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J.J. Abrams signs huge $250 million deal with WarnerMedia

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

J.J. Abrams has just signed a huge deal with his production company Bad Robot Productions and WarnerMedia, in a deal reportedly worth $250 million according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Bad Robot Productions will made original series and movies for WarnerMedia and its divisions, something that will include HBO and Warner Bros. Pictures. All I'm hearing right now is "WB announces Man of Steel 2: Metallo directed by J.J. Abrams" -- please?

The new $250M deal will run through to 2024 and will include video games, digital content, original TV shows and movies for WarnerMedia. The deal won't stop Bad Robot from making content to sell to third-party companies, something that Abrams reportedly said was of the "utmost importance" reports THR.

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GameStop to close 180-200 stores globally, many more closures coming

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 4 days ago

The day has come: GameStop announced during its Q2 earnings call that it is closing between 180-200 of its most 'under-performing' stores globally. The stores will be shut down between now, and the end of the year.

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GameStop CFO James Bell was confident in the remaining 5700 stores worldwide, stating that 95% of them are profitable. He said: "While that is an impressive statistic, we have a clear opportunity to improve our overall profitability by de-densifying our chain".

Bell added: "That work is well underway. We are on track to close between 180 and 200 underperforming stores globally by the end of this fiscal year. And while these closures were more opportunistic, we are applying a more definitive, analytic approach, including profit levels and sales transferability, that we expect will yield a much larger tranche of closures over the coming 12 to 24 months".

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Wikipedia co-founder tweets about CANNIBALISM, drinking human blood

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

I'm sure we've all had those thoughts -- eating human flesh, drinking human blood, chilling with your friends and that thought pops into your head 'yeah, I think your skin would taste nice'. Except, no normal person does that -- but that doesn't include Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger.

Sanger took to his personal Twitter with a poll that asked if people would be "in favor of a law against cannibalism, defined as eating living or deceased human flesh *or* drinking blood". But don't worry, he's not crazy as he addresses that question in a direct follow up tweet saying "in case you think I'm crazy for asking" (the question about cannibalism and drinking human blood).

The follow up tweet provides a link to trade between China and Korea for delivering aborted (and still-born) children to be consumed for "health reasons". The link goes to a Washington Times article that talks about South Korean agents seizing pills made with the flesh of human fetuses manufactured in China.

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8chan should be back next week, Q should return at the same time

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 5, 2019 @ 22:19 CDT

I'm going to do what no one in the press has yet: ask President Trump right here, "who is Q?" There, I said it. Now back to some not-so-regular programming: 8chan was taken down shortly after the recent mass shooting in El Paso, with site owner Jim Watkins releasing a video addressing the issue:

At the time, 8chan's host Cloudfare, terminated service of the site. 8chan quickly moved over to BitMitigate but then they were quickly shutdown and 8chan disappeared. Watkins was then subpoenaed to testify over the manifesto hitting 8chan first, except it didn't -- it was on Instagram first, but you won't read that in most stories.

Watkins took 8chan down after BitMitigate was shutdown, and would keep it offline until after his testimony to Congress. Anyone who is into "conspiracy theories" and hell, just reading the countless hit pieces on Qanon online, would know that there has been no new Q drops since 8chan was taken down.

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Fry's Electronics store closings begin with closure of Palo Alto store

By: Rob Squires | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 5, 2019 @ 0:48 CDT

It has been announced that the Fry's Electronics store in Palo Alto will be closing its doors in January. We reported only a couple of weeks ago that the chain they may be closer than ever to facing the fate of other brick and mortar retail chains.

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According to an official spokesman for the electronics chain, the lease that Fry's Electronics has for the property is expiring on January 31, 2020. The store has been located at 340 Portage Avenue since 1990. The final day of business for the store has not been announced yet but will have to vacate completely by the end of January. Currently the chain has no plans to relocate in Palo Alto. Any plans to offer transfers to other locations for current employees have yet to have been disclosed.

The city of Palo Alto is already working on plans for the site on which the building that Fry's Electronics occupies. The history of the building dates to 1918 when it originally operated as a canning company. The city hopes to complete their plan for the area by the end of 2020, but as of now the site's future remains uncertain.

Eminem's publisher to sue Spotify for BILLIONS of unpaid music streams

By: Jak Connor | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 22, 2019 @ 5:08 CDT

Eminem's music publisher, Eight Mile Style has officially filled a lawsuit against music streaming giant Spotify, accusing the platform of "blatant copyright infringement".

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, this lawsuit comes under the Music Modernization Act which was signed into law last year. According to MMA, Spotify has to file a "notice of intention" and pay the righholders of the music they are streaming on their platform. This is where it gets dicey, Eight Mile Style has claimed that "Spotify did not have any license to reproduce or distribute the Eight Mile Compositions, either direct, affiliate, or compulsory, but acted deceptively by pretending to have compulsory and/or other licenses."

One of the songs that was claimed to be illegally streamed was Eminem's biggest song ever, 'Lose Yourself', Eight Mile says this is "the most egregious example of Spotify's willful infringement. Spotify, and [the Harry Fox Agency], its agent ... certainly knew (and had the easy means to know) that Eight Mile is the copyright owner of 'Lose Yourself.'" Continuing on, Eight Mile says that 'Lose Yourself' isn't the only song Spotify has illegally streamed, and that in total these songs have been "streamed on Spotify billions of times".

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Disney whistleblower tells SEC company defrauded BILLIONS of dollars

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 20, 2019 @ 19:23 CDT

Disney could be in some big trouble with a Walt Disney Co. whistleblower has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the company had overstated its revenues for years.

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Sandra Kuba used to work as a senior financial analyst for the revenue operations department of Disney, a position she held for 18 years. Kuba alleges that employees that work at Disney's parks-and-resorts business segment "systematically overstated revenue by billions of dollars by exploiting weaknesses in the company's accounting software".

What did Disney purportedly do? Well, MarketWatch has reviewed the whistleblower filings from Kuba where it is alleged that employees were boosting records in multiple ways including "recording fictitious revenue for complimentary golf rounds or for free guest promotions".

The allegations continue, getting worse with MarketWatch adding the whistleblower filings add that employees would record revenue for $500 gift cards at their face value, "even when guests paid a discounted rate of $395". Kuba even added that employees would sometimes record revenue twice for gift cards, both when the guest would buy the gift card and again when it was used at a Disney resort.

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Fry's Electronics stores soon to close, seeing same fate as Toys'R'Us?

By: Rob Squires | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 19, 2019 @ 16:18 CDT

Since 1985, Fry's Electronics, a brick and mortar Silicon Valley headquartered electronics chain, was the go-to place for DIY system builders. The stores founded by John Fry were modeled like grocery retailing, but to sell computer and electronics supplies. Fry's Electronics, like most brick and mortar stores these days is having a tough time due to fierce online retailer competition. It seems that they may be closer than ever to facing the fate of other brick and mortar retail chains, like Toys"R"Us, K-Mart, and Sears.

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Over the last two years, we have observed significant gaps in their product stock, and over the last six to twelve months entire product lines missing for extended periods of time. Examples include the OEM versions Microsoft Windows 10, internal hard drives, or motherboards which most stores have not had in stock consistently for the last six months. One thing we have heard across multiple stores from employees is that sales have been struggling. Our own visits to the stores have shown entire isles which used to be well stocked, completely devoid of any products.

Over the last few days, two videos have surfaced which you can watch here and here. These videos show a similar situation of product stock in the Arizona based locations.

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Spotify hits 108 million subs, 232 million monthly users

By: Jak Connor | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 1, 2019 @ 3:00 CDT

Spotify is the cream of the crop when it comes to music streaming services, while it might not be first in music quality it certainly is first when it comes to user counts.

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Spotify has released the their quarterly earnings for the second quarter of 2019, revealing that the company now has a solid paying userbase of 108 million users compared to the same time last year of 83 million users. While this might sound like a staggering amount of users, Spotify's estimation for the by the end of June was to add 8.5 million more users, which unfortunately fell short. One year-over-year scale, Spotify is actually up 31% growth wise.

The quarterly report also reveals an accurate amount of monthly active users the music streaming platform has. According to the report, Spotify now has 232 million monthly active users, in comparison to the same time last year where they had 180 million. To shine a light on some competing music streaming platforms, Apple has a userbase of about 60 million users and Amazon is currently trying to squeeze into the market with Amazon Music which is getting a straight upwards trend of users. could certainly disrupt things.

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Apple Card: a 'new kind of credit card created by Apple'

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 30, 2019 @ 23:24 CDT

Apple has confirmed it is releasing its own credit card in August, after first revealing it at its services event earlier this year. Yeah, a credit card, from Apple.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook said during Apple's recent 2019 third fiscal quarter earnings call: "Thousands of Apple employees are using the Apple Card every day in a beta test and we will begin to roll out the Apple Card in August". The new Apple Card will arrive in both a digital form, as well as a physical titanium card.

Where the new 'Apple Card' will do things differently is that it won't have a normal 16-digit number, CVV code, expiration date, or personal ID on it like a traditional credit card. Apple Card will generate these numbers on-device, with Apple teaming with Goldman Sachs, randomly each time at the time of transactions to keep purchases secure.

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