Everything We Know About Westworld Season 2

Westworld hasn’t been on our screens since December 2016, which has given us a lot of time to speculate about what the HBO hit might have in store for us during Season 2. Notoriously spoiler-averse showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have kept plot details for the sophomore season locked up tight, but with the promise that the series will return in Spring 2018, it won’t be long before we’ll have a whole new set of mysteries and theories to obsess over.

In the meantime, here’s everything we know about Westworld Season 2 so far — and if you bookmark this page, we’ll update with the latest intel as it materializes.

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Netflix’s Altered Carbon: 5 Things to Know Before You Binge

Netflix’s Altered Carbon can be an unforgiving place when it comes to the wide assortment of new phrases and tech you’re going to have to learn. Fortunately, the show makes it worth the effort to learn its cyberpunk-lingo — to find out why check out our Season 1 review here.

Altered Carbon is set over 300 years in the future and follows ex-soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) as he attempts to solve the murder of a wealthy individual, named Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy). In this futuristic dystopia, the ability to live forever is within reach thanks to a technology known as a Cortical Stack. Now that’s a term you don’t hear every day, so in order to get better acquainted with this universe, here are 5 things to know that will make you an Altered Carbon aficionado before you start your binge on February 2nd.

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Xbox One X Helps Boost Hardware But Game Sales Fall In Microsoft’s Latest Quarter

Microsoft today reported earnings for its latest quarter ended December 31–and the news is good for the company’s Xbox gaming division. Total revenue rose by $303 million (or 8 percent) to $3.9 billion. The uptick in sales was driven in part by the launch of the Xbox One X in November. Microsoft has not disclosed a sales number for the console but it did sale the Xbox One X launch helped Xbox hardware revenue rise 14 percent.

Xbox games also sold well during the quarter, with software and services revenue jumping by 4 percent. This growth was attributed in part to better Xbox Live revenue, but offset in part by lower game sales due compared to the same period last year.

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Xbox software and services combined revenue increased 4%, primarily due to Xbox Live revenue growth. However, this was offset in part by a decrease in game sales revenue compared to the same period last year.

Microsoft also updated the latest Xbox Live active user figures; during the quarter, Microsoft recorded 59 million Xbox Live active users; this covers Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows PC, and other devices. This is up nicely from 55 million during the same period last year. An “active” user is someone who has logged into Xbox Live over the past 30 days.

Overall, across all divisions, Microsoft reported revenue of $28.9 billion for the quarter, which is up 12 percent. Operating income came in at $8.7 billion, an increase of 12 percent.

Microsoft is holding an earnings call right now where it will discuss these results and answer questions from analysts. We’ll report back with more information if anything noteworthy is discussed.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Marvel Movie Boss Weighs In On When X-Men Will Join The Cinematic Universe

When rumors started swirling that the Walt Disney Company was considering buying 21st Century Fox–and with it, the movie rights to the X-Men franchise–many Marvel Cinematic Universe fans could barely contain their excitement. At long last, the potential of integrating the X-Men into the MCU seemed possible.

Now with the acquisition actually happening, you might be wondering about the likelihood of Wolverine or Professor X showing up in Avengers: Infinity War as a special surprise. According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, though, fans shouldn’t hold their breath.

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Speaking to Vulture, Feige claims that the plans for the next several movies are already in motion, and the deal between Disney and Fox isn’t even finalized at this point. With that in mind, his team hasn’t even started figuring out where any new characters would fit into the MCU. “We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced,” he says. “If and when the deal actually happens, we’ll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do.”

As it stands, Feige is putting his attention on the next five MCU films, which will take the company through the middle of 2019 and the end of Phase Three. After that, following the fourth Avengers movie, it’s expected that there will be some major changes to the franchise of films. While nothing has been officially stated, some of the MCU’s stars are believed to be moving on.

That’s the major finishing line Marvel Studios is looking to cross at this point, as Feige says, “I’m hoping to deliver on everything we’ve promised thus far.”

Still, should the acquisition become finalized, weaving the X-Men into the MCU is bound to happen. When it does, you can likely expect Marvel to treat it with as much care as it does the rest of its movie superheroes.

“For years, predating the history of Marvel Studios itself, people asked me about superhero fatigue and if it was a fad or a phase,” Feige says. “I say, if they’re all different, if they’re all special, nobody will get tired of these things before we at Marvel Studios will, since we live and breathe these things 24 hours a day. You make films like Thor: Ragnarok, like [Spider-Man:]Homecoming, like Guardians of the Galaxy, certainly like [Black] Panther, and the upcoming Infinity War to keep it interesting and change it up. And we will continue to do that.”

The next MCU movie, Black Panther, hits theaters on February 16. Meanwhile, Deadpool 2 is the next film in the X-Men franchise heading to the big screen. It premieres on May 18.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Monster Energy Vice President Accused Of Sexual Harassment Resigns

John Kenneally, a Monster Energy vice president accused of sexually harassing two different women at the company, has resigned after HuffPost published details of his behavior last week.

Yet the company is standing by two other men also embroiled in misconduct accusations and related lawsuits. The company’s head of music marketing, Brent Hamilton, is awaiting trial on felony charges for allegedly strangling his ex-girlfriend. Phillip Deitrich, another manager, stands accused of bullying a female subordinate in front of her male colleagues and sabotaging her ability to work.

Both men still work at Monster. The female Monster employees involved lost their jobs.

Kenneally, a 60 year-old Atlanta-based executive named in two sexual discrimination lawsuits filed last year against the drinkmaker, was gone by Friday, according to one current and one former employee at Monster Energy. A spokesman for Monster would only confirm that the company “accepted his resignation,” meaning it didn’t implore him to stay.

His interim replacement is Andrew Wilkinson, another executive at Monster, the company confirmed. A former female employee’s lawsuit describes Wilkinson as enabling Kenneally’s behavior.

During his time at Monster, Kenneally started up a romance with a colleague, Page Zeringue, convincing her to take a promotion working for him. When their relationship soured, he turned abusive, sending her lengthy text messages in which he called her a “bitch” and a “whore” and once made a racially charged comment about “black dicks.” He eventually helped engineer Zeringue’s firing, according to her lawsuit.

HuffPost published those texts, shocking many current and former employees, who said they hadn’t been aware of the extent of Kenneally’s misconduct. 

Zeringue, who remains unemployed, was only slightly mollified by the news.

“This is only a small step towards greater justice,” Zeringue told HuffPost in an email. “John was enabled by the founders of Monster ― Rodney Sacks and Hilton Schlosberg ― who routinely turned a blind eye to internal abuse while people such as us lost our jobs, life savings, and our futures.”

A Monster spokesman disputed some of Zeringue’s claims when HuffPost reached him on Wednesday. “Messrs. Sacks and Schlosberg,” the spokesman said in a statement, “Take these issues seriously.”

“Monster Energy has zero-tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind,” the company said in a statement to HuffPost. “If the company’s discrimination and harassment policies are violated, appropriate action is taken, up to and including termination of employment.”

“It is also worth noting that Mr. Kenneally’s resignation was accepted by the Company,” the statement says.

Kenneally was on paid leave pending an internal investigation after HuffPost contacted Monster earlier this month about its forthcoming article. 

The company, which is partly owned by Coca-Cola, also said the lawsuits women filed against Monster ― five in total ― are unrelated and without merit.

A spokesman for Coca-Cola declined to comment on these cases. He did say that the company recently reminded its own employees of its policies on harassment and discrimination and its commitment to not retaliating if someone comes forward to report abuse.

The departure of a single man accused of misconduct hardly suggests a culture shift at Monster, a drink company that markets primarily to men, promotes itself with “Girls” dressed in skimpy outfits, makes a beverage called Assault and once produced a Monster-branded condom labeled “unleash the beast.”

It’s notable that the company has not chosen to discipline the other men named in these suits.

Fran Pulizzi, a former business development manager at the company who also sued Monster over Kenneally’s behavior, alleged in her own lawsuit that Kenneally’s interim replacement, Wilkinson, helped enable Keneally’s misconduct.

Pulizzi became the target of vicious retaliation after she reported Kenneally’s actions to Monster’s human resources department, according to her lawsuit, which said that Kenneally directed colleagues to stop working with her and addressed her in abusive and derogatory ways. Pulizzi told HuffPost that Keneally also spread harmful rumors about her personal life.

Wilkinson was Pulizzi’s direct supervisor for a few months while this retaliation was ongoing, her suit says. And though he was initially sympathetic to her situation, something quickly changed, according to Pulizzi’s lawsuit. Wilkinson stopped returning her calls and emails, she told HuffPost. He also gave Pulizzi a poor performance review after working with her for only a few months, possibly at Kenneally’s urging, according to the suit.

It’s upsetting that the company replaced one man, credibly accused of sexual harassment, with another man who enabled that behavior, Pulizzi told HuffPost.

“It tells me nothing’s changed at Monster,” she said.

Still, Pulizzi and Zeringue are hopeful that by speaking up about their experiences, something will change.

“In the last week, we have heard from scores of Monster employees who are too afraid to speak up,” Zeringue said.  “We hope that our continued attempt to seek justice ― will help alleviate their fears.”

Do you have a story about harassment or discrimination that you’d like to share? Email: emily.peck@huffpost.com

The Best Anime To Watch On Netflix

More and more anime, as well as anime-inspired movies and series, are making their way to Netflix. Originals like Castlevania and the live-action Death Note movie join classic series and upcoming ones on the service, and it can be tricky to know which ones you should binge and which you should let be.

While there’s a lot of great anime on Netflix, there are some you should prioritize. Click forward to see all the best series you can stream right now.

Intel and AMD Say Their Next CPUs Will Not Have Spectre And Meltdown Security Issues

Ever since Google’s Project Zero unveiled security issues inherent in CPUs from Intel and AMD (to some extent), manufacturers have been scrambling to patch up the problem software-side. These mitigations have had varying degrees of success; Microsoft administered an emergency Windows security update, while Intel had to retract an early version of its own patch. As Intel and AMD look toward the future, both companies’ CEOs have promised to take care of Spectre/Meltdown on hardware level with their next generations of processors.

During an investors conference call, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated, “We’re working to create silicon-based changes to future products that will directly address the Spectre and Meltdown threats in hardware. And those products will begin appearing later this year.” Krzanich also went on to say that the vulnerabilities won’t impact sales. No details were given as to which “future products” he was referencing, but it’s rumored that Cannon Lake or Ice Lake (9th generation) could be out by the end of the year, which would fit the time frame Krzanich referenced.

On AMD’s side, CEO Lisa Su had something similar to say: “Longer term, we have included changes in our future processor cores, starting with our Zen 2 design, to further address potential Spectre-like exploits.” AMD was confident in their CPUs being virtually free of the security exploits when the news initially came out, but fact that the company came out to say its next generation will be free of the problem speaks to the broad impact of Spectre and Meltdown are having. AMD still has Zen+ CPUs set to release in April this though, and Zen 2 chips aren’t due out until 2019.

Aside from next generation CPUs to overcome the recently discovered Spectre and Meltdown issues, both chip manufacturers are shaking up the PC hardware market in other ways. At CES 2018, Intel and AMD announced a partnership to bring Radeon RX Vega tech to integrated graphics for Intel Core CPUs in laptops. AMD is also set to launch Ryzen CPUs with Vega integrated graphics next month. For more details on the security exploits, check out our breakdown of the five things you should know about Spectre and Meltdown.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

FBI Agent Trump Accused Of ‘Treason’ Wrote Letter That Helped Get Trump Elected

WASHINGTON ― FBI agent Peter Strzok helped draft a letter that, in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, signaled the re-opening of a probe into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails, CNN reported Wednesday.

Strzok is one of the FBI agents whom some Republicans have accused of scheming to undermine President Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election. He worked on both the Clinton probe as well as the Russia probe when it was in its early stages, and later joined special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

The letter Strzok helped draft, sent to Congress by then-FBI Director James Comey on Oct. 28 ― days ahead of the 2016 election ― dealt a blow to Clinton, whom Trump repeatedly attacked for using a personal email while serving as secretary of state. Comey penned another letter just before the election saying no new relevant information was found, and stood by the FBI’s prior decision not to recommend charges

The FBI’s actions ahead of the 2016 campaign hurt Clinton, while the bureau stayed quiet about its ongoing probe into ties between Trump associates and Russia. Nevertheless, many Republicans have been working off of the idea that the FBI’s actions somehow hurt Trump’s election, and say the FBI continued to work behind the scenes to undermine his presidency. 

Republicans have seized upon text messages between Strzok and an FBI attorney with whom he had a relationship, Lisa Page. Neither were fans of Trump, but they also exchanged texts venting about Democratic politicians and figures as well. One particular text ― a joke about a “secret society” sent hours after Trump’s election ― drew lots of attention from Republicans, who painted it as evidence of a vast conspiracy within the bureau. As it turned out, the joke was made in connection with gag gift calendars Strzok had bought for the team working on the Russia probe that featured “beefcake” photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

CNN reported that Strzok did have reservations about Comey making the announcement public, and text messages showed they were troubled by the fallout from the letter.

“Christ. It’s there led on freaking MARKETPLACE,” Page texted, an apparent reference to the NPR show. “Our statement affected the stock market. 😡”

Republican theories about the actions of the two FBI employees haven’t really panned out, as HuffPost has reported. Republicans suggested that they were leaking anti-Trump information to the media, when in reality, Page cooperated with a story in which she defended the bureau’s handling of the Clinton probe. Another set of texts indicated they rejected an outsider’s suggestion that the FBI should have gone after agents leaking information about the Clinton investigation by monitoring an ex-FBI official’s phone. 

Trump, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, even made an unfounded accusation of treason against Strzok. 

Jean Grey Brings Death and Rebirth to the X-Men

The final chapter of Phoenix Resurrection was full of surprises for the X-Men.


Warning: this article contains spoilers for Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #5!

Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey ended by living up to its name, as Jean Grey is indeed alive and well. Previous issues focused on Jean as she was trapped inside a Phoenix-generated dome in the New Mexico desert, leading a false life alongside fictional recreations of her closest friends and family. But Old Man Logan managed to snap her back into reality by slashing the throat of Annie, Jean’s childhood friend whose fatal car accident first caused Jean to manifest her powers.

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Publix Accused Of Refusing To Cover HIV Prevention Drug For Staff

A major U.S. supermarket chain is facing claims that one of its stores refused to cover HIV prevention medication for an employee through its insurance plan.

David Holland, director of the Fulton County PrEP Clinic in Atlanta, told The Body website that he had tried to obtain coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, for a patient who works at a Publix supermarket in Georgia. 

Publix, he said, denied the request. 

“We’ve started over 400 people on PrEP at our clinic alone, and this is the only person that we weren’t able to get PrEP for,” said Holland, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University.

Although the employee, who was not identified, attempted to appeal the decision, the request was rejected two more times, much to Holland’s surprise. 

“What we found out from the insurance company was that it came, ultimately, from the employer,” he said. “It wasn’t just an insurance issue; it was [that] the employer did not want it covered in the insurance.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, daily use of PrEP can reduce the risk of contracting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent. Medical sources estimate that the out-of-pocket cost of the drug without insurance can be as high as $13,000 per year

Publix didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. However, spokeswoman Brenda Reid told The Body, “Annually, we evaluate benefits covered under our health plans. There are numerous medications covered by the plan used in the treatment of HIV.”

She added, “There are some medications that have coverage limitations or require prior authorization.”

The response from the Lakeland, Florida-based company has prompted some speculation that it refused to cover PrEP on moral grounds, discriminating against gay and bisexual men, who remain disproportionately susceptible to HIV infection. (It is not known whether the employee who requested the drug identifies as LGBTQ.) 

When it comes to LGBTQ rights, Publix has a checkered history at best. The chain, which comprises 1,169 stores in seven Southern states, received a score of zero in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index, which is used as a benchmarking tool for LGBTQ workplace equality. Because Publix was one of the few Fortune 500 companies that didn’t respond to the group’s request for information, however, that rating was deemed “unofficial” in the HRC survey.