Eben Griger



Xbox introduces new Game Pass subscription service

Xbox has announced via press release a new subscription service: Xbox Game Pass. “Xbox Game Pass gives you unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games – all for $9.99 per month, backward,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. This new service spans both Xbox One and Windows 10 games (backward compatible titles) and features developers such as 2K, Deep Silver, and SEGA. While the Xbox One and backward-compatible games will be available at launch, PC gamers will have to wait a bit for Windows 10 services. This service is similar to Sony’s PlayStation Now, a game streaming service launched back in 2014 but has one key difference. Xbox Game Pass will allow you to download the games, meaning “continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth, or connectivity issues.” No release date was given only that it will be “broadly available later this spring,” and will launch with titles such as Halo 5: Guardians and NBA 2K16, with new titles coming in each month.


Post-Boycott Uber might not make a comeback

Amid several controversies, the most recent of which being actions during the immigration ban, Uber is losing money and customers, fast. Broadest of all controversies is the fact that Travis Kalanick has no clear business plan for Uber, idea hopping and investing into new ideas seeming as they come to him. From UberX, an attempt at stripping down their business model, to UberEats, a food delivery service, and now ventures into self-driving cars and flying cars, Uber workers have a lot on their plates. The workers though have their own controversies. On the internal side of things, female engineers have claimed sexual harassment runs rampant at Uber, and that the company’s Human Resources department refuses to do anything about it. Externally, Uber workers face problems too. Namely that they’re not actually workers. Uber classifies their drivers as contractors, not employees, meaning that even full-time drivers are barred from benefits such as health care vehicle reimbursements, like gas and maintenance. Uber is also reportedly losing money and a lot of it. UberEats is set to lose $100 million each year but continues to be offered as a service. In 2016 it was found that fares from riders only cover about 40 percent of what the ride costs the company, the remaining 60 percent covered by the investors in the company. Uber has also had a lawsuit filed against them after former Google employees allegedly took the blueprints for a self-driving car system to Uber’s engineers. All of these problems lead to a very clear outcome for Uber: Whatever the ever-changing business model is, it’s not working for anyone.


Martin Scorsese’s new movie is getting picked up by Netflix

Martin Scorsese, director of movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Goodfellas and The Departed, has a production offer on his newest film The Irishman after being announced seven years ago. Digital distribution giant Netflix made the deal to buy production rights on Scorsese’s film, and are in the process of closing on the deal. The movie was originally slated to be made by Paramount Pictures, who backed out upon the departure of Brad Grey, Paramount’s 12-year chairman. This is not Netflix’s first attempt at producing a movie. Beasts of No Nation, also produced by Netflix, was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2016. The Irishman adopts Charles Brandt’s novel “I Heard You Paint Houses” for the film. The novel follows hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who worked for the Bufalino crime family and confessed to over 25 hits, including the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, and also claimed to know about the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Robert DeNiro is set to star in the film, marking his ninth collaboration with Scorsese. Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are rumored to have also expressed interest but have not been confirmed. The Irishman is currently in development and set to release in 2019.


Disney, YouTube drop PewDiePie over anti-semitic controversy

Disney and YouTube are distancing themselves from YouTube star Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, after a string of anti-Semitic videos. The videos, beginning in August 2016, featured images such as: the attempted resurrection of Adolf Hitler, a man dressed as Jesus Christ saying “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong,” and, most recently, a video of two south-east Asian men holding up a sign saying “Death to all Jews,” which Kjellberg paid them to do. Sunday, Kjellberg made a post to his Tumblr, saying his videos should be taken as “serious political commentary” and he is “in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes,” though no apology was given in the post.

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