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Jonah Hill says he showed only one movie to his cast to prepare them for 'Mid90s,' his directorial debut

Jonah Hill had his "Mid90s" cast of kid actors and non-professionals watch the 2006 indie movie, "This Is England," before they started production. Hill wanted to show them that even kids can give gripping performances. "This Is England" looks at a teen finding acceptance from a group of skinheads. Hill was also inspired by another English movie, "Fish Tank."

 

One of the main highlights from Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “Mid90s” (in select theaters Friday), is the authentic performances he gets out of his cast. Hill uses a mix of kid actors and non-professionals to depict a group of teen skateboarders who befriend a 13-year-old and introduce him into their world of sick skate moves and even sicker jokes they throw at one another.

And though Hill will admit the cast watched mostly skate videos to get in tune with the decade the story is set in, there was one movie he required all of them to watch.


Mysterious big data company Palantir is reportedly looking at an IPO — and could see a valuation of $41 billion

Palantir, a secretive data analytics company cofounded by Peter Thiel, is in talks about going public in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bankers have reportedly valued the company as high at $41 billion — twice its last private valuation. Palantir, which was founded in 2003, is known for its super-secretive, but high-profile big data work with entities including the US government.

Palantir, a secretive data-mining company co-founded by Peter Thiel, is looking to go public in a massive IPO that could take place in the second half of 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Stephen Hawking feared intelligent machines could destroy humans with weapons 'we cannot even understand'

Stephen Hawking, who died earlier this year, wrote a collection of essays that were released on Tuesday.  The book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, includes a chapter on the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.  Hawking wrote that superhuman intelligence could manipulate financial markets, human leaders, and more without our control. People should invest more in researching the potential effects of artificial intelligence in order to prevent losing control of machines, Hawking said.

Machines with superhuman intelligence have the potential to subdue humans with weapons that "we cannot even understand," Stephen Hawking wrote in a posthumous collection of essays released Tuesday.

The book,


Microsoft fired the guy overseeing its NFL partnership for allegedly scalping company Super Bowl tickets and trying to fake $1.4 million in invoices (MSFT)

A federal grand jury has indicted Microsoft's former director of Sports Marketing and Alliances for allegedly trying to create fake invoices for up to $1.4 million, according to the DOJ. The indictment alleges that Jeff Tran tried to route fake invoices through two Microsoft vendors and that he scalped Super Bowl tickets Microsoft acquired through its Surface tablet partnership with the NFL. Tran was one of the people responsible for Microsoft's relationship with the NFL.

A federal grand jury has indicted Microsoft's former director of Sports Marketing and Alliances Jeff Tran for allegedly trying to create more than $1.4 million in fake invoices, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday.


Apple reimagined its iconic logo in dozens of ways for its upcoming iPad event — here are all of the creative and cool designs (AAPL)

Apple has sent out invites to the media for its October 30 launch event, where the tech giant is expected to reveal new iPads and more.

Recipients quickly took to social media to show off their invitations, which all bear the phrase, "There's more in the making." It seems Apple has created dozens of unique designs of its eponymous logo for the invitations, all with a creative twist (which perhaps hints at a focus on iPads and the Apple Pencil at this year's event). 

Someone has already created an animation of a bunch of the invitations:


The 10 most popular TV shows of the year so far, according to Nielsen ratings

Several of the most popular TV series this year have been established favorites like "The Big Bang Theory," "The Voice," and "NCIS."

But the surprise hit of the year is ABC's reboot of "Roseanne," a program that drew many millions of viewers each week along with controversy from its firebrand, Trump-supporting lead, Roseanne Barr. That controversy ultimately led to the show's cancellation.

The "Roseanne" spin-off, "The Conners," premiered this week to 10.5 million viewers. That's a far cry from the "Roseanne" premiere in March, which attracted 18 million viewers, but it's still a hit for ABC.

To find out which shows were the most popular this year so far, Nielsen estimated the average number of US viewers tuning in to regularly scheduled programming.


This card-sized smartphone may be world's thinnest and lightest ever made

While Apple, Google and other major handset makers are packing smartphones with ever more bells and whistles, a Japanese company is releasing a phone that latches onto another trend: the rise of the smaller, simpler smartphone.

NTT Docomo is scheduled to release a phone in November that they claim is the world's thinnest and lightest smartphone ever made, and is designed as a "lite" version with only basic smartphone capabilities.

But this isn't even first phone produced this year that prides itself on being so tiny. Here's how NTT Docomo's Card Keitai KY-01L stacks up against other smartphones that aim to be more ultra-mobile and simplistic than ever.

NTT Docomo says its phone is the "world's thinnest" smartphone, and is the size of a credit card.

The


Uber is reportedly making a new service to provide short-term jobs in security, hospitality, and more

Uber is reportedly developing a new service that would provide short-term jobs in professions like security and hospitality. It would be a major expansion for the California tech company, and comes as the company gears up for an IPO. But it is also likely to draw criticism from labor activists, who have previously attacked Uber over how it treats its workers.

Uber has transformed the global taxi industry — and now it's eyeing up other professions.

According to a report from The Financial Times on Thursday, citing "people familiar with the matter," the California transportation giant is quietly building out a new business unit that would connect job-seekers to short-term roles like "waiters and security guards."


The 19 biggest horror movies of all time, ranked by how much money they made at the US box office

Halloween is just around the corner, and the latest "Halloween" movie is set to be a box-office smash this weekend. It's just the latest movie to rake in big bucks for the horror genre, following the success of last year's "Get Out" and "It," and this year's "A Quiet Place" and "The Nun."

The genre seems to be the only one that is consistently reliable at the box office (besides superhero blockbusters, of course). The biggest horror movies even stretch back to the 1970s. 


This CEO just got millions of dollars in funding to help you automate the most boring and mundane parts of your life

Invisible allows people to outsource their most repetitive work and daily tasks, with prices starting at $10/hour.  Invisible customers save valuable time by only having one point of contact with the company, who then manages a team of workers on their behalf.  On Thursday, Invisible announced that it has raised a $2.6 million seed round of funding, with Zynga founder Mark Pincus as a notable angel investor.  Invisible CEO Francis Pedraza is also excited about the other side of the marketplace he's building which helps create tech jobs for people around the world. 

What would happen if Elon Musk had more time in his day? Would he start another company? 

It's a question that Invisible CEO and co-founder Francis Pedraza thinks about often.