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Cinematic train wreck, “The Room”, is now on YouTube in its entirety

The Room  has been ranked with Plan 9 From Outer Space  as a strong contender for the “best” worst movie ever made — and it’s now available in its entirety on YouTube . Written, directed, and starring Tommy Wiseau, The Room belongs in the same category as Plan 9 , and Coven (which was immortalized in the 1999 documentary American Movie ) as a paean to moviemaking by people who have no idea how to make a movie. The combination of passion and ineptitude is what made The Room a cult classic after its release, and what made The Disaster Artist  — the James Franco film it inspired so compelling ( Ed Wood , the biopic from Tim Burton about the director behind Plan 9 is also amazing). Writer, actor, and director Tommy Wiseau in a still from “The Room” In “The Room” Wiseau plays Johnny, an investment banker caught in a bizarre love triangle with his best friend, Mark, played by Greg Sestero, and his fiancee, Lisa, played by Juliette Danielle. It was Sestero’s book on the making of the film, “The Disaster Artist”, that inspired the eponymous movie directed by Franco and starring his brother Dave and Seth Rogen. According to The Daily Dot ,  Sestero and Wiseau are now promoting a straight-to-digital follow-up to their feature debut — a two-part black comedy called “ Best F(r)iends” . Viewers might just be better off watching the original contender for best worst movies,  Plan 9, which is also available on YouTube (and below).  

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Latvian hacker sentenced to 14 years in prison for creating and running Scan4You service that allowed malware authors to check the detection rates of…

Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet : Latvian hacker sentenced to 14 years in prison for creating and running Scan4You service that allowed malware authors to check the detection rates of their code   —  Ruslan Bondars run a “VirusTotal-for-crooks” operation from 2009 to 2017.  —  Ruslan Bondars, a 37-year-old man from Latvia …

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Comcast outbids Fox in $40B battle for Sky

Comcast has outbid Twenty-First Century Fox for the UK’s Sky, a final step in what’s been a years-long takeover battle between the two media conglomerates. Comcast’s final offer gives Sky a roughly $39 billion price tag. The acquisition of Sky, which has 23 million subscribers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, will give Comcast a much stronger foothold in the international market and much-needed ammo to compete with Amazon and Netflix in the streaming wars. Both companies upped their offers for Sky at the settlement auction Saturday, with Comcast offering £17.28 per Sky ordinary share and Fox offering £15.67 per share. Comcast initially priced Sky’s shares at £14.75 apiece. Fox’s original offer was £14 per share. Both companies will reveal their revised bids on Monday. Sky’s board will make its official recommendation by October 11. Sky operates several brands including Sky News, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema. Comcast drops its pursuit of Fox, making way for Disney acquisition

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Corporate venture investment climbs higher throughout 2018

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News . More posts by this contributor In VC fund creation, have we passed the peak? Supergiant VC rounds aren’t just raised in China Many corporations are pinning their futures on their venture investment portfolios. If you can’t beat startups at the innovation game, go into business with them as financial partners. Though many technology companies have robust venture investment initiatives— Alphabet’s venture funding universe  and  Intel Capital ’s prolific approach to startup investment come to mind—other corporations are just now doubling down on venture investments. Over the past several months, several big corporations committed additional capital to corporate investments. For example, defense firm  Lockheed Martin added  an additional $200 million  to its in-house venture group back in June. Duck-represented insurance firm  Aflac  just bumped its corporate venture fund  from $100 million to $250 million , and  Cigna  lust  launched a $250 million fund of its own. This is to say nothing of financial vehicles like  SoftBank ’s  truly enormous Vision Fund , into which the Japanese telecom giant invested $28 billion of its own capital. And 2018 is on track to set a record for U.S. corporate involvement in venture deals. We come to this conclusion after analyzing corporate venture investment patterns of the top 100 publicly traded, U.S.-based companies (as ranked by market capitalizations at time of writing). The chart below shows that investing activity, broken out by stage, for each year since 2007. A few things stick out in this chart. The number of rounds these big corporations invest in is on track to set a new record in 2018

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Lately, the @Twitter account has interacted more playfully with users; Twitter says it’s part of an effort to promote healthy conversations on the…

Casey Newton / The Interface : Lately, the @Twitter account has interacted more playfully with users; Twitter says it's part of an effort to promote healthy conversations on the platform   —  On Friday morning, Twitter posted a single word to its Twitter account: “The.”  Average users began replying, telling a story one word at a time.

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Singapore is the crypto sandbox that Asia needs

Singapore Blockchain Week happened this past week. While there have been a few announcements from companies, some of the most interesting updates have come from regulators, and specifically, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The financial regulator openly discussed its views on cryptocurrency and plans to develop blockchain technology locally. For those who are unfamiliar, Singapore historically has been a financial hub in Southeast Asia, but now has also gradually become the crypto hub of Asia. Compared to the rest of Asia and the rest of the world, the regulators in Singapore are well-informed and more transparent about their views on blockchain and cryptocurrency. While regulatory uncertainties still loom over Korea and Japan, in Southeast Asia, the MAS has already released its opinion “ A Guide to Digital Token Offering ” that illustrates the application of securities laws to digital token offerings and issuances. Singaporean regulators have arguably been pioneering economic and regulatory standards in Asia since the early days of the country’s founding by Lee Kuan Yew in 1965 . Singapore is the first stop for foreign companies in crypto In the past,  I’ve said that Thailand is one of the most interesting countries in crypto in Southeast Asia.  Nonetheless, for any Western or foreign company looking to establish a footing in Asia, or even for any local company in any Asian country looking to establish a presence outside of their own country, Singapore should be the first stop. It has become the go-to crypto sandbox of Asia. There are a number of companies all over Asia, as well as in the West, that have already made moves into the country. And the types of cryptocurrency projects and exchanges that go to Singapore vary widely. A few months ago, a Korean team called MVL introduced Tada, or the equivalent of  “Uber” on the blockchain, in Singapore . Tada is an on-demand car sharing service that utilizes MVL’s technology. The Tada app is built on MVL’s blockchain ecosystem, which is specifically designed to serve the automotive industry, adjacent service industries, and their customers. In this case, MVL was looking to test out its blockchain projects in a progressive, friendly jurisdiction outside of Korea, but still close enough to its headquarters. Singapore fulfilled most of these requirements. Relatedly, Didi, China’s ride-sharing company, has also looked to build out its own blockchain-based ride-sharing program , called VVgo. VVgo’s launch is pending, and its home is intended to be in Toronto, Singapore, Hong Kong or San Francisco. Given Singapore’s geographic proximity and the transparency of its regulators, it would likely be a good testing ground for Didi as well.

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Fintech startups: Apply to exhibit for free as a TC Top Pick at Disrupt Berlin 2018

Fintech promises to be one of the hottest topics at Disrupt Berlin 2018 , and you can take that to the bank  —  see what we did there? On 29-30 November thousands of attendees will descend on Berlin, and what better way to get your fintech business in front of them than to exhibit in Startup Alley ? Oh wait, we know a better way — apply to be a TechCrunch Top Pick and exhibit at Disrupt Berlin for FREE! Our highly discerning editors will review every application and choose up to five of the absolute best early-stage fintech startups. Each TC Top Pick receives one free  Startup Alley Exhibitor Package along with prime real estate in Startup Alley where they can strut their stuff in front of influential technologists and investors, potential collaborators and customers. It’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss, so don’t wait —  apply before the 28 September deadline. Here’s what you get with a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package. One-day exhibit space Three Disrupt Berlin Founder Passes Access to  CrunchMatch  (our free investor-to-startup matching platform) Access to the Disrupt press list A chance to be selected as one of the  Startup Battlefield  Wild Card companies (and you might even compete in our $50,000 startup-pitch competition) Exhibiting in Startup Alley can help you build connections and relationships you might not otherwise make. Consider Zeroqode, a company that exhibited in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2017. Startup Alley attendees chose Zeroqode as a Wild Card company on day three, which earned them a five-minute interview with TechCrunch editor John Biggs on the Startup Alley Showcase Stage. What’s more, TechCrunch shot that interview and promoted it, along with an article penned by Biggs, across its social media platforms. Here’s what Vlad Larin, the company’s co-founder, had to say about the experience. “Exhibiting in Startup Alley was a massively positive experience. It gave us the chance to show our technology to the world and have meaningful conversations with investors, accelerators, incubators, solo founders and developers. The publicity we received from the on-stage interview brought a lot of people to our website. We had a huge spike in traffic, and we’re still feeling the positive business effects of that interview.” You’ll also have the opportunity to hear some of Europe’s fintech movers and shakers speak from the Main Stage. People like Anne Boden , the founder and CEO of Starling Bank and Ricky Knox, the CEO and co-founder of Tandem Bank

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