The New HBO Max is competing with Netflix by giving you ‘Friends’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ for $15 a month

WarnerMedia’s new HBO Max streaming service, which will feature all of HBO’s programming plus new shows, and repeats of old ones like Friends, will launch in May, and cost $15 a month — the same price that the existing HBO service costs.

That is: WarnerMedia wants the 30 million-plus subscribers to HBO (in the US) to convert to HBO Max subscribers — the decision will be an “IQ test,” in the words of WarnerMedia boss John Stankey — and to make the new service appealing to people who haven’t yet signed up for HBO.

It’s an expensive and potentially …

HBO has reportedly canceled the first prequel to Game of Thrones

One fell down and broke its crown: A Game of Thrones prequel project previously greenlit by HBO in 2018 and set to star Naomi Watts has reportedly been axed, leaving the fate of the franchise’s four other planned spinoffs uncertain.

Deadline is reporting that showrunner Jane Goldman, a producer and writer best known for writing Kingsman (2014) and The Woman in Black (2012), has announced to the show’s cast and crew that the series, which was rumored to have been called Bloodmoon or The Long Night, is dead.

Although HBO has not confirmed the series’ status, a …

12 questions about Brexit you were too embarrassed to ask

The United Kingdom’s divorce with the European Union — better known as Brexit — has become a drawn-out, contentious affair without an obvious resolution.

The UK is deeply and bitterly divided on how it should exit the EU, and what its future relationship with the bloc should look like. And in many ways, the split between those who want to leave the EU and those who want to remain within it has only hardened since the 2016 referendum, tearing apart traditional party loyalties within the UK.

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and her counterparts in the European Union …

What is “quantum supremacy” and why is Google’s breakthrough such a big deal?

Google made a huge revelation on October 23, 2019, when it announced that it had reached something called “quantum supremacy.”

Via an article in the journal Nature, Google said their quantum computer, called Sycamore, solved a particularly difficult problem in 200 seconds. For comparison, Google said the world’s current fastest classical computer — one called Summit owned by IBM that’s as big as two basketball courts — would take 10,000 years to solve that same problem.

This is what “quantum supremacy” means. It’s when a quantum computer — one that runs on the laws of quantum physics as opposed …

How foil balloons went from Instagram bait to every party in America

On October 1, 2019, over 22,000 people in the city of Vista in Southern California were left without power for half an hour after a mylar balloon hit an electric circuit breaker. It’s not a particularly unusual occurrence in the golden state: in May, a written statement from electricity supplier Southern California Edison warned that metallic party balloons are “a problem that shows no end.” Mylar balloons — the shiny, helium-filled foil kind you see all over Instagram — caused 1,128 power outages in Southern California in 2018, nearly double the 656 recorded four years earlier. The Balloon Council, …

The dog-walking startup Wag is exploring a sale

The dog-walking and pet-sitting startup Wag has been exploring a sale to potential buyers such as the pet giant Petco, Recode has learned.

Petco and Wag, which is almost majority owned by the investment firm SoftBank, have had talks over the last few weeks about a possible deal, according to people familiar with the matter. The two companies already struck a partnership deal just a few months ago, but Wag, last valued at $650 million, has reportedly stumbled with scaling its business and could be the latest company backed by SoftBank to struggle.

Wag has also approached its primary …

Vox Sentences: The California calamity

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Fire to the north, fire to the south