Quick read

Barack Obama refused to help save a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch about racial profiling

The Hollywood Reporter has an excerpt from the updated edition of Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live. Much of the piece focuses on politics — of Hillary Clinton's "entitlement" or the reaction to impressions like Sarah Palin and George W. Bush. But the most interesting part has to be Robert Smigel describing a sketch he wrote in 2007 that NBC wouldn't let on the air — one that Executive Producer Lorne Michaels fought so hard for that he took it to then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama in the hopes he'd like it:

"Obama said, 'It's funny, but no, I don't think so.'" Lorne Michaels

Samsung's first Nook tablet arrives at Barnes & Noble today for $179

Samsung is becoming Barnes & Noble's first partner to create a Nook-branded tablet today with the unveiling and release of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. The name is a mouthful, but it basically means that the tablet is a rebranded version of Samsung's existing Galaxy Tab 4 tablet — part of its low-end line — that's now been customized with some Nook software. The tablet has a 7-inch, 1280 x 800...

Hardly the Nook tablet of old

SeaWorld trainers will not be able to swim with killer whales again

SeaWorld has decided not to appeal several citations from OSHA that it received after the 2010 drowning of a trainer who was swimming with a killer whale. The Associated Press reports that, as a result, SeaWorld trainers will not be able to swim with killer whales during shows in the future, which could help to remove some criticism from the park. SeaWorld's initial appeal of the citations was rejected back in April, and it's been keeping trainers out of the water since before then because of OSHA.

Movie Review

'The Zero Theorem' review: nothing for everyone

Not long into The Zero Theorem, we see our bald hero, Qohen Lethe (Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained) step out of his dour church home and into the bright, garish street. He’s assaulted with a visual and auditory parade. There’s an advertisement that follows us down the street, like a pop-up ad that you can’t quite find the close button for. A sign for the Church of Batman the Redeemer passes in and out of view as citizens of this dilapidated future (or alternate present) city chatter in bright plastic jackets. Eventually he makes his way to his job, which involves hidden hands trading liquid vials of computer data while Qohen pedals...

Verge Hack Week 2014

The 12-day 'Simpsons' marathon starts tomorrow (and so do our reviews)

Hey! Just a quick reminder that FXX's 12-day Simpsons marathon begins tomorrow at 10AM ET... and a thank you to everyone who signed up to be a part of our bizarre "Verge community reviews The Simpsons" experiment. I've sent out confirmations to everyone participating in the first two days — that's almost four seasons!

Do d-do Do-do d-do d-d-d-d-do 'The Simpsons' theme song (sort of)
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Quick read

George W. Bush takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Here is former president George W. Bush in a little skit that perfectly captures every possible feeling about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, from "this is weird and undignified and just donating is better" to "having ice water poured on people is hilarious" to "revenge."

Norway may have arrested its first drunk Segway driver

Norway arrested what may be the country’s first drunk Segway driver, after legalizing the vehicles a month ago. The man was arrested in Oslo after witnesses reported that he was behaving strangely and struggling to balance on his two-wheeled...

Skype finally fixes notifications

Skype! Remember Skype? Good old Skype. It was dominant, powerful, a friend that only let you down at most twice or three times per day. Then the market was suddenly flooded with...

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  • Features


Review

This new cheap smartphone from China is actually pretty good

Like Huawei, Lenovo, Mi, and many other Chinese phone makers, ZTE isn't exactly a well-known name here in the US. Though it has been selling phones here for years, many times they are rebranded by carriers. And most of them are low-end prepaid...

Patent troll drops suit against Adam Carolla after discovering podcasts don't make any money

Patent trolls have a simple business model: they collect broad patents that appear to cover some part of an industry, and then they sue everyone, hoping that most companies will choose to pay a settlement over the hassle and cost of a lawsuit.

That's what Personal Audio did with podcasters: the company has a patent that appears to cover distributing podcasts over the internet, and it began filing lawsuits against several popular podcasters, including Adam Carolla and How Stuff Works. There...




Families can now ask Twitter to remove images of their dead loved ones

Twitter will now allow family members or authorized individuals to request that certain pictures and videos of deceased individuals are removed from the social networking service. As clarified in a policy update, Twitter says it will consider media removal requests sent to privacy@twitter.com in order to respect the wishes of loved ones of the deceased, "from when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death."

The move comes a week after Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda...


Watch This

'Breaking Bad' stars reunite to run a seedy pawn shop for Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are back together, but they're not quite in their iconic roles as Breaking Bad's Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. The duo appear alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus, once of Seinfeld, now starring in Veep, for an affectionate parody of shows such as Pawn Stars that casts the Breaking Bad actors as owners of seedy pawn shop "Barely Legal Pawn." Dreyfus — apparently keen to earn money to buy her own island — tries to convince Cranston and Paul to buy her Emmy, before...


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