Why is BuzzFeed selling a hot plate? Because it sucks to be a media company right now.

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It’s one thing to pivot to video, it’s quite another to pivot to kitchenware.

The former, video, has become a major trend and a dark, running joke in the media world. As media outlets continue to struggle to justify the economics of the digital world, video beckons as a better option. 

BuzzFeed does plenty of video, but for arguably the biggest and most experimental media startup, that’s not enough. The company has been experimenting with launching products and on Thursday revealed its most aggressive move yet—a Tasty-branded smartphone-connected hot plate. 

Tasty is BuzzFeed’s food brand, and it’s one of the company’s biggest bright spots. The brand is huge online, but has already translated into a real-world success with its bestselling cookbook. Read more…

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UK company sold spy tools to the repressive governments battling the ‘Arab Spring’

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A UK company sold surveillance tools to authoritarian governments that could be used to stamp out signs of dissent.  

BAE Systems, according to an investigation conducted by the BBC and the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information, began shopping surveillance tools to governments in the Middle East after they bought a Danish company called ETI, which built a surveillance system known as «Evident.» 

That purchase happened in January 2011, around the same time of popular uprisings in several Middle Eastern nations that came to be collectively known as the «Arab Spring.» 

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David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television

David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television

David Goyer and Eliza Dushku developing The Black Company books for television

IM Global Television has announced development on The Black Company, an adaptation of Glen Cook’s books, a fantasy series with Eliza Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions and David Goyer’s Phantom Four.

Boston Diva Productions optioned the ten-book epic action fantasy series, as well as the forthcoming book, Port of Shadows, which falls between Book 1 and 2 in the series and will be published by Tor Books in 2018. Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will portray the pivotal role of the dark sorceress, “The Lady.” Under IM Global Television’s first-look deal, David S. Goyer (Da Vinci’s Demons, Flash Forward) will executive produce along with Kevin Turen (Birth of a Nation, All Is Lost, Arbitrage). Also on board as executive producers through their Boston Diva company are Dushku, Nate Dushku, and Ami Lourie, along with Sam Maydew (Ghetto Klown) of Silver Lining Entertainment.

IM Global Television President Mark Stern said, “Glen Cook’s books turn the traditional fantasy adventure tropes on their ear with wry, dimensional characters and a modern sensibility. We’re excited to explore this intricate and exciting world for television with David and Kevin along with Eliza, Nate, Ami and Sam.”

Dushku added, “’The Black Company’ is vast in scope yet remains fundamentally relevant through the morally ambiguous choices it presents at every turn. We are excited to bring Glen Cook’s classic story to life with Mark and David, luminaries in the cinematic pursuit of science fiction and epic fantasy, who will inevitably assemble poignant characters embroiled in jaw-dropping action.”

The series follows the exploits of the Black Company, an elite mercenary unit that carries out the often nefarious deeds of the highest bidder across a Tolkeinesque landscape. When these hard-bitten men discover the prophecy that the embodiment of good has been reborn, they must re-examine their loyalties. “The Lady,” who rules over the Northern Empire, uses the Black Company to further her domination of a power structure rife with usurpers. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

The book series began with The Black Company in 1984 with Cook having since published eight additional novels, a spin-off, several short stories, and with two more books forthcoming.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The post David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

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This weed company grows pot for your specific moods

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Green Crack. Cat Piss. Blueberry Lambsbread. Alaskan Thunder Fuck.

Sure, names of cannabis strain can be fun, but they’re also ridiculous, confusing, and don’t usually offer much insight on their effects. 

Breaking away from ridiculous strain names, cannabis growers Canndescent created its own classification system by grouping strains into five different categories: Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect, and Charge. 

The goal? Help the consumer understand how this weed will effect them, and give them the ability to pick out different strains on their own for different situations. Read more…

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Tech company offers $10,000 to ‘de-locate’ out of San Francisco

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San Francisco is the best — and not just because I’m a native to the city by the bay. It’s the center of tech, innovation, art and creativity. Don’t forget its geographic beauty and easy access to world-class wine, food and nature.

But even I have to acknowledge that my hometown and surrounding area, famously known for its startups and giant Silicon Valley companies, is also an unsustainable rental market.

Because it’s so expensive to settle down here, one tech company is taking a new approach to the high cost of living. Zapier, an apps integration and automation company, is offering its employees $ 10,000 to leave. Read more…

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The scents in your body wash, chicken stock and canned drink all comes from one company

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What’s the first thing you do upon waking up?

If your answer’s brushing your teeth or taking a shower, chances are you’re already using a product developed by Givaudan.

The Swiss firm is the world’s largest player in the flavour and fragrance industries. It develops scents and flavours across food products as well as household items.

That means it’s probably in the body wash you use, or in that can of soda you’re drinking.

The company estimates that the average person comes into contact with a scent it’s developed about 10 times a day — yet most of us have never heard of it. Read more…

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Be the Production Company You Want to See in the World

British company Blonde to Black Pictures breaks the paradigm with their new feature ‘Buttercup Bill’.

[Editor’s Note: No Film School asked Seed&Spark to interview the creators of a recent S&S release about steps they took on their path to distribution.]

When some people don’t like what’s happening in their world (or in their profession), they tweet about it. Others take action.

Emma Comley and Sadie Frost saw a sore lack of female producers in the industry, so they stepped up to fill the gap. With Blonde to Black Pictures, they’re not just talking the talk; they’re walking onto set, side by side, with strength. With their latest film, Buttercup Bill, they also put power in the hands of a female writing and directing duo, Remy Bennett and Émilie Richard-Froozan. Turns out it was a recipe for success.

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Trump’s FCC wants to let your cable company sell your data, because who cares about privacy?

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Under President Donald Trump, it seems like every department in the executive branch is racing to see who can undo regulations the fastest. And at the FCC? That means negotiating with cable companies about your data. 

Newly-installed Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is working on stopping privacy rules from the it-feels-like-oh-so-long-ago Obama era, which require internet providers to get your explicit permission before selling or sharing your information, Business Insider reported

The rules were approved in October, and went into partial effect in January. But lucky for the Trump FCC, a provision requiring internet providers to «engage in reasonable data security practices» doesn’t take effect until March 2.  Read more…

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