveals Animatronics’ Deadly Intentions

The initial trailer for the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie was impressive, but it lacked the presence of the game franchise’s infamous killer animatronics. However, the latest trailer has addressed this concern by prominently showcasing Foxy, Bonnie, Chica, and Freddy himself. These murderous puppets are seen engaging in their signature activity of taking lives. You also get a little more plot, which seems to reflect the gameplay. It resets on Josh Hutcherson’s character as the criminally underrated Future Man as he starts a new gig as a night security guard…

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It adds an extra social element to the music-streaming app. News 

YouTube Music’s Now Playing Tab Incorporates YouTube Comments to the Detriment of Listeners

The recent update of YouTube Music’s Now Playing page is now available for both iOS and Android devices. A notable addition to the app is a new feature that enhances its social aspect. Users can now read and post comments directly on the Now Playing page, expanding beyond the previous limitation to playlists only. According to screenshots shared by 9to5 Google, some of the comments on the page may be from several years ago. As it is, it seems The updated design is rolling out gradually, so you may not…

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The sci-fi sitcom has added growth to its armory. News 

Star Trek: Lower Decks Explores the Core of the Franchise

This article delves into the details of the fourth season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. There’s a risk when using the word “should” that we’re a short leap away from a tantrum to enforce the boundaries of What Proper Star Trek(™). But after watching most of the fourth season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, it feels like the show’s prospects are among the most Star Trek-ish of the bunch. Part of this is because the show is mature enough to laugh at itself, and part of it is now allowing…

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John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon will chat about the ongoing Hollywood strikes. News 

Late night TV’s top personalities launch ‘Strike Force Five’ podcast to back striking employees

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, and Jimmy Fallon are teaming up to launch a podcast called Strike Force Five. The podcast will focus on discussing the intricate details surrounding the ongoing Hollywood strikes. The hosts aim to support their out-of-work staff from their respective talk shows by donating all proceeds generated from the podcast. “The hosts bring their unique insights, opinions and humor to the show as they navigate the Hollywood strikes and beyond,” a Spotify blog post reads. Five comedians direct the episodes in turn. Spotify’s…

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They claim the current enforcement is too slow to remove many infringing livestreams in time. News 

Major Sports Leagues Push for Quick DMCA Takedowns

The UFC, NBA, and NFL have requested the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to expedite the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown process. In a letter shared by TorrentFreak and reported by The Verge, the sports leagues emphasized the need for swift removal of illegal livestreams. They highlighted that the sports industry is suffering significant financial losses, estimated at $28 billion, due to fans opting for pirated live feeds instead of legitimate paid options. “The rampant piracy of live sporting events is causing tremendous harm to our businesses,” legal…

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Its Neo QLED screen should be ideal for direct sunlight. News 

Pricey Samsung 85-inch Outdoor Terrace Television Set

Samsung has expanded its Terrace outdoor TV line by introducing an 85-inch Terrace Full Sun set, which comes with a hefty price tag of $20,000. This new addition features a Neo QLED screen that is designed to maintain brightness even in direct sunlight. The TV also includes “Direct-Sun Protection” to ensure its safety. Samsung claims that the TV can withstand up to six hours of sunlight at 700 watts and 104 degrees Fahrenheit, although it may reduce brightness in response to extreme temperatures and sun conditions. That heat threshold may…

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They will be available on the service from September 1st through October 31st. News 

Max to Offer AMC+ Series Including ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and ‘Killing Eve’

Max, previously referred to as HBO Max, has reached an agreement with AMC to offer its subscribers access to a selection of AMC shows for a limited period. Starting from September 1st until October 31st, the streaming service will showcase a range of recent programming, including popular titles like Fear the Walking Dead, Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, and Killing Eve. CNBC and Variety report that this deal encompasses over 200 episodes. Additionally, AMC plans to make more of its shows accessible through Max during the upcoming autumn season.…

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The app lets you read 'The New Yorker,' 'Wired' and much more for absolutely zilch. News 

Libby App Allows Free Access to Magazines with Library Card

Having a library card in your wallet is incredibly beneficial, as it grants you access to a wide range of resources. Libby, an app supported by the majority of public libraries in North America, allows you to enjoy free ebooks and audiobooks with your library card. Additionally, Libby offers the opportunity to read various magazines at no cost. Exciting updates are expected next month, which will enhance the app’s functionality and make it even simpler to access popular publications like The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Bon Appetit, and Wired without…

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It'll likely be one of many movie launches getting pushed back this year. News 

‘Release of ‘Dune: Part Two’ pushed back to March 2024 due to writer strikes’

Variety reports that Dune: Part Two’s debut has been rescheduled to March 15th due to ongoing strikes involving writers and actors. Initially set for November 3rd, the highly anticipated movie will now be released four months later, as Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment decided that the star-studded cast’s promotional efforts are crucial for maximizing its box office success. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio and production company delayed the film as long as possible, but should have started promoting the film in early September. It hoped the extra time…

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Here’s hoping it fares better than CNN+. News 

Max to Launch Live CNN Streaming Channel in September

Warner Bros. Discovery decided to cancel CNN+ after just a little over a month due to significantly low viewer numbers. However, the company still believes that there is potential for live news from CNN on a streaming platform. It will bring CNN Max to all Max tiers in the US at no additional cost on September 27. The new 24/7 service “is part of an open beta for news, enabling product features, content offerings and original storytelling experimentation, all with input and feedback from the Max community,” WBD said in…

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It has yet to announce an exact date. Gaming 

Amazon Prime Video to Stream Fallout Series in 2024

The Fallout TV series, which Amazon has been working on, will finally debut on Prime Video in 2024. This announcement comes more than three years after the company initially revealed its plans to adapt the popular franchise with the creators of Westworld. A teaser of the upcoming series was presented by Bethesda’s Todd Howard and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer at Gamescom’s Xbox booth, leaving fans eager to see whether it will be a success or a disappointment. 📍 Vault 33Location: Los Angeles Fallout, an original series, coming to Prime…

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