Although Sony will introduce its next-generation console at the end of the year, several special themed Dualshock 4 controllers will release for the PlayStation 4. Since the console and controller’s first appearance 7 years ago, there have been over 25 color schemes introduced to the Dualshock 4. The DualShock 4 and officially licensed third-party PS4 gamepads will work with supported PS4 games running on PS5, Sony recently said earlier last week. However, it will not be compatible with the PlayStation 5 titles.
Color schemes such as Berry Blue, Red Camouflage, Green Camouflage, Magma Red, Midnight Blue, Electric Purple, Rose Gold, and Steel Black will be available. There are 12 new colors available for the gamepad, which can be purchased for $64.99 USD on PlayStation’s website.
Leaker Digital Chat Station says Oppo executives talked about ‘Lite’ versions of the upcoming Snapdragon 875.
Another unannounced chip, the Snapdragon 860, was also mentioned at the meeting.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau was there as well.
Qualcomm may announce multiple variants of its next flagship chipset, according to Digital Chat Station. The leaker reports Oppo executives talked about “Lite” variants of the upcoming processor during a recent meeting. They say those same executives may have also mentioned the Snapdragon 860.
“If I didn’t hear incorrectly, the Snapdragon 860 was discussed during Oppo’s communication event,” said Digital Chat Station in a tweet we asked a native speaker to translate (you can see the Google Translate version below). “The Snapdragon 875 series could also have ‘lite’ versions.”
Digital Chat Station mentions two Oppo executives, Liu Bo and Li Zi Gui, were at the meeting. More interestingly, OnePlus CEO Liu Zuohu — or Pete Lau, as we know him here in the west — was also present. For those who don’t know, China’s BBK Electronics owns both brands.
There’s a lot to unpack in that single tweet. The more straightforward piece here relates to the Snapdragon 875. One significant issue with Qualcomm’s current flagship silicon is that it’s expensive for device manufacturers to include their phones because the chip doesn’t feature an integrated modem. If they want to include the 855 in their handsets, companies like OnePlus have to add Qualcomm’s 5G-capable X55 modem, making its phones cost more. If the report is accurate, more affordable variants of the 875 could help partly address that issue.
Less straightforward is the mention of the Snapdragon 860. We don’t know the context in which Lau and Oppo executives discussed the chip. Websites such as Gizmochina have interpreted the sentence as evidence Qualcomm may announce an 860 chipset, but there are a couple of reasons that doesn’t seem likely.
If Qualcomm sticks to its usual release cadence, it will announce its next flagship chip at the end of the year. That doesn’t leave much time for the company to push out another variant of the 865, particularly if it plans to release “lite” versions of the Snapdragon 875. Without specifics, it’s also hard to say how the 860 would differ from the 865. The model number suggests the 860 would be a more affordable version of the 865, but Qualcomm already offers the 765G as an alternative to its top-of-the-line chip.
As usual, take all of the above with an extra dose of skepticism. Digital Chat Station has a decent track record. They’ve shared some credible information in the past, but they’ve been wrong as well. Less than any of the specifics, what’s probably worthwhile to take from this report is that it seems Qualcomm is being reactive to the shortcomings of the 865. For what it’s worth, Qualcomm chose not to comment on the report when we reached out.
Disney will release its live-action film Mulan online through its Disney Plus service on Sept. 4, but it won’t be included as part of a standard subscription. Mulan will cost $30 in the US in addition to Disney Plus‘ regular subscription fee, and it will be priced at roughly the same amount in international markets where it’ll be available online too, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a number of countries in Western Europe.
Mulan, which Disney originally slated for theaters in March but had to push back the release date multiple times because of the coronavirus, will be released as what’s known as premium video on demand. Typically, that means a high-priced rental, but Disney will give customers access to watch Mulan indefinitely as long as they keep their Disney Plus subscription active. You’re essentially buying the brand-new movie, rather than unlocking a one-time rental.
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Don’t get your hopes up yet that other mega-budget films — like Marvel‘s Black Widow with a theatrical release date set for Nov. 6 — necessarily will follow the same quick path onto your living-room TV. The company characterized Mulan‘s release as a onetime deal, though it could serve as an experiment that guides its future release decisions.
“Mulan is a one-off,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Tuesday during a call that discussed the company’s fiscal third-quarter results. “That said, we find it very interesting to be able to … learn from it and see what happens, not only in terms of the uptake of the number of subscribers that we get on the platform but the actual number of transactions on the Disney Plus platform that we get.”
It will be offered exclusively through the company’s Disney Plus streaming service, seemingly holding out from other popular stores for online rentals like Apple’s TV app, Amazon Video and others.
The company will also release Mulan theatrically on Sept. 4 in markets where cinemas are open and where Disney Plus isn’t operating yet.
“We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters, while also further enhancing the value and attractiveness of the Disney Plus subscription with great content,” Chapek said.
The decision marks an unprecedented approach to releasing a big-budget movie that had been destined to be a blockbuster back when theaters were open worldwide. The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered cinemas around the globe and forced studios across the board to delay big-budget films for months and years, with no certainty in sight for when theaters can reopen at large or when audiences will feel comfortable sitting in windowless, enclosed rooms for hours.
It’s also a major defection from the rigid rules that usually keep new movies only in theaters for 75 days or more, as well as a surprising change to how Disney Plus has been pitched to audiences since it launched in November. Disney Plus is Disney’s online hub for streaming almost everything the company produces, but it was marketed as an all-you-can-eat buffet like Netflix, where your subscription unlocks everything on the platform to watch. Mulan will bring an a la carte transaction to Disney Plus that its 60 million subscribers haven’t yet encountered.
Disney’s changes underscore how disruptive the pandemic has been to Hollywood studios’ meticulously planned release cycles. With theaters closed and coronavirus preventive measures keeping people stuck at home, studios have mostly decided to keep pushing back the theatrical release dates for mega-budget pictures. But with their tentpole movies in a holding pattern, studios could be setting themselves up to all release a glut of movies on top of each other, crimping ticket sales.
Already, smaller-budget films began to go straight to online rentals or streaming services, such as Disney’s decision to release its Hamilton film and its young-adult sci-fi movie Artemis Fowl on Disney Plus rather than in theaters. And Universal has released new movies like DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour and others as special online rentals.
But Universal’s Trolls World Tour online release enraged cinemas, with US chain AMC even vowing it would ban Universal movies from its screens, including its blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise. Cinemas have doggedly clung to rules that keep new movies only in theaters for months, even as audiences have grown more accustomed to watching video when they want, where they want. Then last month Universal struck a deal with AMC to patch things up, promising to give theaters three weekends of exclusivity for new movies going forward in exchange for lifting the ban on its movies, a signal that cinemas are willing to compromise.
Disney, however, has been one of the Hollywood studios most dedicated to theatrical release. It’s decision to put out Mulan online reinforces the prospect that these alternative release strategies devised in the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic may have lasting effects even after cinemas start reopening at large.
Disney Plus’ standard subscriptions costs $7 a month, or $70 a year, in the US. In Canada, Disney Plus is priced at C$9 a month, or C$90 per year.
In countries that are part of the euro zone, it is 7 euros, or 70 euros a year. In the UK, it is £6 a month, or £60 a year. In Australia, it’s priced at AU$9 a month, or AU$90 per year, while New Zealand subscribers pay NZ$10 per month, or NZ$100 per year. In India, Disney Plus Hotstar is priced at 299 Indian rupees a month, or 999 rupees a year. In Japan, Disney Plus is 700 yen a month through an exclusive partnership with Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo.
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The Ventura County Sherriff’s Department has released footage showing the underwater visibility of the lake where Naya Rivera went missing.
The former “Glee” actress, 33, disappeared Wednesday after she rented and boarded a pontoon boat at Lake Piru near Los Angeles with her 4-year-old son Josey. The boy has been located and is safe, but the search for Rivera is still ongoing.
At a Friday evening press conference, Capt. Eric Buschow explained that the department has brought in “specialized equipment,” including a sonar system, to help in the search.
“What they do is they go out and they tow these devices in the water that scan the bottom of the lake for any objects that might look like a body,” Buschow said.
“Last night, they had a couple of images that showed up on the sonar that they thought might be promising to investigate. This morning, they sent an ROV, or a small robotic device, down into the water to examine those objects. Unfortunately, they did not locate Naya Rivera. They are still searching.”
A video posted on the department’s Twitter page Friday, shot by the underwater device, shows cloudy and green water. It’s tough to make out anything else in the 11-second clip other than a large tree limb.
Buschow called the murky water conditions “difficult,” but said authorities are utilizing all the tools they can get their hands on.
“The visibility in the water is one to two feet,” Buschow said, noting that the depth in the area being searched is up to 35 feet..
“We’re still continuing the search and we appreciate everybody’s cooperation,” he said. “We know everyone’s concerned out there about this case and locating her and providing some closure for her family.”
Buschow said he’s confident that Rivera’s body will be found.
“It’s very effective,” the captain said of the sonar system. “They get a really detailed image and they can go down and focus on specific things rather than putting divers in the water where they’re literally feeling around because they can’t see.”
Authorities are focusing on the north and east sides of the lake, based on where Rivera’s boat was found and the wind patterns and currents.
“We don’t know if she’s gonna be found five minutes from now or five days from now so we’re still going to be continuing this effort,” Buschow said.
Early on Friday, the NBA and the players association finalized a plan to resume the 2019-20 season on July 30 at Disney World in Orlando. Despite all of the concerns, ranging from health and safety, to basketball being a distraction from the social justice movement, all signs point to them playing basketball later this summer.
While the whole thing is still somewhat hypothetical, especially with coronavirus cases surging in Florida, the plan has never felt more real than it did on Friday evening, when the league announced the schedule. All 22 teams invited to the bubble will play eight “seeding games” that will help fulfill regional TV contracts, make some money for the league and give teams and players a chance to get back in game shape before the playoffs. Essentially it’s playing out a shortened version of the rest of the regular season.
The seeding games will start on July 30, and run through Aug. 14. There will be a maximum of seven games per day, and just two of the three courts in use will be set up for national TV. With the schedule now set, here are some key takeaways:
The league has just over two weeks to schedule eight games for 22 teams, all with only three courts available. With a real crunch on time and resources, and in an effort to maximize the audience for each game, the league is giving us a rare treat: afternoon basketball.
Sure there will be games on during the afternoon on weekends during a normal season, but only a few here and there. On weekdays, the earliest tip-offs are almost always 7 p.m. ET. But due to the extenuating circumstances, games during the afternoon aren’t just a necessity but will be accessible to even more people, as work situations have changed dramatically across the country. Plus, with fans not allowed in the arena, getting more games on TV just makes sense.
There will be at least one afternoon game every single day, except for July 30, which is the new “opening night.” The earliest scheduled game right now is a 12:30 p.m. ET tip-off between the Wizards and Thunder on Sunday, Aug. 9.
When the season was shut down, the Pelicans were 28-36, which put them 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. They would have had some major ground to make up down the stretch, but with an easy schedule and Zion Williamson’s arrival, many thought they had a real chance at pulling it off.
Now that we know their schedule for Orlando, that feeling remains the same. The Pelicans have the easiest schedule based on opponent winning percentage. In fact, at .495, they’re the only team out of 22 with an opponent winning percentage that’s under .500. They’ll play the Jazz and Clippers to start, but then finish up with the Grizzlies, Kings, Wizards, Spurs, Kings and Magic.
All told that’s six games against teams who are under .500, just three against teams currently in a playoff spot, and only one against an actual contender. Passing the Grizzlies in just eight games will be difficult, but they should have a chance of being within four, which would put them in a play-in tournament situation.
The conspiracy theorists will suggest that the league set it up that way to get Williamson into the playoffs, and there’s no doubt that the league wants that to happen from a marketing standpoint. However, the Pels had the easiest remaining schedule prior to the suspension of the season, and the league tried to maintain that balance in Orlando.
National TV disparities
Obviously the league and the TV networks are going to want the best teams on TV more often than the bad teams. In general, that’s not a surprise, but even still, the disparity in national TV games is pretty interesting.
The Lakers, for example, will have at least seven of their games on either ESPN, ABC or TNT. Up next is the Celtics with six, while other contenders such as the Bucks and Clippers have five each. On the other hand, you have teams such as the Wizards and Suns with zero such games on either of those channels, which is just another reminder that they shouldn’t even be there in the first place.
Perhaps the most surprising notes in the national TV breakdown is that the Sixers have only two games on ESPN, ABC or TNT, and Luka Doncic and the Mavericks were limited to three.
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No Time to Die was initially set for release in November 2019 but the date was first pushed to February 2020 and then to April 2020, following the departure of the movie’s original director Danny Boyle and his replacement by Cary Fukunaga.
In March, it was announced that the film’s release date was being postponed until November as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The film finds Bond no longer on active service and enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
The film features Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Ralph Fiennes, and Christoph Waltz.
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The Dalai Lama has announced Inner World, an album of teachings and mantras set to music. The 11-track album is being released through Khandro Music and L.A. Reid’s HitCo Entertainment and arrives July 6, which is also the Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday. Inner World features sitar player Anoushka Shankar and is co-produced by Junelle Kunin and Charles Goldstuck. Check out the official announcement and listen to the first track “Compassion,” one of the most famous Buddhist prayers, below (via The Associated Press).
06/05 Update below. This post was originally published on June 2
Apple iOS 13.5.1 has arrived and it is an extremely focused release which aims to fix a hack with the potential to impact generations of iPhones. Does it deliver? It looks promising, but millions will want to avoid it.
Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up to date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
iOS 13.5.1 is available for all iOS 13-compatible devices. This means the iPhone 6S and newer and the 7th generation iPod touch. Automatic notifications are being sent out, but you can also trigger it manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. Beta testers, if you are running iOS 13.5.5 (more in ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your iPhone otherwise iOS 13.5.1 will not show up.
iPad owners, Apple has moved you to iPadOS. This is not an iPadOS-focused guide, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides.
06/04 Update: a few more bugs are coming in for iOS 13.5.1 as more iPhone owners upgrade. These remain isolated, but include Face ID errors, wallpaper glitches, Bluetooth connectivity issues and a strange keyboard prediction error where typing “”vote”, “vote” (with space) or “vote for” which then automatically suggests “trump”. This is happening for users both inside and outside the US. Notably, one complaint about this @AppleSupport has received over 1,500 likes with users responding in droves with screenshots showing the same thing on their iPhones (selection below). Obviously, this is not a deal breaker but it is unusual and I would expect Apple to address it with a server-side fix rather than it requiring a full iOS update.
06/05 Update: some more iOS 13.5.1 bugs are being passed on to me by end users. These include several instances of FaceID refusing to initiate, carrier data disabling and repeated crashes with Apple’s popular GarageBand app. These remain isolated but noteworthy. There are also a number of battery drain complaints. This isn’t unusual immediately after an iOS update while your iPhone re-indexes, but readers have reported that drain still remains high several days later. Again, the total number of complaints for this fault is small but it is clear some iPhone owners are affected. Overall, I would still recommend you upgrade to iOS 13.5.1, unless you jailbreak your iPhone (details below).
The Deal Breakers
Jailbreakers, iOS 13.5.1 is all about you. The release will break your jailbreak and, having so recently just got it, that will be a deal breaker for many. That said, there is a flip side to Apple’s actions, which I’ll discuss in the next section.
Apple’s official iOS 13.5.1 release notes simply state that the release “provides important security updates and is recommended for all users”. This is an odd description because the release actually provides just one security update.
As detailed on Apple’s official security page, iOS 13.5.1 has just a single entry: a security fix for the vulnerability exploited by the unc0ver jailbreak. Apple is not focused on the jailbreak, rather the vulnerability behind it. The flaw goes back to iOS 11 and it has the potential to be hacked by those with far less honorable intentions than unc0ver.
Breaking it down, Apple describes the fix as stemming from “a memory consumption issue” and confirms a successful hack would enable an attacker to “execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges”. Kernel privileges grant complete control over the operating system, so it’s a big deal.
This aside, there’s nothing else in iOS 13.5.1 – no new features, no tweaks, no additional security updates and no bug fixes (which will upset some).
Apple iOS 13.5.1 Verdict: Jailbreakers Ignore, Every One Else Upgrade
iOS 13.5.1 is Apple’s most singular release in a long time. It sets out to do one thing and it succeeds. For jailbreakers, this is all you need to know to avoid this update. For everyone else concerned by the flaw behind the jailbreak, early reports suggest only isolated bugs (and the continued existence of bugs already in previous releases), so if you’re running a version of iOS 13 it is stable enough for you to upgrade.
That said, for cautious upgraders, I’ll continue to monitor reports as the number of upgraders grows and deliver my final verdict in a week.
The Road Ahead
Apple has released the first beta of iOS 13.5.5. This looks set to be a relatively minor update, primarily focused on further fixes (with some clearly needed) though it will introduce one new feature that we know of: a new Audio section to the Apple News+ digital subscription service. I’d also expect a different release number (either iOS 13.5.2 or iOS 13.6) when it is finally released. Apple has developed a recent habit of giving betas different codenames, which seems needlessly confusing.
A renowned iPhone hacking team has released a new “jailbreak” tool that unlocks every iPhone, even the most recent models running the latest iOS 13.5.
For as long as Apple has kept up its “walled garden” approach to iPhones by only allowing apps and customizations that it approves, hackers have tried to break free from what they call the “jail,” hence the name “jailbreak.” Hackers do this by finding a previously undisclosed vulnerability in iOS that break through some of the many restrictions that Apple puts in place to prevent access to the underlying software. Apple says it does this for security. But jailbreakers say breaking through those restrictions allows them to customize their iPhones more than they would otherwise, in a way that most Android users are already accustomed to.
Details of the vulnerability that the hackers used to build the jailbreak aren’t known, but it’s not expected to last forever. Just as jailbreakers work to find a way in, Apple works fast to patch the flaws and close the jailbreak.
Security experts typically advise iPhone users against jailbreaking, because breaking out of the “walled garden” vastly increases the surface area for new vulnerabilities to exist and to be found.
The jailbreak comes at a time where the shine is wearing off of Apple’s typically strong security image. Last week, Zerodium, a broker for exploits, said it would no longer buy certain iPhone vulnerabilities because there were too many of them. Motherboard reported this week that hackers got their hands on a pre-release version of the upcoming iOS 14 release several months ago.