Out Now: ‘Ava Airborne’, ‘The Pillars of the Earth’, ‘MLB Manager 2018’, ‘Simon the Sorcerer’, ‘Salad Hunt’, ‘Golfing Over It’, ‘Merge Gems!’, ‘Trick Shot 2’, ‘Woodways’, ‘Shot Online Golf’ and More

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It’s time once again to round up all the best new iOS game releases of the past 7 days. As is the case with mobile, I’m still struggling to keep up with all the new games that launched last week, and the week before, and the week before that, and… you get the idea. This week is certainly not one to play catch-up with, as there’s tons of great stuff hitting the App Store this week. Ava Airborne is the latest from the makers of Hopiko and PKTBALL, and it’s an absolute gorgeous experience. Then there’s the long-awaited game adaptation of Ken Follett’s 1989 novel The Pillars of the Earth, and iOS ports of the ’90s point-and-click adventure series Simon the Sorcerer. Truly an eclectic week! So check out the full list of games below and let us know which ones you’ll be picking up.


Ava Airborne

iTunes Description

Ava believes she can fly. Immerse yourself in this thrilling journey across a beautiful yet hazardous skyline. Weave between giant bomb-balloons, dive into turbo-charged catapults, bounce off trampolines and launch up into the clouds. Just never touch the floor.

Defy gravity. With style.

Lovingly crafted by the multi-award winning British indie studio Laserdog, Ava Airborne lets you master the sky with anything you can find: cardboard wings, rocket-propelled boots, an old umbrella, or even a jet-fuelled trombone.

Forum Thread: Ava Airborne (by Laser Dog/Playstack)

Big Kidd Games: Farm Life

iTunes Description

Farm Life is a fast paced survival farming game. Find tools in the shed; farm, eat, kill, and stay alive.

Forum Thread: Big Kidd Games: Farm Life (by Rickey Darren Hottage)

Bio Block

iTunes Description

Take control of a fork lift in an unstable environment in an all new puzzle game

Experience a new type of puzzle game with over 60 challenging levels

Simple one touch controls and fantastic graphics!

Lift and move blocks, raise platforms, use lift and avoid enemies!

360 degree camera controls allow you to explore each visually beautiful level

Install and try this new puzzle game now!

Forum Thread: Bio Block (by Entity3 Limited)

Blocky Snakes

iTunes Description

Why did the snake cross the road?
Wait, that’s another story…

But now, get ready to hop into the world of the BLOCKY SNAKES!

A funny, challenging 3D game, where you can relive your memories with a classic hit! Slither through your way in a maze of obstacles! Eat fruits and frogs to be the biggest snake and gain more score! Dash through breakable blocks, deactivate traps! Collect coins and play with the Snake Crane to win new characters!

Forum Thread: Blocky Snakes (by Csaba Szilagyi)

Dame Tu Cosita Challenge

iTunes Description

Dance be in the groove and show your best dancing moves. Green Alien is attacked by raining bombs. How long can you survive this mayhem.

Simple game play avoid the bombs and collect the coins. Progress through the challenging levels and try to be the best dancing green alien in this galaxy.

Forum Thread: Dame Tu Cosita Challenge (by Volkan Kutlubay)

DanMachi – Memoria Freese

iTunes Description

Join millions of fans of the fantastically popular anime – “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” – in its first-ever fully-localized mobile RPG, Memoria Freese!

Memoria Freese transports you to the world of Orario where you can build your own powerful team to battle through a sprawling dungeon! Play in a dynamic timeline that changes everything from environments to character dialogue depending on the time of day you play!

Forum Thread: DanMachi – MEMORIA FREESE (by Ellation, Inc.)

Dungeon of Minos

iTunes Description

Move dungeon maze with your finger!
Can you avoid the minotaurs?
Includes over 100 stages and boss attack!

Clear in 1st move for 3 stars!
or 2 moves? 3 moves? It’s ok, you can clear!

Explorer & minotaurs moves the same way.
Let’s connect the path to guide the explorer!

Forum Thread: Dungeon of Minos (by seonghoon lym)

Escape & Avenge

iTunes Description

You’re trapped in the dungeon of a medieval town. The king imprisoned you and killed the wizard–your magical friend and accomplice–for trying to overthrow the crown. At least that’s what the note on the wall says. You can’t remember anything, including who you are or how you got here. Can you escape the dungeon, return to the castle, and avenge your friend’s death?

Forum Thread: Escape & Avenge (by HangZone)


iTunes Description

Digging hard
Collect minerals!

Make wonderful fireworks with minerals
Try your own special experience.

Forum Thread: Firework DigCat (by 3cat games)

Golfing Over It

iTunes Description

· Golf your way up to the top of a surreal mountain.
· Listen as Alva explains why he made such a cruel game.
· Fall all the way back to the bottom.
· And if you manage to get to the top?
· Will that make you feel good?
· Will you feel that it’s all been worth it?
· I think you will.

Based on 2017’s hit “Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy”.
Bennett Foddy himself has played this game and has given it his blessing.

Forum Thread: Golfing Over It (by Carlos Navarro Estrella)

Grow Survivor

iTunes Description

You are a survivor of the Apocalips.
Hunt the Zombies and study vaccines and save the world

Pixelstar’s Clicker game ‘ Grow Survivor ‘ has arrived!

Simple manipulation!! And addictive!

Click on the screen to kill the zombies.

Gather Materials to Craft Weapons!

Forum Thread: Grow Survivor (by PIXELSTAR)

Hedgehogs Commandos

iTunes Description

World of Hedgehogs in danger. War is comming.
Spiteful UFOs seized the hedgehog commune. Four hedgehog fighting commandos will not give them any chance to destroy it.

Be the fifth member of the team. Destroy alien’s bases! Save your friends!

Use the commandos’ features to seize and destroy aliens’ bases.
You won’t be able to clean the commune from hateful aliens without rationality, speed and agility.

Forum Thread: Hedgehogs Commandos (by Alexander Bogachev)


iTunes Description

Inspired by ataxx and hexxagon games, the goal of the game is to make your pieces constitute a majority of the pieces on the board at the end of the game, by converting as many of your opponent’s pieces as possible.

There are three game modes in Kansen: Online, Hotseat, against AI.

Forum Thread: Kansen (by Geeky Raccoons)

Luft: Onward and Upward

iTunes Description

Try and make your way off a planet with a tragic history in this platformer that takes advantage of the touch screen for controls. Collect gems and unlock new characters for new ways to play. How high can you make it?

Forum Thread: Luft: Onward and Upward (by Legion Works Games LLC)

Merge Gems!

iTunes Description

Merge Gems! gives you the power to merge rocks into beautiful gems! Merge and match rocks, gold and more and enjoy the sparkle and shine of gems.

The concept of the game is simple – you’ve got a box of gems, and your only objective is to match and merge them to make them as splendid as possible. Every so often, you’ll be gifted a new gem – and the faster you tap on the ​box at the bottom of the screen, the faster the gems will appear. Start matching the same rocks and gems and find the diamonds in the rough!

Forum Thread: Merge Gems! (by Gram Games)

MLB Manager 2018

iTunes Description

Guide your favorite Major League Baseball franchise to glory! MLB Manager 2018, officially licensed by MLB and the MLBPA, is based on the award-winning Out of the Park Baseball series.

MLB Manager 2018 features a living world that uses the same realistic simulation engine found in Out of the Park Baseball, the best-selling and best-rated baseball management game of all time. Each MLB team in the game features its actual 40-man projected 2018 Opening Day roster. The player ratings are based on the ZiPS player projection system created by famous baseball analyst Dan Szymborski.

Forum Thread: MLB Manager 2018 (by Out of the Park Developments)

Monster RPG 3

iTunes Description

Monster RPG 3 is a fantasy old-school/Japanese-style Role Playing Game (JRPG.) Monsters have reawakened in the land, and two friends are on a mission to find the source. Along the way they’ll meet some interesting characters and fight in turn-based battles. Unique Vampire attacks complement the classic-style combat. A chip-tune soundtrack synthesized in real time sets the tone as the heroes save the day in unconventional fashion.

Forum Thread: Monster RPG 3 (by Nooskewl)


iTunes Description

OIL is a game about digging for oil in early 1900’s America. It’s a two player game that you play against a computer player or with your friend on the same device. OIL is a tense digital board game that plays a lot like battleships with a major oil mining twist! Unlike battleships, in OIL you and your opponent share the same play-space and compete for the same oil. Use your strategic mastery to beat your opponent and show who is the best oil miner! Influenced by the film ‘There Will Be Blood’, OIL focuses on the competition of oil mining in the iconic setting of the American oil boom of the early 1900’s.

Forum Thread: OIL (by Wee Door)

Piece of the Pie Pursuit

iTunes Description

Domino’s Piece of the Pie Pursuit puts you right at the center of the machine seen in our TV commercial. Do you have what it takes to beat all six unique levels in the ultimate game for pizza fanatics? If you do, you’ll find yourself this much closer to getting your hands on real-world, piping hot pizza. That’s right. Beat this game. Get a one-time prize in the form of Piece of the Pie Rewards® bonus points toward free Domino’s pizza.

Each section of this connected machine will challenge your skills in fun new ways. Guide your pizza cutter car along a boost-filled track in a race against the clock. Use pizza sauce Spoodle catapults to reach crazy heights. This physics-based game has it all. There’s nothing else like it.

Forum Thread: Piece of the Pie Pursuit (by Domino’s Pizza)

The Pillars of the Earth

iTunes Description

Based on Ken Follett’s world-bestseller, ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ retells the story of the village of Kingsbridge in a whole new interactive way. Play as Jack, Aliena and Philip and change the events of the book through exploration, decision-making and dialogues. This interactive novel is released in three ‘books’, containing 7 chapters each.

12th century, England: In a time of great poverty and war, a small town begins the construction of a cathedral to claim wealth and security for its people. In their struggle to survive, lives and destinies intertwine. Philip the monk becomes prior of the small abbey of Kingsbridge. At the same time, a boy called Jack is raised in the woods by his outlawed mother. His apprenticeship as a stonemason paves his way to become a gifted master builder. Together with the disgraced noblewoman Aliena, Jack and Philip begin the construction of one of the greatest cathedrals England will ever see.

Forum Thread: The Pillars of the Earth (by Daedalic Entertainment)

Pixel Survival World

iTunes Description

Pixel Survival World is a game where you and your allies will battle and defend against monsters. Protect your game, protect your friends and acquire epic loot in your battles. Much like a tower defense game, you will need to defend the Heroes Gate from destruction. You will encounter dangerous monsters, but as a Hero, you and your comrades will survive in the world of Pixel Survival World.

There are many different game modes found within the Pixel Worlds which you and your friends can enjoy. Different difficulty worlds will have different monsters and loots for you to gather. Secret pets, items, npcs, secret pixel worlds are scattered throughout the game.

Forum Thread: Pixel Survival World (by Cowbeans Inc.)

Play Shark

iTunes Description

“Play Shark” looks like terrible game, but it is funny and cute. Sharks have lots of teeth, you will try to play them. Don’t be eaten by them!

“Play Shark” is easy to learn, but hard to master. Touching screen will send players falling to bridge where sharks are waiting. Grasp the opportunity, you will not be eaten by sharks. Each survived warrior will receive a star. Five-star warrior can be bitten by a shark once. Ten or more stars can kill a shark.

Now, Let’s play sharks!

Forum Thread: Play Shark (by LI YIN JIAN)

Poker Puzzle Panic

iTunes Description

Poker Puzzle Panic is a round based, simon-says, poker themed puzzle game.

Traditional playing cards are arranged on a 5×5 grid waiting for you to connect them into a poker hand. Try to survive as many rounds you can, while the announcer dictates which poker hand you need to make and how long you have to make it. The further you progress the harder it gets! Use power ups and get the most points to place higher on the global leaderboard. And for the completion-ist, do your best to unlock all 30 achievements and find all 41 hidden hands.

Poker Puzzle Panic is also a great way to learn all the different poker hands. Great for beginners or poker masters!

Forum Thread: Poker Puzzle Panic (by Travis Fincaryk)

Rival: Crimson x Chaos

iTunes Description

Chaos has returned to the world of Kel. Will you side with the Crimson or Chaos? Build the ultimate team and Lead them into the spoils of victory!

Defend your arena against players from around the world in the next generation of strategy and tower defense.

Forum Thread: RIVAL: Crimson x Chaos (by Section Studios)

Robin Hood: Sherwood Sniper

iTunes Description

Join the epic battle agains the forces of the evil Sheriff in Robin Hood – Sherwood Sniper. Using your archery skills to battle the Sheriff’s men deep in Sherwood Forest, conducting raids and using precision bow and arrow shots to turn the tide of the battle. Uses touch mechanics to allow for precise aiming, and a physics engine to simulate arrow movement.

Forum Thread: Robin Hood: Sherwood Sniper (by Silver Elm Systems LLC)

Salad Hunt

iTunes Description

A family friendly FPS with cartoony weapons and destructible environments. Arcade rail-shooter gameplay in a simplified mobile format.

You are The Chef and discover that salad ingredients have come alive as cute, but mischievous characters that are ruining your kitchen! Toss whatever you can find at them to save what remains of the kitchen, or just destroy everything in the process.

Forum Thread: Salad Hunt (by Salad Hunters)


iTunes Description

Draw shapes to solve challenging physics puzzles. From the creator of the #1 hit puzzle game, Brain It On!

◆ Dozens of brain busting physics puzzles, with more being added all the time
◆ Multiple ways to solve each puzzle, can you find the best solution?
◆ Compete on the leaderboards for the fastest time or best solution

Forum Thread: Shatterbrain (by Orbital Nine Games)

ShotOnline Golf: WC

iTunes Description

Introducing Shot Online Golf: World Championship, bringing the world of golf to the palm of your hand. Featuring superb graphics, realistic gameplay, 1v1 real-time challenges along with many skills and items, Shot Online Golf: World Championship is the ultimate mobile golf game. If you love the thrills and tension of real golf, this is the game for you!

Forum Thread: Shotonline Golf:WC (by WEBZEN INC.)

Shut the Window

iTunes Description

Shut the Window is a one touch game where you have to close as many open windows as possible before the timer runs out. Inspired by real windows of Amsterdam, play through 10 handcrafted illustrations. Frustratingly fun, each design has its own charm. Try not to pull your hair out playing it.

Beautiful and addictive one touch game.
Breathtaking Illustrations inspired by real windows of Amsterdam.
Frustratingly fun. Makes you keep coming back for more!
No IAP, no monetization strategy, no currencies.
Share screenshots of your favorite windows and high scores with friends.

Forum Thread: Shut the Window (by Pixel Drop Studios)

Simon the Sorcerer

iTunes Description

There are some things that kids just shouldn’t have to put up with. Being transported to some weird dimension full of goblins, dwarves, swamplings, stupid wizards and sleeping giants is definitely one of them.
After escaping a “welcoming party”, Simon discovers that he has been brought on a quest to rescue the wizard Calypso from the evil sorcerer Sordid.

In the last 25 years, the ‘Simon the Sorcerer’ game series has made millions of players fall in love with Simon.
Now you can relive the renowned original adventure in a whole new way!

Forum Thread: Simon the Sorcerer (by MojoTouch & Adventure Soft)

Simon the Sorcerer – Mucusade

iTunes Description

Just when he thought his life was regaining some semblance of normality, Simon’s wonder years are once again turned upside down when the evil sorcerer Sordid returns from the grave with only one thing on his mind – revenge! Sordid reconstructs his Fortress of Doom and sends a magical wardrobe to fetch Simon, but it accidentally ends up on the doorstep of Calypso, the wizard Simon had to save in the first game. Simon then starts to look for a special fuel that can power back the wardrobe and get him home.

Journey with Simon through this inevitable sequel to the best selling Simon the Sorcerer, as he manages once more to get stuck in a land of twisted fairytales, recycled gags and carbon dated clichés! With a cast of thousands (mostly woodworm) and enough Swampy Stew to keep an underprivileged country sick for a year, this classic adventure will keep you well entertained until we manage to make another sequel.

Forum Thread: Simon the Sorcerer 2 (by MojoTouch & Adventure Soft)

Spinning Pong

iTunes Description

A simple but strongly addictive game that was created during one evening!
Do you remember pong consoles? Enjoy playing the pong-like game by turning your iOS device. Have a lot of fun!

Forum Thread: Spinning Pong (by Dariusz Socha)

Street Food South East Asia

iTunes Description

You inherit your fathers street food hawker stall which has been part of the family for generations and you need to bring it back prosperity. Along the way you set out to expand your hawker stall empire and become a Street Food tycoon. Something that your father was never able to accomplish.

Street Food South East Asia brings back all the simple gameplay from the original but with new RPG gameplay elements.

Forum Thread: Street Food South East Asia (by Tomosan Studios)


iTunes Description

Experience a real parkour flow! Endless fun begins. Do not stop with a falling dice and show your best!

– climb as high as possible and discover all levels
– avoid falling dice
– show the best combo
– overcome your friends
– unlock all tricks
– learn all gestures

Forum Thread: Tetrun (by Cableek)

Trick Shot 2

iTunes Description

Simply get the ball in the box. How hard can it be?

Trick Shot 2 – Infinity brings brand new challenges and a fully featured level editor to create, play and share your own levels, in fact, every level in the game was created using the built in editor!

Forum Thread: Trick Shot 2 (by Jonathan Topf)

Uncivil War

iTunes Description

Collect hundreds of cards and build the ultimate deck in this free indie trading card game (TCG). Fans of TCG will love the depth, challenge and tactics of the online multiplayer PVP duels, and the offline PVE campaign. Build a deck strategy and defeat your enemies on the field of card battle.

Based on the classic War card game, and inspired by the American Civil War, this free trading card game (TCG) is well balanced and highly accessible, but requires deep strategic deckbuilding to win the card war!

Forum Thread: Uncivil War TCG (by Iron Horse Games)

Windrose: Origin

iTunes Description

A brand new puzzle game!

Anyone can finish a level, but you should finish it with the minimum number of moves to get the maximum score. If you want to reach 3 stars on each level you should make your moves cleverly.

Forum Thread: Windrose: Origin (by Baris Araci)


iTunes Description

Woodways is a puzzle game in which you control all characters at once. Guide different animals to their destination, each with its own attributes and ways to interact with the environment. Travel through various areas with new mechanics and visuals, filled with all sorts of combinations of layouts and characters.

Forum Thread: Woodways (by Stav Goldstein)

Woven Words

iTunes Description

It all fits together in this unique brain-twister!

The Woven Words puzzle grids come in all different shapes and sizes,
and when you’re done every row and every column will spell out
complete words! Each game board is a mix of letters and blank tiles.
Can you find the right letters for the blank tiles so that every line spells
a word both down and across?

Forum Thread: Woven Words (by Blue Ox Family Games)


iTunes Description

ZoroMe is a 3D-puzzle game with dice that challenges to the limits of the player’s mind!

Experience rich content with simple gameplay!

A rainbow die will help you get astronomical scores!
100 points?
1,000 points?
1,000,000,000 points??

Compete with players from across the world for a higher score!

Forum Thread: ZoroMe (by UUUM Co)

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BAFTA-winning puzzle game ‘The Spectrum Retreat’ is almost ready

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Dan Smith was only 18 when he won the BAFTA Young Game Designers Award in 2016 for the prototype of his first-person puzzler. Now, his creation is almost ready to hit your consoles: video game publisher Ripstone Games is releasing The Spectrum Retrea…
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Telltale’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Final Season First Look Coming Next Week

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Telltale is famous for picking up every IP in sight and using its famous (or infamous) recipe to turn it into a serialized game, a tactic that has led to the company running out of steam and letting go a large part of its employees in what was the loudest sign that somewhere along the way, Telltale lost its way. Still, Telltale does have some important games coming out in the near future, and The Walking Dead: The Final Season is definitely the one fans most want to get their hands on. If you are one of the many who want to see how Clementine’s story ends, you can get the first peek of the game next Friday, April 6th, at 12:30 PM ET during the developer’s PAX East panel. The reveal will also be streamed on Twitch, so everyone can get to enjoy the show.

If you’ve been following Telltale’s games, you probably know that The Walking Dead [Free] is the series that put the developer on the map and, for many, season one of the game was the best the company has produced (though others see Tales from the Borderlands as the best series). Clementine, the female protagonist who was a child in the original season and has become the protagonist of later seasons, is for many the best character in the series and is the focus of the final season. Telltale cleverly showed that passing of the baton from Lee Everett, the main character of the original series, to Clementine in a screenshot revealed today. The Final Season screenshot shows Clementine wielding an axe and defending a young child from incoming walkers in a pose identical to a screenshot from the original series, where Clementine was the child in danger and Lee was wielding the axe. If you had any doubts that the series has come full circle, this screenshot should dispel them.

Speaking of the series as a whole (spoilers following), the journey hasn’t been a pleasant one for any of the characters. Clementine, trying to survive in a world infested by walkers just like in the TV show with the same name, lost Lee at the end of the first season after a pretty harrowing journey and some awful choices only to see more people lose their lives defending her in later season. In addition, she has had to deal with other survivors thinking she’s been bit, witness all kinds of abuse, and other, similarly “pleasant” experiences. In the previous episode, A New Frontier, Clementine had to deal with a group of survivors who started out with good intentions and ended up twisted in all kinds of ways—which is par for the course in this series and the TV show. The end of the episode finds Clementine heading out of Richmond (where her journey had taken her) to find AJ, the baby of one of Clementine’s fellow survivors that Clementine once thought dead.

We don’t have too much information on the plot of the final season, but I have a hunch it won’t be a happy one. Clementine, as the developers have pointed out, has become a symbol of hope throughout the franchise, so I’m very interested to see what her ultimate fate will be. One of the screenshots Telltale tweeted today shows Clementine’s famous cap abandoned in the middle of a field, which I wouldn’t describe as a hopeful screenshot. Still, I have a hard time believing Telltale will kill this extremely popular character. No word yet on a release date, but I don’t think it’s too far into the future. Looking forward to seeing where Clementine’s journey ends?


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Tim Cook’s advice to his younger self: ‘The joy is in the journey’

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“Our purpose is to serve humanity.”

“Knowing everything you know now, what would be the greatest piece of advice you’d give your high school self?”

That was the final audience question for Apple CEO Tim Cook during this week’s taping — at a Chicago public high school — of “Revolution: Apple Changing The World,” a TV collaboration between Recode and MSNBC that’s scheduled to air on Friday, April 6 at 8 pm ET.

His response: “I would tell myself that the joy is in the journey.”

The crowd applauded loudly, and Cook shifted into commencement-address mode, continuing:

And that the real purpose of life — everybody talks about “find your purpose, find your purpose, find your purpose” — the truth is we all have the same purpose. And we should all quit looking. Our purpose is to serve humanity.

More applause.

And so, most people ask themselves the wrong question. The question they should be asking is: How should I serve humanity? What will be my gift?

And they should ask that pretty much every day, because you can give small gifts and you can give large gifts and it doesn’t have to be — certainly doesn’t have to be money. Most of your gifts will never be money. They will be a gift of yourself and your passion — your way of changing the world, improving the world for other people.

And I wish I would have realized that sooner. Because I went through a period of time that I was rudderless where I thought I should be looking for my purpose. I looked under every sheet, behind every door, and everywhere, and I couldn’t find it. I thought, “Oh my God, there’s something wrong with me. I can’t find it.”

And then I found it in Apple, and I found a company that believed at the company level that its job was to serve humanity and —

Another round of applause.

It’s that that has made all the difference for me — is just being a part of that. And I wish I would have found it earlier. I wish somebody would have hit me over the head with it earlier.

Steve [Jobs] hit me over the head with it. It just took a little while.

This wasn’t Cook’s first time delivering this message, but it struck a chord in the room — a high school gymnasium.

In 2010, he addressed the Auburn graduating class, concluding, “Let your joy be in your journey — not in some distant goal.” Six years ago, he talked about it — in the context of his relationship with Steve Jobs — with Recode founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at the D conference.

But after more than an hour and a half of taping the show, discussing in-the-news topics like privacy, regulation, political pressure and job creation, it was a nice way to wrap up.

Recode – All

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‘The Room: Old Sins’ set to release on Android April 19

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The Room developer Fireproof Games announced Wednesday that the fourth installment in the series, Old Sins, will release on Android on Wednesday, April 19. You may actually get a chance to play it earlier, though—the game still needs to go through more testing, and Fireproof says information about the beta program “will be announced as soon as we have confirmed dates.”

Old Sins has been out on iOS since January.

Read More

‘The Room: Old Sins’ set to release on Android April 19 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

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‘The Room: Old Sins’ Is Finally Hitting Android on April 19th, With an Open Beta Coming Soon

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Sorry, iOS gaming enthusiasts – I’ve crossed over to join the villainous Carter Dotson on the dark side. After having an iPhone for literally my entire smartphone-owning life, I’ve decided to take the plunge into the unknown and treat myself to a Pixel 2. All things considered, I’m loving it, despite one major flaw: the games. Many high-profile titles are missing from the Google Play store, and while I still have my beloved iPad to make sure I don’t miss out on anything, I find myself wishing I could jump into the likes of Alto’s Odyssey [$ 4.99] on the go. However, today one major Android absence can be crossed off the list. The Room: Old Sins [$ 4.99] was Fireproof Games’ excellent 2018 take on their beloved puzzle series, which we adored in our glowing five star review on its release, and on April 19th Android gamers can finally try out the title too.

The Room [$ 0.99 (HD)] series has been consistently brilliant since its debut on mobile all the way back in 2012, and Old Sins was very much a return to the intimate puzzle-solving of the first two games that made it such a hit with fans. Exploring every nook and cranny of the various dioramas within the game is absolutely fascinating, and the way Fireproof create so much backstory and conjure up an ethereal atmosphere through saying so little is really mobile gaming at its peak. The Room: Old Sins may be the fourth game in the franchise, but it’s an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the concept – even though I’d recommend anyone to go through the previous titles, if just for the fact they’re great too. This Android release has been highly anticipated for months, and it’s good to have April 19th in the diary as a solid release date. Fireproof promise more details on pre-registration and an open beta soon, but until then, head to our forum thread for more discussion on The Room: Old Sins.


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Full transcript: Nell Scovell talks David Letterman, Sheryl Sandberg and ‘The Simpsons’ on Recode Media

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

The cover of “Just the Funny Parts” by Nell Scovell

“No one wants a witch hunt, but we do want a fair and judicious review of witches.”

On this episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, writer Nell Scovell comes by the studio to talk with Kafka about her new book, “Just the Funny Parts … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys’ Club.” You can read some highlights from the interview here or listen to Recode Media on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Below, you’ll also find a lightly edited transcript of the full episode.

Peter Kafka: This is Recode Media with Peter Kafka. That is me. I am part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. I’m here at Vox Media headquarters in New York City. This is the part where I ask you to tell a friend about this show. See how quick that was? Painless. What do you think, Nell?

Nell Scovell: Oh, I’m at Vox Media too.

Nell also agrees that she is at Vox Media. That is the voice of Nell Scovell. Did I pronounce it correctly?

You did.

Congratulations to me. She is a TV writer. She is a book writer. She wrote a book called “Just the Funny Parts.” She also wrote with Sheryl Sandberg a book called “Lean In,” many of you have heard of. Welcome, Nell.

Oh, nice to be here.

Thanks for joining me. This has been on my list for many months, I’m very psyched to read this. Was very psyched to read this. I’m very psyched to talk to you. What’s the best way to describe this book? It’s a mashup of genres, right?

It is. It’s a memoir, but it also includes a lot of information about writing, about…

Yeah, there’s some how-to, right?


How to make a “Simpsons” script.

Yes, how to write a joke. How to make a “Simpsons” script, but it’s not just about Hollywood. I think it’s about everywhere we work.

And then specifically, right? And you point this out here, right? This is about “sneaking into the Hollywood boys club.” And you can expand that and say this is about social… Being a woman in a male-dominated profession, there are many of those. It seems like the timing is fortuitous for this book as well?

Well, except the problems been around for so long.

I was thinking of a polite way of putting it. The public discussion around the problem is good.


Was there an uncomfortable moment in the last six months you thought this is bad for the world, but it’s good for me and my book?

No, I did tell a #MeToo story in my book. And when I turned it into the publishers in the summer I felt scared and alone. And now I don’t feel that way anymore. And in fact, I went from being sort of afraid to being like, ‘I can’t wait til my books out and I lend my voice to this chorus.’ We have a club. We meet in the football stadium.

I was wondering if we’re gonna discuss the #MeToo incident in the book. It’s funny that we call it a “#MeToo incident.” It’s a weird … Cause it’s describing men’s behavior, right?

Right. It’s also one of those things. I remember after “Lean In” came out, someone said to me, “What did we say before Lean In? And I said “Well, I guess we didn’t talk about women’s ambition.” And I think it’s a little of the same with #MeToo. There wasn’t a term, because we didn’t talk about it.

There’s gossip about a particular executive in media. It’s going through right now. People are saying this person has a “#MeToo problem.”


I thought well his problem allegedly is his behavior. It’s not a #MeToo behavior, but…

Right, right.

That’s a sidelight here. But back to that incident you described in the book. You identify a specific person. You call them out by name. Did you re-think any of that? Sort of as the Weinstein stuff was heating up. Did you wish, “Oh, maybe I should have included more information?” Or maybe … I don’t know. Did you rethink the context of it at all?

Well, I did go back in… I went back in between the first and second galley and actually did add a little bit to… I actually do mention Harvey Weinstein in the book. There was a survey last month where ninety-four percent of women said that they had been sexually harassed or abused by an older, more powerful person. And twenty-one percent said that included a forced sexual act. This is an ongoing problem. And one of the great things about being in entertainment, is you have access to the media. People pay attention to you. In my own case, I was pretty privileged. I didn’t need the job desperately. I had a great support system, so I came out of it not terribly scarred. But not everyone is that lucky, or that unlucky.

You have had a successful television career, and you’re a successful author, as well. Prior to publication of this book, you had also gained notice for writing about sexism within David Letterman’s writing staff. Nearly a full decade ago, 2009. Is that right?


How did writing that piece — which generated a ton of attention, which you also describe in the book — how did that change your career?

So in 2009, David Letterman goes on the air and admits, “I have sex with women I work with.” And it was a strange set of circumstances. He was being blackmailed.

Right, the context was, “I’ve been blackmailed.”

It was weird, because the context was he was the victim. And when he announced on air that he had sex with women he worked with, people laughed and applauded. It’s crazy. It’s on YouTube. You can look it up.

Cause the story was… Right? The headline was, David Letterman says he’s the victim of a blackmail plot. Which was…

Right. And that’s… It was a terrible thing, and he handled it beautifully. He also got a pass for the underlying behavior.


And no one wants a witch hunt, but we do want a fair and judicious review of witches. And I wrote a piece that talked about my own experiences. Cause believe me, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone who worked on that show when Dave made that announcement.

Right, you’re quite explicit in the story that you wrote for Vanity Fair that he was sleeping with female staff members.

Right. And not just him. You know, part of the issue is, when the leadership — you know, the fish stinks from the head down. When the leadership acts that way, it gives other people permission to act that way. And it was like being at the Court of Versailles. There were cliques and backstabbings. Which made it really hard, cause I just wanted to write jokes.

And so, how much time did you spend sorta prior to publishing that, thinking, “What will this do to my career?” Again, you were in the middle of a very active Hollywood career. Did you think, “There’s gonna be a consequence for me doing this?” Or did you think, “Maybe there’s an upside to me doing this?”

I had just gotten a job as Co-EP [Executive Producer] on “Warehouse 13,” which was an amazing show on the SyFy channel. And I really felt, cause I had worked there, that, and had this long career that I had standing to speak to this issue. And as my friend, Tom Palmer, would say, I don’t have “fuck you money,” but I do have “I don’t like your tone of voice money.”


But the big pivot in the article was, after a discussion of sexual harassment and sexual favoritism, to pivot to gender discrimination in the writer’s room. Because one of the things I had learned is that it has been years since there had been even one female writer at Letterman. And I’ll also add that in thirty-three years on the air, there was never a single person of color in that writer’s room.

So you write this. Again, you can see in the original Vanity Fair. You can see basically a longer version of that in the book as well. You should read them both. What happens to you after the publication of that story? Cause at the time it was a very big deal you wrote this.

I did worry that it might end my career, and it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.


It was my truth, and I …

You feel better?

You feel better. You’ve been sitting on this information for a long time. You’re helping other people. The idea was never to help my career. And in fact, I thought it would do the opposite. It was to help other’s careers. Cause I got to be successful, but it was really hard. And it didn’t need to be that hard. And I watched too many people, women, drop out. Because it was that hard. And then there’s also all the people who never even tried, because it just didn’t seem doable.

So you think that helped them? Just seeing this in print online and on VanityFair.com was literally a good thing for those people?


And then it didn’t hurt your career. We’re sitting here talking.

Well, it did put me on a path to meeting Sheryl Sandberg. I think becoming an outspoken feminist. I’d always been one, but now I was out of the closet. It was hard in the room at “Warehouse 13.” Every now and then someone would say something sexist. And someone else would make a joke like, “Be careful, Nell’s gonna write an article about you.” And I would say, “Yeah, 19 years from now, you’re gonna be so sorry you said that.”

But there is a thing, right? This is even if you’re not writing exposés. If you are the minority representative in the room, right? You become…

Right, and I was the only woman in that room too.

And this happens to you frequently in your career, and you write about this. You become, you bear a lot of burdens. Even when people mean well, they end up sort of burdening you with all sorts of expectations. And in this case, the worry is, that is gonna define your career. You’re the woman who writes about being a woman who is a writer.

Well, it’s the fear, I think, that the woman is the spy who’s going to tell the tales at a school. Who’s judging you, silently. It was hard for me though. I don’t, I’m both an insider and an outsider.

As I was reading the book, I was thinking about the parallels between, just partly because of what I do, but also because some of the context that has come up in the last year about Susan Fowler writing about Uber and some of the same context.

Yeah. Oh, she’s a hero.

And you literally have the same anecdote at one point there, about you getting a shirt at Letterman that doesn’t fit you.

Oh, that’s right! That’s right.

And that’s kind of like, one of the core parts of her story, right? It’s the leather jackets, that don’t make them for women because why would you make leather jackets for women. Because there are so few of them. But I also think about this a lot. There is a… Even among well-meaning people, there’s a perception that, these nerds in Silicon Valley, and the nerds in the writing room — They’re nerds. So they’re sexist, but they’re fundamentally nerds. They don’t know how to talk to people. And you detail in great length about just what a tortured and unhappy person David Letterman is. Right, these crazy anecdotes about these people that hit him.


Do you think there’s something particular about these kind of workspaces that lead them to treating women poorly? Or do you think this happens at every workplace, and there’s no particular excuse for this kind of behavior?

Well, studies do show that in hierarchical structures, you do get more harassment. There’s more power concentrated at the top, which means there’s more abuse of power concentrated at the top. And every TV show is very much a hierarchy.

Cause it’s, and we can talk about this a bit more too. But it’s, TV is this thing that’s both collaborative, right? There’s a lot of people who work on a TV script, but generally there’s a person that everyone reports up to.


Who is a decision maker.

The showrunner, is that, is the title.

Right. But you don’t think there’s something particular about the nerddom of the TV writers room? Or the nerddom of a bunch of coders that explain some of their difficulty with women?

I think it’s an excuse, not an explanation. And I think if they’re over twenty-five and they’re still doing it, then they’re not paying attention. And then it’s willful. It’s a choice.

Yeah, I think it’s a choice that people, in some cases people weren’t aware they were making.


It’s harder in 2018 to say, “I’m not aware of that choice.”

That’s right. I mean, we’re not talking about people on the spectrum. But in general, that sort of, “I’m oblivious. I get to do whatever I want, and sorry I insulted you. Don’t you have a sense of humor?” It’s like, “Well … Actually I do, but you crossed the line there.”

You know, I tell this story in “Just the Funny Parts,” where we had a director who had an emergency appendectomy. And there was a discussion in the writer’s room, about how long it would take for him to recover. So, I’m the mother of two, and I rarely talk about my kids at work. I have this running gag when someone asks me if I have kids, I say, “Yes, but I’m blanking on their names right now.” But on this particular day, we’re talking about abdominal surgery, and I say, “You know, I had two C-sections and they weren’t that bad.” To which another colleague said, “You mean you’re still tight?” So I deadpanned, “Yes, that was the point of my story.” But that’s the sort of every day, offhand comment that you can expect.

Right, and I didn’t want to step into any of that, cause it’s a great anecdote and I had already read it. But it’s great.

He just got fired, by the way, from the WB.

I just got fired? Oh, he did?

Oh, he did.

Well, I guess that’s my thing. I can’t imagine that happening in a regular, a grown-up workplace. I can imagine it happening, I dunno. But I do think-

It’s not normal.

It’s not normal. I do think, “Oh, but is that the sort of thing where you’re supposed to be making jokes?” Not every joke is as funny as you think it is. Some jokes push the line, and maybe that joke pushed the line a little more. And do you have to allow more leeway in an environment like comedy writing, for instance, to allow yourself to occasionally cross the line. And do you have any, maybe sympathy is the wrong word. Empathy? For dudes who might not fully understand what they’re doing or saying? And this guy got fired? So apparently this was a reoccurring problem.

Oh, that was years and years, and millions of dollars later. And eighteen people had to come forward and say he had been inappropriate, for him to take a tumble. I think we need to spread around the discomfort more, because right now you have a select group that can really say anything they want in the room. And some of us have to look at our feet while they say those things. I was working on “The Muppets,” and some of the upper level guys working on the show had worked on Charlie Sheen’s show, “Anger Management.” And they would routinely refer to actresses as “dumb bitches.” Like, “Oh, and then the dumb bitch says…”

Right, and this isn’t 1975, this is a couple years ago.

No! This is two years ago.

So, don’t do that at work.

I know. And then it’s like, well I don’t want to say anything cause then, I’m no fun and I’m the school marm. And I don’t wanna be that. But it’s not fun to sit there an listen to women be referred to that way.

I’ve been trying to figure out an appropriate place to have an ad break in here. I didn’t want to do it after the c-section joke.

Let’s do it now.

We can do it after Charlie Sheen though, right?


It’s a deal. Okay, we’ll be right back with Nell Scovell.


I’m back here with Nell Scovell, who’s not unhappy with me, right?


You’re pleased? We’re good? We’re doing well?

We’re best friends.

We’re gonna get there. And if you like this conversation, by the way, I don’t normally do plugs for Kara Swisher, but we’re gonna do a live version of this with Kara sometime this spring. Sometime soon.

In April.

In April.

At the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. I love Kara. She scares me a little though.

She’s not so scary. She takes the sunglasses off, she’s perfectly pleasant.

You have had an amazing career. Even without the David Letterman exposé, even without Sheryl Sandberg, and even without sort of this new chapter in your life. You were the first writer, period, at Spy magazine.

I was!

One of my all-time favorite magazines. You worked at Letterman, like you talked about. You’ve got a, on your book cover here, it lists many of the places you’ve worked at. There’s an appendix that lasts another three or four pages. You’ve been a working writer in Hollywood, which by definition is success. Is that a fair summary.

Well, how do you define success? Because there are people who work entire careers and get very little produced. Which would be very frustrating.

But you get paid, right?

I do get paid.

That’s part of the gig, right? You get paid for a lot of work, often times very little of it shows up. Do you think about how your career would be different if you were starting it off in 2018 where there’s YouTube, and there’s Snapchat and there’s Twitter.

Oh, there’s Twitter, yeah.

And there’s also just a ton of money coming in right now, from Apple and Amazon and Netflix. It seems like there’s a glut of TV, hundreds and hundreds of TV shows being produced. Would this career be as attractive to you as it was when you were breaking in? When it was much harder to get to TV?

There are shows I would love to work on. I watch “Another Period,” which is Riki Lindhome and Natasha Leggero’s show. It’s so funny, on Comedy Central. I love “Broad City.” I’ve always actually, the draw has been certain shows. I loved working on “Murphy Brown,” and I loved working on “Monk.” More than working just on TV in general. For example, when I started, the top show was the “Cosby Show” and “Golden Girls.” But when I sat down to write a spec script, I wrote one for “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” which I imagine very few people have ever heard of. It was Garry’s sitcom before he did “Larry Sanders.”

It’s on Fox, right?

It was.

Yeah. You said you liked it more, I’m with everyone else who likes the HBO show more.

That makes sense.

But do you imagine, since in some ways it seems much easier to get on TV or create something that looks like TV in many ways, many more ways to distribute it. Do you think you would have leapt into it that much earlier? You said, “Oh, there’s fewer gatekeepers, I can go right into, do right what I want.” Or would you say, “Let’s do something else a little harder. It seems like anyone can make one of these things.”

I started thinking about TV, cause I had this whole magazine career. And then I bumped into an editor one day who said to me, “Nell, I don’t mean this as an insult. But I think you could write for television.” And I’d never thought of it before. And one of the main differences between then and now, is we have this cult of the showrunner. Where everyone knows about David Simon, and Joss Whedon or Shonda Rhimes.

Right. And you had to be a very specific person if you knew who Steven J. Cannell was.

That’s right. That’s right.

So, they’re elevated now. That makes it more attractive to you?

I don’t know, I would have been more aware that you could. I didn’t even know that you could be a TV writer.

Like many comedy TV writers, you went to Harvard. Unlike, apparently all of them, you did not join the Lampoon.


How did that happen?

It was scary. I went to one comp meeting, and they-

Tell me what a comp meeting is.

You know, at most schools if you wanna do an extra-curricular activity, you go put your name on a sign-up sheet. Harvard makes its students compete for everything.

Very Harvard.

So, you have to comp for the Harvard Crimson, or comp for the Lampoon. So I went to the first comp meeting, and this guy with a big head was telling us how you write three essays, and then you throw them on the floor. And people write their criticisms on the back, which everyone can read. And it just frightened me.

And so you passed.

I passed.

And still bumped your way out into TV after all.

I did. And in fact, bumped into the guy who was the comp director years later. It was Jeff Martin, who went on to work for “The Simpsons.” And one day he even said to me, “How come you didn’t comp for the Lampoon?” And I was like, “Well, you scared me. You have a very big head.” And he was like, “Yes I do.”

I mentioned this previously, you’ve got an entire chapter that you say, “Here’s how we built an episode of ‘The Simpsons.’” I loved it. Is there a particular point you’re trying to get across by showing how this thing starts with an idea, and gets all the way through execution?

You’re chipping away at marble to make the statue. One of the points I really wanted to make, is how much material you generate in order to get that chiseled, perfect episode.

Twenty-two minutes.

And that room was astonishingly fast and smart. They had, you had people with different skill sets, so I really loved being in it. And I tell this story of sitting next to Sam Simon, when I was getting my notes on my outline. At that time the staff was small enough that we could all sit in a circle in one room. Matt Groening was sitting across from me. I look over at one point, and his hands are folded in his lap, and his head is kind of slumped down, and he’s resting his eyes. And I look over at Sam, and he just mouths to me, “Don’t wake him.”

That’s not in the book, is it?

It is!

Did I miss that? Oh, I missed that part. One of the things that is in the book, because you’re a meticulous note taker, so you’ve got a lot of your notes from various scripts you’ve worked on. You’ve got mark-ups of your scripts that other people have made. Eventually move into email, and you’ve got email exchanges about how to write for David Letterman at the Lincoln Center. It’s a great tool, it’s a great way to break up the book and also just show, not tell. Right?

Well I was a journalist first, so I had a love for primary sources. I also thought TV would go away, and I wanted to hold onto these things so I could prove that I was really there.

Was there a particular moment in your career when you though, “TV is going away, and I need to find a third, or fourth or fifth act. I need something else that I can be doing.” Where did you ever make a conscious pivot into something else?

I never thought TV is going away, but I did think, “I’m a woman, who’s getting older, and TV might not want me anymore.” I did, you know, that’s why I love writing with Sheryl. I think speech writing is a really interesting combination of both journalism and writing dialogue for TV. And I really enjoy that. I moved into directing. But I’m also a challenge junkie. So writing for TV is really easy for me now. I love it, but…

How is writing for Sheryl Sandberg, writing with Sheryl Sandberg, different than writing for TV?

Well, if I’m writing for “Murphy Brown,” then Candace is going to do the lines that I’ve written for her. Unless she has a big issue. Sheryl is brilliant, and she has her own ideas. And we talk about the best way to express them, but it’s less me channeling through a character and more getting in Sheryl’s head.

And so, for “Lean In,” right? That’s her idea. I wanna write about the workplace, the idea of leaning-in. And then are you going and sort of punching up her script? Is it the equivalent of that? Or are you going and doing research to go and flush out idea? What’s the, how did that process work?

You know, it was a true collaboration. And we’re both iterators, so we would send chapters back 40 times, maybe more. And just get it to where we were both happy. She’s an amazing writer, but she’s also running Facebook, and she has two small kids.

When that book came out, I think a lot of folks said, “Ah, she’s on a trajectory, she’s the COO at Facebook, that’s an incredibly powerful job. But she’s clearly gonna be making, she’s now a public figure. She’s on the cover of Time Magazine. You can sorta see where this is heading, she’s gonna end up running the government, or something even bigger.

I wish.

Did you get that sense?

We really stayed in the lane, and “Lean In” was, boy, it was such a passion project for both of us. So, I don’t know. I mean, Dave died two years after “Lean In” came out.

Oh, yeah.

Her husband. That was traumatic and sad and shocking. So I think that obviously had a huge effect on whatever those plans were.

And then you guys wrote a second book about that, about her dealing with grief.

I edited “Option B.” She wrote that with Adam Grant. We all wanted to honor Dave Goldberg with that project. I learned a lot from writing it.

Are you in touch with Sheryl now?

Yeah. I’m going up to do a Facebook live this week.

At the point where, so we’re recording this a couple days after the story broke in the New York Times about data breaches, but they weren’t a data breach. Do you check in with her about stuff like that? Say, “Here’s my suggestion for how to handle this.”



No, I am — Here’s what I know about Facebook. I’m a Facebook user. I was an early adopter. I joined when you needed a .edu address. For a writer, it’s one of the greatest social tools available.

It doesn’t seem like a helpful tool at all for writers. It seems like a great way to not write. You may be more disciplined than I am.

Maybe, I’ve had a lot of little things I’ve put up and then thought, “Hey, that would be a good magazine piece.” So, I’m a big fan of Facebook.

Do you have advice for well-meaning men who run things, about how to improve the workplace?

Yes I do.

Can you share a couple with me?

Number one, hire more women.

They say it’s hard. There’s the “pipeline problem.” I’m setting you up here.

I don’t think it’s a pipeline problem. I think it’s a broken doorbell problem. And I think the talent is out there, I think there are women, people of color, people with disabilities, people in the LBGTQ community who are ready and should be let in that door.

Let me play devil’s advocate.


Or white, straight men’s advocate. Cause we need some help.

Which is the same thing. I’m joking.

Maybe there is a pipeline, but it is harder to do this. Right? It is harder to hire from a diverse population. You have to spend more energy doing it. And if I can find a straight white guy who’s good at the job, shouldn’t I hire him? Why should I spend more energy trying to diversify my workplace?

First of all, Warren Buffet said one of the reasons he was so successful is, he was only competing with half the population. So, how do you know you’re getting the best person, and how are you defining the best person? Is it the person who thinks like me? Maybe the best person is someone who doesn’t think like you, exactly, and who has different experiences, different perspectives, different connections.

You’ve got a great anecdote there about moral licensing. Can you explain what that is?

Well, the best explanation is from Malcolm Gladwell. I’m not gonna plug someone else’s podcast-

We’ve had him on the show.

But his very first one, was about moral licensing. So moral licensing is the fancy way to say, “But some of my best friends are Jewish.” And it’s using the fact that you weren’t discriminatory in the past, to excuse actual discriminatory behavior.

“I’m married to a woman.”

That’s right.

“My wife’s a feminist.”

Well, Dan Scavino did that, with, “I can’t be antisemitic. My wife is Jewish.” And then, she just served him with divorce papers today.

Yeah. And then you’re — oh, I’m not even keeping up with the Dan Scavino, poor Dan Scavino. Poor Trump administration. But you bring this up in the context of, you go to a friend who’s running a show and you say, “You haven’t hired any women, you’ve hired one woman in twenty years.” And he says, “That can’t be the case. It can’t be my fault.”


“I like women. I’m married. I’m a feminist.” And you say, “No, that’s bullshit.

Well, no, he got very defensive and I pulled back because I realized that that tact wasn’t working with him.

What’s the better way to approach someone like that, who’s — because by the way, many people are defensive.

Right. The best way to do it, is to approach someone and say, “I couldn’t help but notice that you don’t have many women on your staff. I know a lot of fantastic female writers, so if you want names let me give you some.” Now the problem is, most of the time they say, “We’re not looking.” And then six months later you find out they hired someone who was a white male, and you go, “Hey, why didn’t you ask me.” And then they get angry with you.

But there’s something to that, right? If you give them enough building blocks they can, sort of, put it together and say, “Well this is my idea, and I did it. I wasn’t forced into doing this.” And so it gives them a little more flexibility and leeway. You’ve noticed, you’ve —

— Can I just say though, they should do it ‘cause it will make their shows better. And I have this great quote from Albert Brooks, “A fairer share of humanity will always produce better comedy.” And that’s the funniest guy on the planet, as far as I’m concerned. And he wrote with a woman, Monica Johnson. He wrote “Lost in America” with her, he wrote “Real Life” with her.

All the really good Albert Brooks movies.

Well, no. “Defending Your Life” is the best, and he did write that one alone. No? You don’t agree?



Nothin’ better than “the nest egg.”

“Don’t say nest, don’t say egg.”

“Desert Inn has heart.”

It’s a thing.

So great.


But yeah, that’s the best argument, right? Or that’s one argument you can make, is, “Look, this is objectively better for your business.” And if it takes work, that’s okay. Because it’s work you’re doing that someone else isn’t doing, so take advantage of it.

That’s right.

You’ve got a great multiple coda thing going on with the Letterman story, where eventually you work with him again, you’re very nervous about it. That works well. And then you finally get to talk to him about your book. About what you wrote about his show X number of years earlier. Should we spoil it, or should we leave it open?

Let’s not spoil it, but when I wrote my article in 2009, I was certain I would never have a moment with Dave. He’s very insulated, by that point he was working on a different floor from the writers and you needed a thumbprint to even get in his office.

Even by comedy standards, he’s a weird, eccentric person, right?

Writers said that they didn’t even know he was in the building unless they saw him on the show. So, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to pierce that bubble. Then in 2014, I got hired to write on the Kennedy Center Honors. I got a call from my co-writer, Louis Friedman, who said, “Nell, I thought you should know David Letterman’s going to narrate the Tom Hanks movie.” And I said, “Okay.” And he said, “That means he’ll be there.” And my heart just started pounding. So I did get my third act moment with Dave.

We’ll let people read the book, they can figure out how that went. But, as part of the coda, of the coda, of the coda, you know that since Letterman retired, he started advocating for more diversity in late night entertainment. You’d say Jay Leno has noticed the same thing as well. Any speculation about why people suddenly get religion when they’re no longer running the show?

Well I do think there’s an intersection between sexism and ageism. And that now both Dave and Jay know what it’s like to be replaced by a less experienced, younger man. It’s not fun. But, since I turned in my final draft, Dave’s Netflix show has come out. I noticed of the five executive producers on the show, they’re all men.

So it’s not total religion that he’s gotten.

Oh, no.

Still some work to do.

I think he’s still an atheist.

This is super fun, you should go buy the book. You don’t care if they buy an E-book? You can buy a paperback.

Yes! Absolutely. You can buy it on Kindle.


Hardcover. I’m classy.

Also, if you buy it on paperback, you gotta wait too long. You can go see Nell talk to Kara Swisher by using Google and figuring out how to go see them at the Commonwealth Club. Nell, this was great.

Oh, I appreciate it. This was fun.

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Hands-on: Fibaro’s ‘The Button’ HomeKit multi-controller, now available to order

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After unveiling plans to offer a HomeKit version of The Button at CES in January, Fibaro is now shipping its multi-controller for Apple’s smart home platform. The Button is available to order for $ 49.99, and we’ve tried it out to see how it works with HomeKit.



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The True Definition of Luck: aka “The Frank Wilson Theory”

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

keith krach

What Matters Most is Luck. Not!

During my battle-tested career, I have always heard, “Krach, you are just so lucky.” I look down at the ground and shrug my shoulders and say, “Yah, I guess I’m just lucky” or, “I was just at right place, right time.”

I am certainly blessed. Born into a loving family, growing up in the heartland of this great country in a simpler time and humble manner. I learned to appreciate the value of hard work and I grew up with an earnest desire to make a difference in the world.  I’ve spent a lot of time in my life thinking about the concept of luck and what that word really means. Is it flipping a coin at a fork in the road or being dealt the right card at the right moment? Whether you choose to believe it’s karma or a blessing, there are divine moments that protect and shape us. But most of the time, I believe that we make our own luck.  Luck is self-propelling and a magic that we can generate and magnify. I believe the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The harder you work, the luckier you get.  I call it the Frank Wilson Theory.

When Frank Wilson joined our basketball team in 7th grade, I thought he was the luckiest guy I had ever met. He immediately emerged as the star of our squad, scoring on average a sparkling 18 points a game. I was baffled though. He could barely jump, let alone dribble, and his jump shot was extremely ugly (sorry, Frank). He was a lefty and he would awkwardly short-arm the ball toward the hoop. I just couldn’t understand how this guy could score so many points. I figured he was just lucky.

Then one day, the father of one of our teammates brought a 16-millimeter video camera to shoot one of our games. We played well and won the game, thanks to another game-winning shot from Frank. The next day at practice, the coach invited us all to watch the tape of the game. While everyone else followed the action of the game, I kept my eyes focused on Frank the entire time. As the tape played, it hit me like lightning. What Frank could do better than all of us was what he did when he didn’t have the ball. The act of getting in the right position at the right time was what mattered most. He would use his smallish frame to duck around picks and slide into open positions just under the hoop and in the corners where, when someone passed the ball, he could hit his little duck-shot with perfect accuracy.

I began to see Frank in a new light. I also began to watch him at practice. While the rest of the team was lobbing up half-court trick shots and goofing around, there was Frank running drills, by himself. What I realized, it wasn’t that Frank wasn’t lucky when it came to playing basketball—he was prepared. When the opportunity presented itself, Frank was right there, ready to make his own “luck.” That was how Frank taught me a profound lesson:

What matters most in life is what you do when nobody is looking.

Thanks to Frank, I now have a deep conviction of the importance of preparation and constantly sharpening the saw. One of the most tangible examples I can share relates to how I approach public speaking. Whether it’s for a commencement address or a quick TV appearance that will generate a mere sound bite, I will spend hours preparing for a delivery that will take just a few minutes. There have been times when my team has witnessed me spend an entire 90-minute car ride getting ready for a short 3-minute after-dinner speech. I prepare for any question that could come my way. People might applaud me for my great improvisational speaking skills without realizing how much work actually went into making it look casual and spontaneous. So if it looks like I put my foot in my mouth, there is a chance that I meant to put it there.

Similarly, anytime I go to a conference or attend an event, I take the time to memorize the LinkedIn profile of the attendees. There is no better way to meaningfully connect than jumping to the heart of finding something in common with people you “just happened” to meet. I’m fairly confident that if Dale Carnegie were still around to write an update to his classic book How To Win Friends And Influence People, he would have certainly included a chapter on memorizing not just names, but LinkedIn profiles as well (you’re welcome, LinkedIn.)

As Thomas Edison so aptly put it: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” So, Frank, if you are reading this, I’m sorry I ever thought you were lucky. Your example taught me one of the greatest lessons in life—what matters most is what you do when nobody is looking—and that is a wisdom that I have shared with many.  So Frank, wherever you are in this world, I thank you. And I wish you all the luck in the world, knowing full well you don’t need it.

The post The True Definition of Luck: aka “The Frank Wilson Theory” appeared first on ReadWrite.


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TrueDepth camera in iPhone X used to capture facial animations for ‘The Walking Dead: Our World’

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

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Next Games’ upcoming ARKit title "The Walking Dead: Our World" will reportedly use rotoscoped facial animations, captured inexpensively using the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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