Studio Ghibli anime legend Isao Takahata dies at 82

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Isao Takahata (L) and Yoshiaki Nishimura attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards Oscar Week Celebrates Animated Features at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on February 19, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Isao Takahata, the legendary anime director that co-founded Studio Ghibli alongside Hayao Miyazaki, has died. He was 82. Yahoo Japan reports that he had been suffering from a heart condition and was hospitalized last summer; Studio Ghibli has since confirmed the news of his death.

Although not as internationally well-known as Miyazaki, Takahata directed some of Studio Ghibli’s most beautiful and original films, from the moving Only Yesterday to the heart-wrenching war drama Grave of the Fireflies. He also served as producer on early Miyazaki works Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Castle in the Sky, and his last directorial credit was for the elegaic, visually stunning Tale of the Princess Kaguya.

Takahata never drew himself, which…

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Report: Netflix is ‘in advanced talks’ to acquire Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp studio

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Last year, French filmmaker Luc Besson released Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a glitzy, CGI-filled summer blockbuster which ended up being a disappointment at the box office for his studio EuropaCorp. According to a report in the French site Capital (via The Playlist and io9), Netflix is “in advanced talks” to purchase the studio.

Besson co-founded the studio in 1999, and since then, it’s been known for films such as Lucy, Taken, Lock-Out, The Circle, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The studio blamed the later and other weak performers for an $ 83 million loss at the end of 2017, and weeks later, Variety reported that there were several buyers interested in purchasing the company, which was struggling with…

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Netflix is reportedly close to buying Luc Besson’s movie studio

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Netflix may get a lot more from filmmaker Luc Besson than that rumored multi-movie deal. Sources speaking to France's Capital have claimed that Netflix is in "advanced talks" to acquire EuropaCorp, the studio co-founded by Besson back in 2000. Whil…
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Android Studio 3.1 stable announced, with enhanced Kotlin lint checks, new default dex compiler, and more

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Google has introduced the latest update to Android Studio, taking the stable channel up to version 3.1. According to a post on the Android Developers Blog, this release focuses on product quality and development productivity. The last major update included a whole new programming language, and 3.1 continues to support the introduction of Kotlin with new lint checks among other improvements.

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Kotlin lint code quality checks can now be run via the command line using the “gradlew lint” command (see above).

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Update Notes for YouTube, YouTube Music, Gmail, Wear OS, Google Assistant, and Creator Studio (Mar 24, 2018)

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Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don’t want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I’m going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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Snapchat’s new Lens Studio tools make AR creation easier

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Snap has teamed up with a handful of partners to create new Lenses and new tools for the Lens Studio, which can make designing AR effects a simpler process. One of its new partners is StudioMDHR, developer of popular run and gun indie video game Cuph…
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Ni No Kuni II is the Studio Ghibli game I’ve always wanted

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The worlds of Studio Ghibli movies are places that I’ve always wanted to visit. In fact, many of them seem like the perfect setting for a role-playing game. I can imagine stopping in the quaint town of Kiki’s Delivery Service for a restorative break in between battles or seeking out important magical items in the Spirited Away bathhouse. Even the cast of Howl’s Moving Castle feels ripped out of a Japanese RPG, with a cursed old woman, a shape-shifting wizard, and a sentient turnip all teaming up for a long, arduous quest.

This is part of the reason that 2013’s Ni No Kuni was so exciting. It was the first time Ghibli had ever worked on a game, partnering with Level-5, the studio behind acclaimed RPGs like Dark Cloud and Dragon Quest IX….

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This app makes your headphones sound like a pro recording studio

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Spend some time shopping for headphones, and you’ll quickly grow tired of devices claiming to present music “as the artist intended,” despite sporting vastly different sound. But what if your favorite cans actually could sound like the recording studio where your favorite music was mixed? Enter SonarWorks, a company I’m guessing you’re not familiar with, as it’s best known in audio engineering circles for tuning professional studio speakers. Now SonarWorks is turning its attention to something more mainstream by calibrating headphones to sound like those same studios. The concept is simple. First you tell SonarWorks’ software, called True-Fi, which headphones…

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Studio Wildcard has announced that ‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ is coming to Android this spring

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Studio Wildcard’s hit dinosaur-themed survival game ARK: Survival Evolved is coming to Android this spring, and you can pre-register for the release right now on playark.com. Interestingly this upcoming on-the-go version of ARK is being designed and developed by War Drum Studios as a free-to-play release. It’s supposed to closely mirror the online survival experience contained in the PC and console versions, though there will be some necessary changes with the shift in monetization, which leaves me apprehensive as to how the finished product will turn out.

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Art and tech studio Eyebeam opens calls for one-year residencies

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The NYC-based nonprofit tech and art center Eyebeam has opened a call for residencies. If you're a budding artist or technologist who wants to create works like the anonymous thumbdrives that cropped up around the city almost a decade ago, you can ap…
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