March 19, 2018 03:38:47by

Swinging couple reveals their marriage is stronger than ever

Swinging couple reveals their marriage is stronger than ever

A couple who are spicing up the bedroom by having sex with strangers have revealed how the swinging lifestyle brings them closer.

Three years ago, IT consultant Alice and her husband Eric*, who works in finance, started engaging in sex with like-minded people after Alice revealed her wildest fantasy. 

'I told Eric that I had a fantasy of being pleasured by two men at once. I just imagined it would stay a naughty fantasy... but he suggested we look into it,' she told Whimn. 

The turning point for their relationship followed when the duo joined a club - and quickly found a shared a fondness for swinging.

'I love watching Eric with another woman across the room... it's surreal and delicious, feeling my own pleasure rise and peak while I watch my partner bring someone else to the brink,' Alice said.

As their relationship remains stronger than ever, the adventurous Australian couple are sleeping with dozens of strangers every month.

And while they engage in sex with strangers, the pair have rules in place. 

'Eric and I have rules. We only play together, never apart. The whole idea is that this enhances our love life so being able to see, if not touch, each other at all times is a must,' Alice said.

When the couple are not dressed in their risqué costumes over the weekend, they go about their day as office workers.

The pair have been keeping their steamy sex life under wraps from their family, friends and colleagues.

And they believe the swinging lifestyle has strengthened not only their intimacy but also their marriage.

*Names have been changed.
March 19, 2018 02:41:06by

'The Walking Dead' director on that Rick–Negan fire brawl

\'The Walking Dead\' director on that Rick–Negan fire brawl

SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s “The Key” episode of The Walking Dead.

Rick and Negan finally battled face-to-face on Sunday’s “The Key” episode of The Walking Dead. And not just face-to-face, but face-to-face-to-fire. Flaming zombies and a blazing Lucille added some extra heat to their basement brawl, but how exactly did they stage that dangerous scene? And what does it all mean?

We went to executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the episode, to get all the behind-the-scenes intel on the big confrontation. And that’s not all. We also asked about Dwight’s big decision and the mysterious new stranger with the records obsession (but no spoken word!). Click through both pages to read the entire interview and also make sure to check out our Q&A with Jayne Atkinson, who played that mysterious new stranger, Georgie.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Rick and Daryl have been fighting the Saviors together all season, but they really haven’t been on the same page at all, including that big brawl they had, so tell me about the importance of this scene between them in the Hilltop graveyard where they come clean about their mistakes.GREG NICOTERO: The interesting thing about it is they haven’t had an opportunity to even have a conversation, and given the fact that they had that brawl in episode 4, it was really important that we get a sense that we see where they are with each other. I thought it was a great moment for Daryl to come over and just say to Rick, “Listen, I’m with you. Whatever you need me to do, I’m here to do it. We want this war to be over.”

It’s important to see these two guys on the same page again. They both want the war over, they both want Negan dead. That’s all there is to it. It’s a really great sequence and we talked a lot about exactly how we wanted to portray that moment because up to that point, they weren’t on the same page, so even in the shots, you can see that I have Rick on one side of the frame and Daryl on the other side of the frame, with the grave markers breaking up the frame so that we’re visually trying to separate the two of them. Then, once they start talking, you realize that they are actually both fighting for the same thing. Listen, Carl just died. It’s the first chance for Daryl to even acknowledge that with Rick on a one-to-one basis.

Let’s get into the big Rick vs. Negan battle. We’ll talk about some of the actual physical things you had to do to pull this off in a second, but what was the importance of this face-to-face in terms of story and the characters?We’re definitely building some momentum, and in this particular episode, they established that the Hilltop has lookouts spaced every mile or two apart, and they’re setting up a perimeter around the Hilltop. And the idea is as soon as one person sees something, they’ll sound a horn and alert everybody else to the fact that the Saviors are coming. Rick chooses to go on lookout and he sees Negan, and basically instead of alerting everyone else, he’s taking terms into his own hands.

He’s going rogue!He’s going rogue. Part of the best thing and the worst thing about these people is they can never stick to a plan because there’s so much emotion and so much power behind everything that’s at stake, and so Rick goes rogue. Instead of signaling the horn, he’s taking matters into his own hands. He drives down, he knocks Negan’s car out of the convoy and basically tries to kill him.

Not only do they finally end up in a basement surrounded by flaming walkers, but a flaming Lucille as well. How did you pull all of that off?Some of the Lucille fire stuff, we coated the bats with a special material. We’re able to physically light it on fire. When, for a few shots, we had to make contact with the bat, we had a bat that basically had an orange glow stick as part of it so that we can get the interactive light. We wanted to stay close and we wanted it to be disorienting.

And you hear their voices as they’re talking to each other, and Negan’s not worried. Negan doesn’t for a split second worry that the sound of his voice is going to attract Rick because Negan really does believe that his friends are coming and that he has the upper hand. It’s only when Rick tells him about the Heaps, that he realizes that Simon has gone rogue, as well, and killed everybody on the Heaps that Negan starts realizing, Uh-oh, I think I might be in a little bit of trouble here.

There was a lot of choreography here in this fight scene. I think my favorite part was Rick sliding under a flaming bat swing. How did you all map this out and execute it?I was very involved with Jeff Schoen, our production designer, in terms of building the room in a very specific way. One of the things that was really important to me was that I wanted the room to catch on fire. I didn’t want it to just be a couple zombies with flames on them because we had done that before. So what was important to me was that once these walkers are on the ground and Rick hits the one in the stomach and it falls on top of the pile and it stands up, it’s engulfed in flames, and another zombie’s engulfed in flames.

As they’re bumping into furniture in the room, part of the room is now catching on fire, and that was something that I fought for to keep in the script. We built the room in a very specific way so that they burst through the door, and once they start swinging that bat, they’re basically sort of do-si-doing around this one center post — because we wanted zombies to be able to come out of the darkness and grab at Negan and grab at Rick so that the only illumination in the room is the illumination from the bat.

Yeah, there was a lot of contrast between the light of the fire and the pitch black darkness in the background.It was a great opportunity for us to have zombies coming out of the darkness, seeing these zombies on fire, and still having these two characters fighting. A day or two before we shot that scene, I went in with just me and Andy [Lincoln] and Jeffrey [Dean Morgan], blocked out what I wanted, and talked them through it, and then we walked through the motions. I said we should duck here, swing the bat here, and then you duck down and then the bat comes this way.

Then, the day that we shot it, we brought our stunt coordinator in and a lot of the department heads and we walked through all the choreography. I had to shoot that entire sequence in about three-quarters of a day, so I needed everybody to know what we were doing. Plus, we had to shoot one section of the room where we had one of the walls removed in case there was any issues with fire, so we wanted to make sure that we were as safe as we could.

That particular sequence was really the most in-depth in terms of action. Even with the car stuff, we didn’t really want the car chase to be a super action car chase because we had done that already earlier in the season when Rick and Daryl are chasing the guys that leave the chemical plant. We didn’t want to do the same thing over again, so we really focused our efforts in this great cat-and-mouse sequence in the basement of that building.

NEXT PAGE: Intel on Dwight’s big decision and the enigmatic Georgie
March 19, 2018 02:41:07by

'The Walking Dead' new mystery stranger Georgie speaks

\'The Walking Dead\' new mystery stranger Georgie speaks

SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s “The Key” episode of The Walking Dead.

Do you trust a stranger in the zombie apocalypse? And what if that stranger wants your food and your… records? And what if all that stranger is offering in return is something she promises is a “key to the future”? Would you trust her? Or would you just do the easy thing and steal her food to feed your people?

Those were the questions facing Maggie on Sunday night’s “The Key” episode of The Walking Dead when she came face to face with an enigmatic visitor named Georgie (who came with two companions named Hilda and Midge). At first, Maggie did indeed steal the stranger’s food, but then reconsidered providing some of the Hilltop’s finest vinyl.

It was the right move as Georgie then not only shared her food, but that key to the future ended up being an instruction manual complete with handwritten plans for windmills, water mills, silos, schematics, and guides for grain and lumber. “Build this place up,” Georgie instructed Maggie. “I want those crates filled when I get back.”

So what’s up with this Georgie anyway? Where exactly does she come from? And will we see her again? We asked the woman who played her, Jayne Atkinson, all that and more, and we didn’t have to trade any records to do so! Read on, and also make sure to check out our episode deep dive with director Greg Nicotero.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, what you were told about this character of Georgie when you landed the role?JAYNE ATKINSON: I was told that she’s an intellectual. She might have been a professor at a university — that she is unafraid and very smart and has been potentially studying human history for a very long time.

What’s her ultimate goal here in providing this “key to the future,” as she calls it? It seems like she’s on a mission of some sort.Yes, that’s what I wanted to communicate, along with the fact that she comes in in a very wise and innocent way. Maggie says, “Why are you doing this?” She answers, “What else should I do?” I think her ultimate goal is, as I’m calling it, an inoculation of hope into a world that she sees has been destroyed and is barren of hope. And wanting to find a community — she says there’s very few of them — where she can see this hope and see a regeneration of where human beings were and can revisit that.

I believe that’s why she is sort of Robin Hood. I don’t know if she’s stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. I don’t know if she’s actually doing that, but clearly, she’s got resources, and I believe that’s what she wants to be. She wants to be a bearer of good news and help regenerate and revive the planet into its possible glory.

Were you given any sort of backstory for Georgie and her companions? Are they from a community and have built these things

like windmills and stuff themselves, or do they just travel around in their little van making it their mission to help other communities?I wasn’t given that kind of backstory, but just from what we have and how I’m dressed and where I’m from and my lack of fear, I get the sense that she is from a community that is not just in survival mode. She has the luxury, in a sense, of being able to bring this. Maybe she saw it coming and she’s compiled this book. She was able to find a copy machine!

Yeah, what a luxury!Universities have copy machines. I think that where she is from, I don’t know if it’s exactly built in the way that she’s suggesting they build, but it might be.

She’s got a record player, clearly.Oh gosh, they were so excited about that record player.

I don’t know what it is she has against spoken word though.Isn’t that funny? Maybe she’s just not into rap. I don’t know.

Everything else was a go.There’s something interesting about this music and honestly, I wasn’t told anything about it so I think that’s just her being fascinating and quirky. Why would they have all those albums? How do they [at the Hilltop] have albums? Why is this the coin? Why is this this important commodity? I would wonder.

I was talking with Greg Nicotero [who directed the episode], and we’re all at the age where we came up in the ’70s and the music then was very political and dealing with an expansion of consciousness and wanting the old guard to move over. I’m wondering if in the words and the meaning of some of these records is also a message —a message of, you can’t just fight with swords. There’s creativity, there’s artistry. John Lennon was one of the most important game changers politically because of his message through his music. I’m just thinking about it right now, why the records? I wonder if that’s it.

What’s interesting to me about Georgie is that she’s trying to help these people at the Hilltop but she doesn’t get angry or annoyed when Maggie says no deal and is just planning to steal their stuff. How were you playing her reaction to Maggie’s less-then-friendly welcome?I think she knows what she’s going to get. She doesn’t come totally unarmed, but I think she has chosen this person and this group very deliberately. My sense is that she has been scouting out where she is going to land and she is playing it like a chess game. When you have the point of view of all you’re offering is good, and you have food and you have safety and you believe the cause of what you’re doing and passionately, you’re willing to put yourself on the line. If she showed aggression or fear, they’re smart enough to smell it and I think that’s the kind of warrior she is.

I think she’s incredibly wise and she is right up to that line because I believe, in her heart, she knows that what she has is important and so she’s willing to walk through fire for it. She’s not afraid. She’s just not afraid. She expects them to do what they do and she doesn’t put up a fight and she’s not afraid, but I do believe that she chose them so she’s willing to wait it out.

Director Greg Nicotero told me he was a big fan of your work on House of Cards. What was the experience like of filming these scenes with him and then Lauren Cohan and the other actors?It’s a well-oiled machine and so they’re just incredibly respectful. Greg is a lovely director. We had this one comedic moment that we were attempting to get. It got cut a little differently than it was. It went a little longer, which I really loved, but I understand why they did it because they don’t want these people to appear foolish. The two gals, maybe not the smartest tools in the shed, but they love Georgie and they’re going to protect her and they’re good at that job.

Everyone was just so welcoming. Lauren [Cohan] and I had great talks about being on the show and Danai [Gurira] was very hot. I kept making sure that she had water. I found out about her New York connections, she’s a playwright. One of the gals just had a baby and was missing it. I know what that’s like to have a child and to be working all the time and wanting to make sure that you don’t miss anything, so we really bonded. And it was all gals in our scene. I think they all really liked that and they really liked Georgie. It was lovely.

What’s not to like?Right! Greg is just very energetic and gave great direction and I just felt very welcomed, respected, and they were very curious about me in the same way you are like, what’s going to happen with her? Seeing Lauren smile at the end of our scene together, after what she’d been through, I think, how wonderful for her as an actress and her character.

You just said, what’s going to happen with her? Georgie says in that episode that she’ll be back to check on their progress. Has anything been told to you in terms of a plan of bringing this character back at some point?I couldn’t possibly tell you. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. You know what I mean? She says she’ll be back, I’m going to take her at her word.

Also make sure to check out our interview with director Greg Nicotero. And for more Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
March 19, 2018 02:41:09by

'Family Guy' writers break down Stewie’s therapy revelations — and that chilling ending

\'Family Guy\' writers break down Stewie’s therapy revelations — and that chilling ending

Sunday’s installment of Family Guy, “Send in Stewie, Please,” sent viewers into the mind of Stewie — and by episode’s end, they re-emerged with revelations up the wazoo, not to mention a chill down the spine.

The intimate installment of the animated Fox comedy drilled down on the indignant world-dominating enfant terrible, spending almost the entire half-hour in an epic therapy session. Dispatched to the office of the school’s child psychologist, Dr. Pritchfield (voiced by Sir Ian McKellen), after he pushed a classmate down the stairs, Stewie delivered a monumental monologue in which he expertly eviscerated the shrink, deducing the details of his privileged-yet-still-lacking life via a framed photo of a boyfriend and other objects in the office. (At five-and-a-half minutes in length, the rant almost made Peter’s interminable recitation of canceled Fox shows seem like a tossed-off quip.) But through an economy of words, the gently pressing Dr. Pritchfield was able to guide Stewie through a journey of self-reflection, spurring a rush of epiphanies and introspection about Stewie’s insecurities (including a fear that people won’t like him), sexuality, and British accent, the latter of which turned out to be, as he said, “a coat of armor to get me through the day… an image I cultivated so I could feel special.” (Turns out, Stewie’s real voice sounded like that of an innocent little American boy.) Oh, and Stewie also turned in a snotty, emotional performance of Hamilton — or at least what he knows from the Hamilton soundtrack. “It’s a glimpse behind the Clockwork Orange that is Stewie,” says Family Guy executive producer Alec Sulkin, while fellow showrunner Richard Appel sums up: “Stewie probably learns more about himself in a 25-minute analysis session than Woody Allen has learned in 25 years.”

Longtime Family Guy writer Gary Janetti, who pitched this script as a freelancer, was looking to do something decidedly different with the fan-favorite trouble machine. “I’ve always wanted to go deeper with Stewie,” he tells EW. “I’ve always wanted to write a really long monologue for Stewie, and it never naturally happened. I had just worked with Ian McKellen in London on the show Vicious, and I wanted to bring him in. I thought, ‘Well, what better way than to do a therapy session? It’s just Stewie talking to Ian for a half hour, where he can just talk to somebody in a way that he has never talked to somebody before.’” (For the record, McKellen was game from the get-go. “It was a very easy sell,” notes Janetti. “He said, ‘I’d love to do it! I love Stewie!'” He even played along with a “Mom. Mum. Mummy” joke within his own character’s backstory during the show’s lone flashback. )

Clocking in at five-and-a-half minutes, the monologue “ended up being longer than even I intended,” shares Janetti. “But it was just to let something really breathe. If he was given the opportunity to really vent his spleen when somebody innocently says, ‘I think I know you,’ and he gets to show his intelligence, and to unfurl his wings, as it were. I just wrote it stream of consciousness, and let it end where I felt it was going to end.”

In unpacking the enigma of Stewie and the veneer that he has constructed, Janetti also decided that the episode should delve into the mystery of his (fake) accent, something that would require the approval of Seth MacFarlane, who created Family Guy and voices the character. “I didn’t know if Seth would go for it,” says Janetti. “[But] when he read it, it was hilarious, because he instantly read that voice that he does in the episode, which is this normal kid voice, and it’s very disarming. It felt very true. I didn’t want to do anything unless it felt true to the character because I’m very protective over him. Like all kids can, when you feel like you’re an outcast, and you feel like you don’t fit in any place, you construct a bit of a façade to protect yourself from the world. His is just extraordinarily sophisticated. What would that mean if he felt like he could release it and be more authentic — and himself? Does he want to?”

That accent revelation caught the Family Guy showrunners pleasantly off-guard. Appel notes that one of the reasons he loved Janetti’s script was that “in my head I hadn’t even assumed it was an affectation. I just figured this is who Stewie is.” Adds Sulkin: “I was surprised by the whole turn of it, but to hear it somehow made sense: ‘Stewie has just been pretending, because he wants to seem smarter than everyone else.'” (The bonus joke? Pritchfield, played by McKellan — “the most quintessentially British actor that we have with that fabulous voice,” notes Janetti — is unable to detect Stewie’s British accent, which is “galling to Stewie.” )

During the brainstorming process, there was some discussion about resolving the question of Stewie’s much-speculated-about sexuality, but it soon became clear to all that this episode aimed to transcend reductive revelation to explain that wonder — and terror — that is Stewie. (Also, he is just a baby, so perhaps it’s a bit premature to be definitively answering such a question.) “When we were talking about this early on, there was a lot of talk like, ‘Do we write something where Stewie comes out? Is that what this episode is going to be?'” says Sulkin. “And then we all decided it would be more interesting to leave that door open for many interpretations. I think the way that Gary does it is much more interesting, and leaves us with many more places to go, so we don’t always have to lean in on a Stewie-is-gay joke.”

The rather meta episode does mine that tension and curiosity early in the episode, with Stewie seemingly addressing the situation with both clarity and confusion. (“I’m not gay. This whole thing isn’t because I’m gay, so calm down,” he tells Dr. Pritchfield. “I can already see you licking your chops. I’m sure you live for the coming-out sessions. If anything, I’m less gay than I used to be, not that anybody at this school would care. But do I think that Grant Gustin and I would make the most adorable Instagram couple? Yes, yes we would.”) But as mentioned, Janetti had something bigger on his brain for this psyche evaluation. “The intention for Stewie is never to come out as gay or not gay,” he explains. “He will be forever in this state of confusion, as you would be when you’re that age. Ultimately, it’s more interesting to dig deeper than that.”

Which is why Janetti unspooled a relatable story of a self-aware boy who felt alienated because he was different than his classmates — but he also desperately feared being ordinary like everybody else. “In many facets, he’s set apart from the rest of kids, the rest of the world, and the rest of his smaller community, which is school,” he explains. “I know I felt set apart when I was really young for being gay. I was super lonely. I think that the truth of that is that all of these things about Stewie probably isolated him and made him really lonely and sad and not able to connect in a way that the other kids can blithely just go around playing with each other. Everything is so much more complicated for him, because of his intelligence. [His sexuality] is just one area that he’s also almost smart enough to realize, ‘This is something I’ll be dealing with later in my life.'”

NEXT PAGE: Why letting Dr. Pritchfield die is the “worst realistic thing” Stewie’s ever done
March 19, 2018 04:25:36by

Thanks to the CIA, Issues of the Agency's Most-Hated Magazine Are Now Online

Thanks to the CIA, Issues of the Agency\'s Most-Hated Magazine Are Now Online
March 19, 2018 04:25:40by

Apple Is Secretly Developing Its Own Screens for the First Time

Apple Is Secretly Developing Its Own Screens for the First Time

Apple Inc. is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time, using a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters to make small numbers of the screens for testing purposes, according to people familiar with the situation.

The technology giant is making a significant investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. MicroLED screens use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays and promise to make future gadgets slimmer, brighter and less power-hungry.

The screens are far more difficult to produce than OLED displays, and the company almost killed the project a year or so ago, the people say. Engineers have since been making progress and the technology is now at an advanced stage, they say, though consumers will probably have to wait a few years before seeing the results.

The ambitious undertaking is the latest example of Apple bringing the design of key components in-house. The company has designed chips powering its mobile devices for several years. Its move into displays has the long-term potential to hurt a range of suppliers, from screen makers like Samsung Electronics Co., Japan Display Inc., Sharp Corp. and LG Display Co. to companies like Synaptics Inc. that produce chip-screen interfaces. It may also hurt Universal Display Corp., a leading developer of OLED technology.

Display makers in Asia fell after Bloomberg News reported the plans. Japan Display dropped as much as 4.4 percent, Sharp tumbled as much as 3.3 percent and Samsung slid 1.4 percent.

Controlling MicroLED technology would help Apple stand out in a maturing smartphone market and outgun rivals like Samsung that have been able to tout superior screens. Ray Soneira, who runs screen tester DisplayMate Technologies, says bringing the design in-house is a “golden opportunity” for Apple. “Everyone can buy an OLED or LCD screen,” he says. “But Apple could own MicroLED.”

None of this will be easy. Mass producing the new screens will require new manufacturing equipment. By the time the technology is ready, something else might have supplanted it. Apple could run into insurmountable hurdles and abandon the project or push it back. It’s also an expensive endeavor.

Ultimately, Apple will likely outsource production of its new screen technology to minimize the risk of hurting its bottom line with manufacturing snafus. The California facility is too small for mass-production, but the company wants to keep the proprietary technology away from its partners as long as possible, one of the people says. “We put a lot of money into the facility,” this person says. “It’s big enough to get through the engineering builds [and] lets us keep everything in-house during the development stages.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Right now smartphones and other gadgets essentially use off-the-shelf display technology. The Apple Watch screen is made by LG Display. Ditto for Google’s larger Pixel phone. The iPhone X, Apple’s first OLED phone, uses Samsung technology. Phone manufacturers tweak screens to their specifications, and Apple has for years calibrated iPhone screens for color accuracy. But this marks the first time Apple is designing screens end-to-end itself.

The secret initiative, code-named T159, is overseen by executive Lynn Youngs, an Apple veteran who helped develop touch screens for the original iPhone and iPad and now oversees iPhone and Apple Watch screen technology.

The 62,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, the first of its kind for Apple, is located on an otherwise unremarkable street in Santa Clara, California, a 15-minute drive from the Apple Park campus in Cupertino and near a few other unmarked Apple offices. There, about 300 engineers are designing and producing MicroLED screens for use in future products. The facility also has a special area for the intricate process of “growing” LEDs.

Another facility nearby houses technology that handles so-called LED transfers: the process of placing individual pixels into a MicroLED screen. Apple inherited the intellectual property for that process when it purchased startup LuxVue in 2014.

About a year after that acquisition, Apple opened a display research lab (described internally as a “Technology Center”) in Taiwan. In a test to see if the company could pull off in-house display manufacturing, engineers in Taiwan first built a small number of LCD screens using Apple technology. They were assembled at the Santa Clara factory and retrofitted into iPhone 7 prototypes. Apple executives tested them, then gave the display team the go-ahead to move forward with the development of Apple-designed MicroLED screens.

The complexity of building a screen manufacturing facility meant it took Apple several months to get the California plant operational. Only in recent months have Apple engineers grown confident in their ability to eventually replace screens from Samsung and other suppliers.

In late 2017, for the first time, engineers managed to manufacture fully functional MicroLED screens for future Apple Watches; the company aims to make the new technology available first in its wearable computers. While still at least a couple of years away from reaching consumers -- assuming the company decides to proceed -- producing a functional MicroLED Apple Watch prototype is a significant milestone for a company that in the past designed hardware to be produced by others.

The latest MicroLED Apple Watch prototypes aren’t fully functioning wearables; instead the screen portion is connected to an external computer board. The screens are notably brighter than the current OLED Watch displays, and engineers have a finer level of control over individual colors, according to a person who has seen them. Executives recently approved continued development for the next two years, with the aim of shipping MicroLED screens in products.

It’s unlikely that the technology will reach an iPhone for at least three to five years, the people say. While the smartphone is Apple’s cash cow, there is precedent for new screen technologies showing up in the Apple Watch first. When it was introduced in 2014, the Apple Watch had an OLED screen. The technology finally migrated to the iPhone X last year.

Creating MicroLED screens is extraordinarily complex. Depending on screen size, they can contain millions of individual pixels. Each has three sub-pixels: red, green and blue LEDs. Each of these tiny LEDs must be individually created and calibrated. Each piece comes from what is known as a “donor wafer” and then are mass-transferred to the MicroLED screen. Early in the process, Apple bought these wafers from third-party manufacturers like Epistar Corp. and Osram Licht AG but has since begun “growing” its own LEDs to make in-house donor wafers. The growing process is done inside a clean room at the Santa Clara facility.

Engineers at the facility are also assembling prototype MicroLED screens, right down to attaching the screen to the glass. The backplanes, an underlying component that electronically powers the displays, are developed at the Taiwan facility. Apple is also designing its own thin-film transistors and screen drivers, key components in display assemblies. Currently, the Santa Clara facility is capable of manufacturing a handful of fully operational Apple Watch-sized (under 2 inches diagonally) MicroLED screens at a time.

Until MicroLED is ready for the world to see, Apple will still -- at least publicly -- be all-in on OLED. The company plans to release a second OLED iPhone in the fall, a giant, 6.5-inch model, and is working to expand OLED production from Samsung to also include LG.

— With assistance by Debby Wu, and Ian King
March 19, 2018 03:19:28by

After Beating No. 1, U.M.B.C. Falls to a No. 9

After Beating No. 1, U.M.B.C. Falls to a No. 9

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Wine turned to water, Technicolor faded to black-and-white and the carriage assumed its former state as a mere pumpkin: The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, lost its second-round N.C.A.A. tournament game on Sunday to Kansas State, 50-43.

Thanks to U.M.B.C., No. 16 seeds’ records against No. 1 seeds in the men’s Division I men’s tournament is now 1-135. Against No. 9 seeds, their record is now 0-1.

Having become the first No. 16 seed ever to defeat a No. 1 when they beat top overall seed Virginia on Friday, the Retrievers, which had won the America East Conference title, succumbed to a squad that had been no slouch itself. Kansas State had finished fourth in college basketball’s best conference, the Big 12. The Wildcats were athletic and big. They were the better team.

“We know that everyone is kind of looking for that Cinderella story,” Wildcats guard Barry Brown Jr. acknowledged Saturday.

Brown scored a game-high 18 points on Sunday to close the book on the Cinderella story.

The atmosphere was not to Kansas State’s advantage. Charlotte’s Spectrum Center had been packed with fans of North Carolina, which played Texas A&M in the early game. As the arena emptied out, it became clear that most who remained were pulling for the underdog, including loyal fans in black and gold who chanted “U.M.!” “B.C.!” across the arena at each other.

The first half was ugly, with 16 turnovers by U.M.B.C. and 18 by Kansas State, and the score of 25-20 in Kansas State’s favor reflected that. U.M.B.C.’s Jairus Lyles, the senior who was the star of the Virginia game, had as many turnovers as he had points (four).

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March 19, 2018 04:25:48by

luxe engine | A lovingly hand crafted game engine

luxe engine | A lovingly hand crafted game engine

worlds, modifiers, entities and systems

Games are a diverse medium with unique challenges.
luxe makes the distinction between tools and features explicit,
and builds around tools as a core principle.

This frees the engine from being bloated by things a fraction of games want,
and instead aims to empower games to be specific, adaptive and exact.
At runtime, you only pay for what you use.

By combining systems both high and low level,

luxe is like a toolbox, and a game is the connection of these into a whole.

When configuring a type of project to reuse (like a 2D platformer or 3D first person project),
luxe provides outlines, which jump start projects into predefined workflows.
Outlines are where custom workflows are defined above the engine level.

luxe provides pieces that snap together,

ready to make games.
March 19, 2018 02:12:55by

The next election is as much about Labor v Liberals as young v old | Stephen Koukoulas

The next election is as much about Labor v Liberals as young v old | Stephen Koukoulas
March 19, 2018 03:20:08by

Uber’s New Rival in Australia: An Indian Upstart

Uber’s New Rival in Australia: An Indian Upstart

India is home to a raft of start-ups in e-commerce, mobile apps and other consumer internet businesses. But few of them have ventured beyond their home market successfully. Zomato, a restaurant review site similar to Yelp of the United States, expanded aggressively overseas a few years ago, only to scale back and focus more on India and a few countries like the United Arab Emirates. Paytm, India’s leading digital-payments company, has targeted its services to Indian immigrants in Canada, primarily as an experiment geared toward learning how to operate in developed countries.

For Ola, Australia could be a compelling international opportunity.

For starters, the country offers room to grow. Fewer than one in five Australians who regularly buy things online used a ride-hailing service in the past year, according to June survey data analyzed by eMarketer, an American research firm. And the typical fares are much higher than in India, meaning Ola could potentially make more money per ride.

“In the ride-sharing market currently, there are no real enemies,” said Satish Meena, a senior forecast analyst with Forrester, a technology research firm. “Everyone is willing to share the pie.”

Australian laws also make it generally easy to set up a ride-share business. Taxify, an Estonian company, arrived in December.

“We welcome competition because it keeps us focused on delivering the very best product,” said David Rohrsheim, Uber’s general manager for Australia and New Zealand.

Experts say that Uber has another incentive: Australia has tough labor laws that could require the company to treat drivers as employees deserving of retirement and other benefits. If its drivers also drive for other services, Uber could more easily argue that they are free agents instead.

Ola is mostly trying to win drivers over with a better deal.

The company takes only 7.5 percent of drivers’ fares, with plans to increase that figure to 15 percent. Uber collects 20 to 25 percent. Drivers said that with Ola they could make 50 Australian dollars, or $39, an hour compared with only $30 Australian an hour with Uber.

“It’s a dramatic difference,” said Cheri Gristwood, an Uber driver in Perth, who was an early adopter of Ola. “I work my butt off, and with Ola I come home with a lot more.”

Mr. Rohrsheim said that Uber had added incentives of its own last year, including paid wait time and a “no thanks” button that lets drivers refuse up to three rides in a row.

“Uber isn’t Uber without driver partners,” he said, “and our success depends on their success.”

Ola’s discounted commission has helped the company sign up 7,000 drivers so far. That is nowhere near the roughly 82,000 who drive for Uber, but more than double what Taxify started with in Sydney in December. Taxify did not respond to requests for comment.

Many of the new Ola drivers help spread the word about the company. Cecilia Cornu, an Ola customer in Perth, first heard about the service when she asked an Uber driver about the two cellphones he had. One, he said, was for Ola.

“He told me my ride would have been cheaper if I had booked it through Ola, as they were running a promotion with free rides,” she said.

“As soon as I got to work,” she added, “I downloaded the Ola app.”

Ola has not explicitly marketed itself to drivers or riders of Indian origin, but the company does expect that the awareness of its brand among Indians will help. About 1.9 percent of Australia’s population of 24 million was born in India, according to 2016 census data; many more are the children of Indian immigrants.

The Ola app still signals that connection: India sometimes shows up as the default country when someone in Australia signs up and adds his mobile phone number.

Ola’s effort to shift from local to global remains imperfect. Some customers have reported problems with the app continuing to calculate rides after trips have ended. Mr. Ward, one of the Ola drivers in Sydney, said the company’s registration process was less streamlined than Uber’s.

Ola’s expansion into Australia may also have a strategic goal beyond higher fares: protection against an unwanted takeover.

The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is Ola’s largest outside shareholder, and one of the largest shareholders in Uber. It has also invested in other ride-hailing companies around the world.

SoftBank executives have made it clear that they would like to see Uber’s operations in some developing countries merge with local players to avoid a competitive blood bath, allowing the company to focus more intensively on higher-profit, developed markets.

Ola recently changed its articles of incorporation to defend against any large investor from forcing a sale of the company. Bhavish Aggarwal, a founder of Ola and its chief executive, is busy trying to raise money from other investors to reduce SoftBank’s influence over his company’s destiny.

Mr. Aggarwal declined several interview requests. “We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem in a country which embraces new technology and innovation,” he said in a statement.

At times, Uber has been a seller. It has left the ride-hailing business in China and Russia, selling its operations in those countries in exchange for stakes in the dominant local competitors.

Mr. Meena predicted that Ola and Uber would eventually reach a similar arrangement in India, with the Australian operations of each company possibly added to the mix. Developing a robust Australian business could give Ola a bargaining chip in negotiations.

“Everyone is looking at capturing market share,” he said, “and then doing a deal with Uber.”

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