James Franco and Seth Rogen shared their ‘leaked’ photos from the Sony hack on SNL

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The Sony Pictures hack has been devastating for the movie studio and has led to the release of tens of thousands of sensitive documents, but you can always count on James Franco and Seth Rogen to get a few laughs out of any situation. The two actors hosted Saturday Night Live this week and took the opportunity to get out ahead of the leaks by ‘fessing up to some embarrassing details of their private lives before they’re inevitably leaked across the web. You won’t believe what Seth and James do with their free time.

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Did you know your PlayStation 4 has a customizable faceplate?

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The PlayStation 4 wasn’t originally designed to have swappable faceplates, but that isn’t stopping Sony from rolling out a new way to customize your console. The company has quietly announced a new program called Project Skylight at the PlayStation Experience in Las Vegas today, and two faceplates are on sale now at the Sony Store — one each for The Order: 1886 and Little Big Planet 3. Both are available in “very small quantities” for $24.99 each. And there are more on the way. Sony says in a blog post that it is “planning on launching new faceplate designs in the near future.”

The “HDD bay cover” is now a custom faceplate

There’s even a new video online showing you how to swap out your “faceplate.” It’s all highly unusual: the…

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20 years of PlayStation never looked so cute

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I got a PlayStation in the summer of 1996. I remember being a little bitter that my aunt didn’t get me a Saturn because I really wanted to play Nights into Dreams… I never did get around to owning a Saturn and I’ve never even played a minute of Nights, but I have to admit my aunt was clearly onto something. I only have the fondest memories of playing PlayStation way back when. Which makes Sony’s cute little tribute to its video game history a success, since it hits all the right nostalgia notes.

At today’s PlayStation Experience keynote, Sony showed off this little retrospective for their consoles to celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary. Built on the LittleBigPlanet engine, it shows the likes of Parappa the Rapper, Sweet Tooth from T…

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You can now 3D-print the new Star Wars lightsaber

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By this time next year, the crossguard lightsaber seen in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser will be in every toy store for about $25 (our estimate based on current market value for plastic lightsaber toys). But why wait? If you happen to have access to a 3D printer, you can create your own 3D printer using these files provided by Le FabShop and a lot of PLA filament. Then, present the lightsaber to your most pedantic friends to argue (in a physical space) whether or not the hilt is really protective, hazardous, or just really cool. (Full-length black cowl and the gravely voice of Andy Serkis are not included.)

Friendly reminder: it’s only been about eight days since the 88-second teaser came out and already and we’re already…

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Grim Fandango: Remastered will bring the 1998 classic back to life on January 27th

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The 1998 LucasArts classic Grim Fandango is being remade for the 21st century. The remake of the wonderfully quirky game was first announced at E3 this year, and at the first-ever PlayStation Experience event today, developer Double Fine announced that it will launch on January 27th, 2015. The game’s been updated with new high-res textures and lighting, but all that really matters — the story — has been untouched. Check out the remastered version above. The game will launch on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, as well as PC, Mac, and Linux.

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Street Fighter V will support cross-platform play between PC and PS4

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Surprise! Street Fighter V is coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 and PC (which is to say, it’s not coming to Xbox). That news leaked yesterday, ahead of Sony’s PlayStation Experience keynote. Capcom made light of the leak while revealing a new detail — that Street Fighter V will support cross-platform play, meaning PC gamers can fight against PS4.

Sony also revealed the first gameplay trailer for the new title, featuring Ryu and Chun-Li. Fans can expect more footage to come out of the live demonstration at the Capcom Cup next weekend.

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This is what the new Uncharted looks like on the PlayStation 4

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Today at Sony’s first-ever PlayStation Experience event, the company showed off the first real-time gameplay footage of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End — originally announced in November 2013 and due out sometime next year.

So far, the game itself looks strikingly familiar in style to past incarnations — our Indiana Jones-esque protagonist Nathan Drake is seen climbing around lush environments while delivering exasperated one-liners to no one in particular. Eventually he finds himself in the company of more nefarious looters and takes to sneaking, punching, and shooting.

What’s new here is graphic fidelity, and the footage we’re seeing is rich in texture — from the rustle of foliage to the dust-up of stray bullets hitting rock. (It’s worth…

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Wu-Tang Clan’s “A Better Tomorrow” video is a powerful tribute to nationwide protesters

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“A Better Tomorrow,” the title track from Wu-Tang Clan’s new album, is a powerful and contemplative song about social injustice, racial violence, and police brutality, anchored by Teddy Pendergrass’s haunting vocals from 1975’s “Wake Up Everybody.” So it’s especially fitting that the accompanying video, released just last night, incorporates dramatic footage of the peaceful and ongoing nationwide protests for both Brown and Eric Garner — just two of countless unarmed people of color that have died tragically at the hands of the police.

Audio from the protest footage cuts in throughout the video; large, culturally diverse crowds chanting “I can’t breathe” and “Hands up don’t shoot.” It also incorporates several segments from President…

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Dish strikes deal to end CBS blackout, but Auto Hop is neutered in the process

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It looks like television broadcasters have found a way to crush Auto Hop, the automatic commercial-skipping feature built into Dish’s DVRs. Broadcasters are striking deals with the satellite provider to neuter the functionality during talks to secure the carriage agreements that allow Dish to rebroadcast the networks and their affiliates.

One such deal was made late last night. Just 12 hours after CBS channels went black on Dish following months of failed contract negotiations, the two companies came to an agreement. CBS channels are now back on air for subscribers, but it seems Dish had to give up Auto Hop to get favorable terms.

12-hour blackout leads to a quick deal

According to a joint press release, Auto Hop will now be disabled…

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Cortana for Windows 10 demonstrated on video

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Microsoft is preparing to unveil a number of Windows 10 consumer features at an event in late January, but some are leaking out a little early. WinBeta has obtained access to Cortana on an unreleased Windows 10 build, providing an early look at how the digital assistant will make its way from the phone to PC. Cortana for Windows 10 appears to support most of the features that currently exist in the Windows Phone version, including reminders, calling people, location and mapping, launching apps, and checking weather information.

While the demonstration shows how basic Cortana is inside of Windows 10 right now, Microsoft is working on more closely integrating the digital assistant into the operating system. Sources familiar with…

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The Weekender: social justice edition

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Good morning, and welcome back to The Weekender. Our weekend journey is just now starting, so thank you for choosing us for your travels. As you may recall, this was the 49th week of the year 2014 on the planet known colloquially as Earth, otherwise known as Terra in other inhabited star systems. It was not a quiet week, as you might imagine. Below you’ll find your itinerary, carefully crafted for your pleasure; stories from the week passed and recommendations for the days ahead. Now. Please…

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Uber launches in Portland, Oregon despite being completely illegal there

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Uber has a remarkably rich history of upsetting local city transportation officials by setting up shop before laws and regulations have been ironed out. And that’s just what’s happening tonight in Portland, Oregon where Uber apparently surprised everyone by launching its ridesharing service without the approval of the city’s transportation bureau.

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This is what the new King’s Quest looks like

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Back in August, classic video game company Sierra announced that it was coming back from the dead — and it was bringing the beloved franchise King’s Quest with it. Tonight at The Game Awards in Las Vegas, during a tribute Roberta and Ken Williams, the creators of the original game, we got our first look at the rebooted King’s Quest. The new game looks to maintain the spirit of the original, but with a revamped, sleek new 3D art style. Developer by indie studio The Odd Gentlemen, the game is expected to launch in Fall of next year, and you can check out the debut trailer above.

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Uber launches in Portland, Oregon despite being completely illegal there

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Uber has a remarkably rich history of upsetting local city transportation officials by setting up shop before laws and regulations have been ironed out. And that’s just what’s happening tonight in Portland, Oregon where Uber apparently surprised everyone by launching its ridesharing service without the approval of the city’s transportation bureau.

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The follow-up to Gone Home is a dark sci-fi adventure

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The studio behind the acclaimed Gone Home has just revealed its next adventure: a science fiction game called Tacoma. We don’t know much about the game, which was unveiled tonight at The Game Awards in Las Vegas, but it looks to take place on a Lunar colony and, just like Gone Home, it’s a first person experience. The tagline reads simply “What mysteries await you, 200,000 miles from Earth?” Tacoma is expected to launch in 2016.

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Rolling Stone just wrecked an incredible year of progress for rape victims

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2014 was an incredible year for discussions about consent and rape. Street harassment, sexism, and rape on campus came to the forefront of our shared conversation through social media, protests, and all forms of journalism. And it worked. People who otherwise would never have talked about rape culture engaged in the conversation. I’ve never heard so many men use the word “consent.” It doesn’t matter that the discussions were polarizing, or that many continue to debate rape culture’s existence. The discussion happened, and it’s largely because women used the power of the internet to make it so.

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Mitt Romney’s tweets had to be approved by 22 people during the 2012 election

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Messaging is critical to the game of politics. Handlers do everything possible to make hopeful candidates look great in the public eye. By now it’s a pretty cliché formula: get them in a picture holding a newborn baby. Make an impromptu stop at a local business on the campaign trail. Shake every hand in sight. That sort of thing. But Twitter can quickly blow up all the goodwill a politician has earned. A few ill-conceived words can undo months of careful coordination and sink someone’s reputation instantly. So it would make sense that when you’re running for the US presidency; a few people would want to go over what’s being tweeted to millions of voters. But as Mitt Romney can attest, having too many eyes on something is probably…

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Netflix to release documentary on legendary singer Nina Simone in 2015

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Netflix has plans to debut an original documentary covering legendary singer and activist Nina Simone next year. Titled What Happened, Miss Simone?, the film is directed by Academy Award-winning documentarian Liz Garbus, who has earned notoriety for her films The Farm: Angola, USA and the HBO documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World.

“One of the 20th century’s greatest recording artists.”

The film, co-produced with RadicalMedia, will follow Simone’s life and work across three decades. Nina Simone, a beloved and controversial figure for most of her life, was a prolific songwriter and singer across multiple genres including jazz, blues, and R&B. She was also a prominent political voice, advocating heavily for civil rights and even…

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The Vergecast 129: You’ve got to be a grown-up when you’re on the internet

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CONFIDENTIAL – DO NOT DISTRIBUTE

As The Vergecast progresses as a premier, category-leading podcast, it is important to identify its core strengths and messaging. To that end, we have identified some key themes:

  • Confused introductions
  • Varied degrees of Star Wars enthusiasm
  • Hype
  • British Christmas specials
  • Principals
  • Food and Man living in harmony

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