Joseph Gordon-Levitt may star as Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone film

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If all goes according to plan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will portray Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s upcoming The Snowden Files. Stone has already offered the lead role to Gordon-Levitt, according to Variety, and the actor has agreed to star as the NSA whistleblower. Negotiations haven’t formally kicked off, so it’s not yet a done deal in that sense, but it sounds like the two Hollywood talents are eager to work together on the project. Stone is writing and directing The Snowden Files, and has optioned two books on Snowden’s story as source material. Its title is borrowed from a book by The Guardian’s Luke Harding, and Stone has also locked down screen rights to Time of the Octopus, written by Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.

Snowden…

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Apple sets another opening weekend record with 10 million iPhone sales

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Apple released its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets last week, and they’re already setting new sales records. The company reports that it has sold more than 10 million new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices in just three days since launch. That’s 1 million more than the combined 9 million sales of the iPhone 5C and 5S last year. Apple isn’t revealing the mix of iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus, but impressive iPhone sales aren’t surprising given the company announced a record 4 million pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in just 24 hours.

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Last night on ‘Doctor Who,’ two parts ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ to one part time travel

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The Doctor: “Question one: robbing banks is easy if you’ve got a TARDIS. So why am I not using it?”

Clara: “Question two: where is the TARDIS?”

The Doctor: “Okay, that probably should’ve been question one.”

For this season of Doctor Who, Ross Miller and Kwame Opam will be sounding off on each episode in a series of emails we’ll be publishing on the site. This week it’s “Time Heist” (warning: spoilers ahead). Check out our previous recaps: “Deep Breath,” “Into the Dalek,” “Robots of Sherwood,” and “Listen.”

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Why I love Linux — even if I no longer use it

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That Netflix is coming to desktop Linux soon is great news. Considering the OS only holds about 1.6 percent of overall desktop marketshare, it’s an important moment for those who use Linux in their home lives that Netflix’s engineers are even exploring the idea. It’s not like they had to, right?

Thinking about this, I remembered how much I loved (and still love) Linux. And I had to reminisce. I remember being a pimply high school kid circa 2002 and configuring Gentoo Linux by hand — kernel and all — onto my little beige eMachines computer, losing days of actual productivity in the process. And loving it. I remember diving into forums and arguing, however ineptly, over the merits of KDE over Gnome. I remember never quite mastering the…

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Amazon’s exclusive author retreat might be awkward this year

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David Streitfeld at the New York Times published a fascinating article yesterday detailing a little-known conference that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hosts every fall. Called “Campfire,” it’s your standard rich person weekend retreat — but it hosts well-known authors instead of well-known billionaires. Streitfeld reports that previous fêtes have included the likes of Ayelet Waldman, Neil Armstrong, and T Bone Burnett. The invite-only affair is reportedly kept secret largely because Bezos asks authors to keep it that way.

But this year, it looks as though some of regular attendees won’t be going, apparently thanks to Amazon’s increasingly contentious battle with Hachette. Authors who have publicly supported Hachette in the dispute have…

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Someone finally made a truly 3D movie

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You’re probably at least a bit of a film nerd if you’re familiar with Jean-Luc Godard, the biggest name of the ’60s French New Wave movement. Even if you don’t know him, you’ve definitely seen a lot of film techniques that he pioneered. He’s credited with turning the jump cut from an editing accident into a legitimate tool. And you know Wes Anderson’s playful use of on-screen text and standout bright colors? Godard was doing that 30 years earlier. He’s been incredibly influential when it comes to what modern films look like, so when he decides to play with something new, it’s worth paying close attention.

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We should be learning to type in the Oculus Rift

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Technically speaking, many of the first games I played were probably typing trainers. Typing to race a car, typing to snap up bugs — there was nothing that words couldn’t fix, fuel, or fight. After Mavis Beacon, there was Typing of the Dead, which paired the thrill of zombie killing with the virtuous excuse of learning secretarial skills. Typing games combine the twitch reflexes of shooters with the careful pacing you need to get words right, while tapping into abilities that many people hone all the time. All of this is to say that “Tron, but with typing” is an excellent premise for a game. Sitting at your desk in front of a late 20th century PC, enter a world of blue cubes and neon lights where you’ll have to endlessly blow up words…

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Getty Images releases free iOS app for browsing and sharing millions of images

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Six months after shifting its business model to embeddable photos, Getty Images has released an iOS app designed to help you browse and share its massive collection. The app, called Stream, lets you search Getty’s archives to find images that you can legally share and embed for non-commercial purposes on blogs and social media. Or you can browse photo streams created by Getty editors in categories like news, sports, entertainment and “archival,” which highlights photos of historical significance.

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Pebble update adds emoji, compass, and better notifications for iOS

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2014 is the year of the emoji. Within the last year we’ve seen an emoji social networkemoji on Twitteremoji music videos, and even an emoji city. And now, emoji is on your Pebble smartwatch. The feature comes as part of firmware 2.5,which you can install today. The new firmware also includes iOS 8 compatibility and a compass feature that lets developers create navigation apps of their own. In fact, there are already a couple to try, like Compass By Pebble and Where To? for iOS.

Last, but certainly not least, firmware 2.5 brings better notifications support for iOS users. Now, when you dismiss a notification on Pebble, it will also disappear from your iPhone or iPad’s notification center. It’s a huge addition that instantly makes…

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Watch Dave Chapelle and Jon Stewart do stand-up before they were superstars

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The legendary Just For Laughs comedy festival has just begun dumping 500 hours of comedy videos on YouTube — everything from young Jon Stewart to Chris Rock to the late Bill Hicks. The channel will post new videos three times a week, and is definitely worth checking back on. The festival’s clips give a rare glimpse into the early days of today’s top comedians, and some of the clips have never before been seen online.

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You can finally talk and use data simultaneously on new Verizon iPhones

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Ever since it lost the exclusive right to sell the iPhone in the United States in 2011, AT&T has touted a key advantage that its network has over Verizon’s: the ability to talk on the phone while using data from another app simultaneously. More than three years later, Verizon customers will finally gain the same feature — as long as they’re using one of a handful of new phones. “Advanced Calling,” as Verizon calls it, is now available on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, along with two Android phones: the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G2.

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Oculus announces new VR headset prototype: Crescent Bay

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Oculus has announced a new prototype called Crescent Bay, another step towards the consumer version of its virtual reality headset. “It’s as big of a leap as we made from DK1 to DK2,” says Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, referring to the first two versions of the Rift development kit. The new headset features 360-degree tracking, letting the Rift’s external camera track the back of the headset as well as the front, making it easier for people to move without feeling constrained by staying in the camera’s range. It’s supposed to have improved weight and ergonomics — “it is much lighter. Thank god,” says Iribe. And for the first time, it includes integrated headphones. Crescent Bay was announced at the Oculus Connect developer conference in…

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The Weekender: on Maker Faire, Beyoncé, and the birth of snackwave

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Welcome back to The Weekender, and it’s been quite a week. We went to Iceland to test the new iPhones and ate cricket flour in Canada. In short, things got a little weird around here. In a good way. We promise. Take this opportunity to look back on some of our best work and some good reads from around the web. Then check out the fascinating things you can do this weekend just to kick back. Enjoy.

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iPhone line sitters in NYC slept in garbage bags and got arrested

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Waiting for an iPhone used to be fun. I did it once back in 2009. I got up around 3 AM — on vacation, no less — and stood outside an Apple store in Charleston, SC. I traded stories with strangers about what I was going to do with my new, white iPhone 3GS. When 8 AM came, the crowd cheered with glee. Everyone was smiling.

According to filmmaker Casey Neistat, iPhone lines don’t look like that anymore. Known for viral videos such as “Bike Lanes,” “Make It Count,” and “The Dark Side of the iPhone 5S Lines,” Neistat’s latest video documents this past Friday’s iPhone lines. “iPhone 6 Lines and the Chinese Mafia” is notably darker and more opinionated than Neistat’s last attempt, hypothesizing that “the Chinese Mafia” is responsible for the…

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Microsoft plays on iOS 8 issues by doubling free OneDrive space to 30GB

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Apple released its iOS 8 update earlier this week, but a number of iPhone and iPad owners ran into problems with the amount of free storage required to install the latest operating system. Microsoft is taking advantage of these issues by doubling its free OneDrive storage to 30GB today. “We’ve been listening to the commentary about storage on the new iPhones released today and we wanted to get you more storage right away,” explains OneDrive program manager Douglas Pearce. “We think you’ll appreciate having more free storage while setting up your iPhone 6 or upgrading to iOS 8.”

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‘Tusk’ review: Kevin Smith turns a weird podcast into an even weirder movie

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“Twitter gives up gifts all the time. It gave up a gift last night.”

In June 2013, around 11 minutes into his weekly podcast, director Kevin Smith introduced a strange story that he’d come across on Twitter. It was a listing on an apartment rental website, offering up a free room in a nice house under some conditions: the tenant, on occasion, would have to dress up as a walrus. The owner of the house had apparently once lived on an island with an actual walrus, and he dreamed of reliving that companionship in his old age.

Smith and his co-host bantered back and forth about this absurd listing, spinning it out into an even stranger tale of their own. Though the segment went on for an hour, it was after just 20 minutes that Smith…

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Desktop Linux is finally getting Netflix support

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While Linux now underpins a great deal in the tech world — including the Roku and, most crucially, Android — desktop Linux to this day exists in a quiet cul-de-sac where the command line is still the preferred UI. As such, users running the likes of Ubuntu and Arch Linux have had more ready access to streaming content on their phones and TVs than on their computers. But now, after seven long years, Netflix is finally and officially making its way to Linux.

Netflix senior software engineer Paul Adolph wrote on the Ubuntu forums last night that devices running the latest version of the NSS security libraries will be able to run Netflix in Chrome without changing their browser’s user-agent. The change occurs as Netflix moves away from…

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Tesla’s latest Model S update adds calendar, lets you start car with your phone

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Model S owners have been waiting for it, and Tesla’s finally delivering: version 6.0 of the luxury EV’s firmware is now being pushed out to drivers via an over-the-air update. The new update adds a slew of pretty nice features including traffic-based navigation, which — assuming it works well — should help Model S customers steer clear of delays. The system incorporates data from other Model S drivers to assess traffic conditions. Further, the car’s software will now analyze traffic you’ll face during your daily work commute before you even leave the driveway and may suggest alternate routes accordingly.

There’s also a new calendar that appears on the Model S touch panel and pulls in appointments from your smartphone. And If you’ve got…

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Halloween PSA: You can buy the best book of spooky stories right now for a penny

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I know it’s not technically Halloween season, and I also know I don’t give a shit, because it’s been a terrible summer in practically every way other than the weather in New York being a couple degrees below insufferable.

I’m starting Halloween season now, and I hope you will agree that we, fellow humans, deserve as much. And besides, the Duane Reade on my corner already has Halloween junk marked 50 percent off, so if anything, we’re late to the world’s greatest, tackiest party.

The books were a highlight of Scholastic book fairs

So, I’d like to spend some small portion the next few weeks dropping Halloween-inspired treats into the proverbial Trick-or-Treat bucket of your mind. My efforts begin today with a PSA for those unlucky…

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