Comments W-O-W! @JanelleMonae is giving us an unforgettable #GRAMMYs performance and we’re here for it. 🙌 🎶 pic.twitter.com/4cqjbOQwSu— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 11, 2019 Tags BTS loving the Dolly tribute is EXACTLY what I needed to see rn 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌 #GRAMMYs #GRAMMYs @RecordingAcad @DollyParton @BTS_twt #BTS pic.twitter.com/PxegUz6zQF— GIPHY (@GIPHY) February 11, 2019 Share your voice Who dis bad-ass pianist? @iamcardib #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/VNMzbqbtnS— SandyLeeTV (@SandyLeeTV) February 11, 2019 3. Camila Cabello, Ricky Martin, J Balvin, Young Thug, Arturo Sandoval — HavanaHow to open the biggest music awards show? Take our hearts to Havana. Camila Cabello did just that, with a big dance crew and Young Thug, Ricky Martin, J Balvin and legendary Arturo Sandoval on trumpet solo playing her hit song. Check out the epic stage design involving massive colourful apartment units that need to become part of a Rear Window musical.4. Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson — ShallowExperimental dance moves to spare, Gaga showed us how to be happy in this modern world with Shallow, the song that featured in the Oscar-nominated A Star is Born and that won her Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at this year’s Grammys. Her talent runs deep and her rock star status was evident on stage, which she shared with equally up-for-it British DJ Mark Ronson.5. Cardi B — MoneyYes, girl on the piano who preceded Cardi B and whose name everyone wants to know now. That look right into the camera. Chills. Grammy-winning Cardi B (for Best Rap Album) — the actual main act — tore up a stage padded with purple straight out of an underground jazz club. Then she saluted Wakanda. Forever. Take our money! 14. Shawn Mendes, Miley Cyrus — In My BloodNot just Shawn Mendes on piano, Shawn Mendes on a piano with cracks emitting golden light. With Miley Cyrus, a backing orchestra and a shower of golden rain, it’s more than a party in the USA.15. H.E.R. — Hard PlaceSparkly disco ball suit, cool clear guitar and John Lennon round sunnies — never change, H.E.R. Having Everything Revealed represented for R&B, guitar solo included.16. Jennifer Lopez, Smokey Robinson — Dancing in the Street, Please Mr. Postman, Money That’s What I Want, War (What is it good for) and moreWhat an entrance. J.Lo rose up through the floor for her Motown tribute (deemed controversial by some) and made a moment by getting everyone to sing My Girl. With an Alicia Keys cameo, Lopez was unflappable.17. Chloe x Halle — Where is the love?With a tribute to Donny Hathaway, the internet stars added Grammy performance to their CV, along with Beyonce opening act. And they didn’t disappoint with their singularly unique duet style.Correction, Feb. 11 at 1:20 p.m. PT: Corrects spelling of Shawn Mendes’ name and that Alicia Keys’ sang Empire State of Mind.’Hello, humans’: Google’s Duplex could make Assistant the most lifelike AI yet.Infowars and Silicon Valley: Everything you need to know about the tech industry’s free speech debate. Adobe Post We’re still 😍 over @st_vincent and @DUALIPA’s #GRAMMYs performance. pic.twitter.com/DFvnnwKhgW— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 11, 2019 8. Dan + Shay — Tequila”When I, when I, when IIIII” — how do I get that playing in the background whenever I’m feeling nostalgic? And then that last note from Shay whenever that involves heartbreak. Drink a glass for this country music duo, winners of Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their incredible song Tequila.9. St. Vincent, Dua Lipa — Masseduction, Respect, One KissWhen Dua Lipa crept out from the back of the stage to join St. Vincent out front, a perfect duo was made. Matching bob cuts and black-and-white outfits are all you need, apparently. Their interpretation of Aretha Franklin’s Respect was a highlight, along with St. Vincent’s guitar solo. The two were perfectly in sync, even if Dua Lipa, newly awarded Grammy winner for Best New Artist, needed bobby pins to hold up her dress. 🤯 @trvisXX jumping out of the cage #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/u7O1NSJzNq— Brian A. Hernandez (@BAHjournalist) February 11, 2019 23 6. Brandi Carlile — The JokeContrasting with the razzle dazzle, Brandi Carlile went lower key, bringing all the compassion with a song about the misrepresented out there. The most-nominated woman at the 61st Grammys delivered head-shaking goodness. Even Post Malone approved. Take a bow. 10. Kacey Musgraves — RainbowListen to these lyrics. Simple but incredibly elegant, Kacey Musgraves, Grammy winner for Best Album of the Year, filled Staples Center with her soulful rainbow of country music. “Everything is all right now.” Yes, it is.11. Post Malone and Red Hot Chili Peppers — Stay, Rockstar, Dark NecessitiesA smoky spotlight lit up Post Malone, his acoustic guitar and his gold teeth with gold mic to match. It was gold. Add RHCP. More gold.12. Diana Ross — The Best Years of My Life, Reach Out And TouchShe turns 75 next month. The Detroit-born singer famous for The Supremes is one of the most successful Motown singers of all time. Introduced by her grandson, she burst onto the stage in a redder-than-red dress. Right to the end, she’s given us the best years of our lives. She couldn’t hold the tears back. Also, how can she be 74? Happy birthday!13. Travis Scott — Can’t SayCue soulful vibrato chorus. Then cue Travis Scott in a cage — with rambunctious hip hop guys climbing up the sides, precariously over Ross’ grandson. Scott had arguably one of the most impressive stages of the night — which he ditched to crowd-surf. Music We’re doing the same thing, @PostMalone and @PUSHA_T! When @brandicarlile is performing “The Joke” at the #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/AQI4J7uTGe— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 11, 2019 Cardi B had an A+ performance. Kevin Winter/Getty Even without Beyonce or Taylor Swift, the 2019 Grammys showed up.On Sunday night, the 61st Grammy Awards saw Childish Gambino win big with This is America for both Record and Song of the Year, and Kacey Musgraves for Album of the Year.While a few big names like Queen Bee and Swift didn’t even set foot in Staples Center in Los Angeles (the former saw her album with Jay-Z snubbed in the big categories and the latter didn’t show up last year either), there were some memorable moments from a, well, wide range of performances.From dual piano-playing to Motown tributes, these are the best Grammy performances ranked in order of awards show greatness. But did they reach pregnant Beyonce levels of greatness? That’s what you should be looking for below. (Disclosure: The Grammys aired on CBS, parent company of CNET.) Read: Winners of Grammy Awards 2019: The full listAlicia Keys is one talented woman. Kevin Winter 1. Alicia Keys — Killing Me Softly, Unforgettable, Use Somebody, Empire State Of Mind and moreShe plays two pianos at one time. She wears a Carmen Sandiego hat. What can’t the host of the 61st Grammys do? Alicia Keys’ love of music was radiant and one of the highlights of the show, not to mention her music itself. When she finally sang her own song, Empire State of Mind, it became … unforgettable. Fitting that she makes the top of this list.2. Janelle Monáe — Make Me FeelOh we feel. Janelle Monáe head-bopped her way to the top of this list with her army of women in space-themed suits Michael Jackson would have been proud of. Those blue lights, that purple smoke, that killer song that’s all about love — “Let the vagina have a monologue.” Thank you, good night. 7. Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and more — Dolly Parton tributeThis gets props simply for Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus knows her Jolene. That’s what we’ve learned here, as if we didn’t already know. With a host of other artists, along with Dolly herself (in red shoes), the Grammys’ Dolly Parton tribute did not disappoint. Easter egg: See BTS bopping along with every word in the audience. Review • Adobe Post review: Adobe Post for iPhone pretties up your pontifications
See at Amazon Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill, who describes himself as a “planetary data wrangler” at NASA, processed the images to create the full tableau of clouds and storms dancing across the planet. Juno has delivered some wild and crazy images of Jupiter, including a formation that looks like a South Park character and one that took the shape of a dolphin. The marble portrait is simply beautiful to behold, a reminder of the wonders of our solar system. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. $210 at Best Buy 13 Photos Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Tags Rylo $155 at Google Express The Cheapskate 0 Post a comment Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Share your voice Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Sarah Tew/CNET Jaw-dropping Jupiter: NASA’s Juno mission eyes the gas giant Tags See It $59 at eBay Sarah Tew/CNET Chris Monroe/CNET Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Read Google Home Hub review Sci-Tech Share your voice $999 $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) See at Turo Comments Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) NASA view of Jupiter looks like an infamous South Park character NASA spacecraft nabs best picture contender of Jupiter’s swirling clouds Jupiter stands out in this marble-like portrait. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill We have a new entry in the competition for Most Beautiful Photo of a Planet Pretending to be a Marble. The classic Blue Marble view of Earth from 1972 still stands strong, but dark-horse Jupiter is contending with a fresh NASA image.NASA delivered the view this week with the simple title “Jupiter Marble.” The color-enhanced view melds three images taken in February by the Juno spacecraft, which has been investigating the gas giant since 2016.Juno’s close pass gave us a gorgeous look at the planet’s southern hemisphere, including a sideways sighting of the infamous Great Red Spot, a massive spinning storm that’s about twice the size of Earth. It looks like you could pluck the planet out of the darkness of space and shoot it into a game. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Read DJI Osmo Action preview Sarah Tew/CNET 7 Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Read the Rylo camera preview Apple iPhone XS $60 at Best Buy $299 at Amazon Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Hello, Jupiter Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See It The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. $999 $999 NASA Space,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sprint $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express See It $6 at Tidal $999 Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Turo An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Boost Mobile Read the AirPods review Angela Lang/CNET $520 at HP See it TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Amazon
“We can’t take you anymore,” said Trump, whose grandfather was a 16-year-old German immigrant. “We can’t take you. Our country is full.”Then, changing his position on Friday, the president tweeted that he’s “giving strong considerations” to placing migrants in mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities,” a move Democrats called a politically motivated stunt. Tall Order: Building the Border Wall It’s a big, dark, windowless room equipped with a wall of large-format TV monitors. The screens show surveillance camera views of the curves and bends of the Rio Grande and its grassy, weed-choked banks. Some displays are in black-and-white, others are in infrared or color. A screen in the middle plays Trump’s favorite network, Fox News.Sitting in rows of desks in front of the TVs are a mix of about five Border Patrol agents and five National Guard troops (some of the same 5,000 active-duty troops the Pentagon has sent to the border over the last year). They’re each tasked with closely monitoring one area of the river. Not only can they control the cameras, but they’re also paying attention to inputs from buried seismic ground sensors that can pick up footsteps and vehicle movement. If they see anything suspicious, they immediately radio agents in the field.”The agents know what looks right and what looks wrong,” says Jose A. Martinez, an assistant chief patrol agent with a close-cropped crewcut, green eyes and a no-nonsense demeanor. “Rain, sleet, snow, they’re capturing video for us.”US Border Patrol can monitor all movements on the Rio Grande at a nerve center in Laredo, Texas. James Martin/CNET It’s up to Customs and Border Protection officers to police the US-Mexico ports of entry, but it’s up to Border Patrol agents to monitor everything in between. In the Laredo sector, Border Patrol has 34 remote video surveillance systems that focus on the 30 to 40 miles of river with the most activity.Martinez shows me a couple of these hotspots in person. We hop into his SUV with two other agents and head to a large tree-filled park on the river. People jog on dirt trails that weave around soccer fields and baseball diamonds. Cormorants skim across the water in search of fish, and redwing blackbirds chatter in the bushes. Martinez says people tend to cross the river here because they can run up the bank and easily blend in with park-goers.Set back a few dozen feet from the river is a steel tower that’s about 120 feet tall. Fixed on top is a system of daylight and infrared cameras that face up and down the Rio Grande. The footage from these cameras is what agents back at the nerve center are monitoring. They’re looking for people swimming across the river or traversing it in canoes, inflatable rafts or inner tubes.Border Patrol is increasingly relying on technology to help agents do their jobs. To spot people and vehicles crossing the border, they use everything from the surveillance towers to radar- and laser-equipped drones to a complex system of ground, radio frequency, seismic and imaging sensors.A remote video surveillance system keeps watch over the Rio Grande. James Martin/CNET Martinez says the tech has its drawbacks. In Laredo, the cameras are limited in how far up and down river they can scan. That means people can take advantage of gaps in the system and sneak in without being seen.”They have the advantage because they can see us, but we can’t see them,” Martinez says, pointing to thickets of trees and hilly ridges on the Mexican side. And once they get to the US side, people can still evade the cameras. He shows me a steep embankment next to the water. “Someone can just hang off the ledge right there.” We can have all the technology in the world. But if we don’t have personnel to respond, what are we going to do? Jose A. Martinez, assistant chief patrol agent for US Border Patrol Politics Texas border sees tense confrontations for immigrants 22 Photos As Martinez keeps driving, the nerve center radios saying they see about “10 bodies” aiming to cross the river near us. Martinez flips a U-turn and hits the gas. We race down a busy street, pull into an H-E-B grocery store parking lot, turn off the headlights and sit. It’s bustling with kids running around and people pushing shopping carts.”They have reached the US riverbank,” Martinez says as he gets word from the nerve center.Below the parking lot, the Rio Grande’s shore is covered with thick, head-high weeds. The nerve center agents will now rely on signals from the buried ground sensors to figure out which way the crossers are moving. Martinez gets a call that they’ve found the group about a block away.In a dark and dusty lot behind a commercial strip, a Border Patrol truck already has two people sitting in the back seat. It’s a man and woman, both from Mexico City. Other agents by the river are chasing three more immigrants and their guide. One by one, everyone is caught. They’re all from different parts of Mexico.Mexican immigrants are apprehended by Border Patrol agents in Laredo, Texas. James Martin/CNET A young man appears wearing tight black jeans tucked into work boots and a grey sweatshirt. The agents put him up against the truck, pat him down and inventory what’s in his pockets. He has a cellphone and charger, a notepad and a wallet with photos of people in small plastic sleeves.”We have to chase them down. We have to work for these apprehensions,” Martinez says. “These agents will drop them off and then come back out here again.”All six people will be transported to the Centralized Processing Unit, where their information will be recorded and officials will decide what to do with them, Martinez says. Most likely they will all be deported back to Mexico.Braving the riverAs the days ticked by at the former factory in Piedras Negras, people in the caravan became increasingly desperate to leave. Reports of families sneaking out and heading to the river became near daily occurrences.Mexican officials shut down the facility on Feb. 19, about two weeks after it opened. The caravan was split up. Some people stayed at shelters in Piedras Negras, but most were bused to other cities across Northern Mexico.The facility holding around 1,800 migrants in Piedras Negras, Mexico, closed on Feb. 19. James Martin/CNET Throughout February and March, dozens of immigrants attempted to cross the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass. In one event, Border Patrol agents apprehended a group of 56 Hondurans, mostly women and children. At least two dead bodies have been found in the river and several families were rescued from drowning. In three separate incidents, 17 Central Americans were pulled out of the same spot of the river in just one day. A couple days later, a 12-year-old Honduran boy had to be resuscitated.Given the scope of law enforcement waiting on the US side, it’s clear most immigrants trying to cross would get caught. But that was their intention. Once a person sets foot in US territory, they have the right to apply for asylum. By braving the river, migrants can jump the indefinite metering line at the bridge.When I spoke to Zuniga through that yellow chain-link fence at the Albergue Migrante, I asked her if she’d ford the river if it came to that.”Crossing the river? No. I came here with the wish to do it right. To cross the bridge calmly and to respect the laws,” she said. “I just hope that Donald Trump helps us.”Tall Order: Building the Border Wall is our Texas border series exploring what a wall and tech alternatives might mean to the people, communities and law enforcement agencies living in its shadow. Read the first story here: Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative, and the third story here: In a Texas border town, a church on the edge and wildlife at risk.Originally published April 11. Update, April 12: Adds President Trump’s statement on placing migrants in “sanctuary cities.” There’s no debate that a wall — and the government’s surveillance tech — will affect people along the river. So I set out to travel the entire length of the Texas-Mexico border to see firsthand what people think and how tech is helping, or not helping, the situation. Border Patrol already relies on a complex network of cameras, videos, drones and sensors to see at night, into the water and through dense foliage. But agents say it’s not enough. What’s happening along the Texas border is like nothing seen before, according to more than 30 interviews with people who live here, federal agents, lawyers, humanitarian groups, local law enforcement and immigrants.The standoff in Eagle Pass marked one of the first times standard border security was paired with military might.And it could be a signal of what’s to come.The nerve centerOn a nondescript street in Laredo, a large border city about 125 miles south of Eagle Pass, there’s an unassuming one-story beige building built in 1969 under President Richard Nixon. This is the Border Patrol Sector Headquarters for the Laredo region, which is responsible for 171 miles of the Rio Grande.Parked out front are a handful of Border Patrol’s green-and-white pickups. Inside, the hallways are lined with basic offices. But behind one door something wholly different is going on. “The gang said it was me who called the police,” Zuniga says. “People in the community warned me that the gang members said they were going to kill me.””With 18th Street, you don’t mess around because they kill people. They massacre people,” she adds. “I can’t return to Honduras.”Zuniga’s story isn’t unique. Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are some of the most dangerous countries on Earth because of the violence perpetrated by 18th Street and rival gang MS-13, according to investigative nonprofit Insight Crime. After Venezuela, El Salvador had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2018. Honduras came in at No. 4 and Guatemala at No. 10.The gangs first formed on the streets of Los Angeles during the 1980s and were then exported to Central America in the 1990s when the Clinton administration stepped up deportations of criminals back to their home countries. In that region, then ravaged by civil war and poverty and flooded with weapons, 18th Street and MS-13 not only thrived but became increasingly more brutal. Now, 25 years later, the gangs have become the de facto rulers of the Northern Triangle.Honduran immigrant Oeli Zuniga and her daughter are hoping to seek asylum in the US. For now, they’re forced to stay in Mexico. James Martin/CNET “[The migrants] are fleeing failed governmental systems that aren’t able to protect their own population from organized crime, cartels and gangs,” says Goodwin. From women, “I hear stories of rape, multiple rapes, gang rapes. … Men often talk about being kidnapped, being beaten, tortured, being hit with two-by-fours, having their feet burned.”At the Albergue Migrante, rows of folding tables and chairs are set up on one side of the yard. Migrants can sit down with Mexican immigration officials and sign up for a humanitarian visa. This would allow them to live, work and travel freely in Mexico for a year. Some people tell me they’ll take the visa and stay in Mexico. Others are determined to get to the US.But the prospects don’t look good. Even if they make it across the bridge to apply for asylum, the chance of their case making its way through the courts anytime soon is slim. Asylum applications have skyrocketed over the last decade, from around 7,000 in 2010 to more than 325,000 in 2018, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. And even though the number of asylum cases is only 6.5 percent of overall immigration cases in the US, there’s a backlog of roughly 320,000 claims. The average wait time for an asylum case to be heard is about three years. Once these cases finally do make it to court, they’re approved just 21 percent of the time. Amy Kim/CNET Meanwhile, migrants like Zuniga and the hundreds of other people in the caravan are in limbo.”If you wanna stop people from coming, you have to stop the factors that are pushing them out of their homeland,” Goodwin says. “You can put as many troops down here as you want, you can beef up border patrol by 20,000 agents, and that’s not gonna solve the systemic issues.””Boots on the ground, that ain’t gonna cut it.”Cat and mouseAs Agent Martinez navigates his SUV along dirt roads next to the Rio Grande in Laredo, the sun sets in flares of orange and red over the river. This is the time when illegal activity picks up, he says.”It’s going to be 11 bodies, possibly more,” a voice pipes over his radio, using Border Patrol jargon. It’s an agent from the nerve center saying he spotted 11 people about to cross the river on his surveillance camera.Martinez says they mostly apprehend people from Mexico and the Northern Triangle, although they’ve seen people from all over the world, including Brazil, Venezuela and Bangladesh. Along with migrants, Border Patrol is also looking for drug smugglers. Laredo agents have seized 14,500 pounds of marijuana, 216 pounds of cocaine and 154 pounds of meth since October.Laredo is one of the top five border cities where people cross the river illegally. That’s mainly because it’s an urban center where they can disappear without being noticed.A drainage tunnel in Laredo, Texas, that Border Patrol has covered with a metal gate so no one can sneak in. James Martin/CNET “Aliens cross here every night,” Martinez says. “Why? Because they can come up and run there or there and get lost.”Martinez drives downtown to show me a 4-foot-wide drainage pipe that empties into the Rio Grande. People cross the river and then run into the drainage tunnel. Once inside, they look for a manhole cover to pop off and exit into the city. Border Patrol has covered the pipe with a metal gate and sealed manhole covers, but people still get through with bolt cutters and a hammer.”When people ask, ‘Do we need a wall?’ This right here shows you the disadvantage we’re at and how a wall will be beneficial to us,” Martinez says. “It’s a little cat and mouse game.”He says a wall would be a deterrent and give border agents more time to respond. Laredo is on the shortlist to get a wall, but the city’s mayor, Pete Saenz, is opposed to the idea. “We don’t need a physical wall,” Saenz told NPR in an interview. “We have a natural barrier.” This right here shows you the disadvantage we’re at and how a wall will be beneficial to us. Jose A. Martinez, assistant chief patrol agent for US Border Patrol 12 3:47 Now playing: Watch this: • Comments On the one hand, migrants seeking asylum are fleeing extreme violence and poverty in the Northern Triangle, which has the highest murder rates in the world and has been deemed a humanitarian crisis by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Under US law, asylum seekers are considered legal immigrants.On the other hand, Trump has vowed to halt all immigration at the US-Mexico border.So where does that leave Texas? The president has made it clear he believes a big part of the solution to stemming immigration is an 18- to 30-foot cement or steel wall. California, Arizona and New Mexico, already have fencing or walls along 60 percent of their borders, but Texas only has around 20 percent because of its natural barrier with Mexico: the Rio Grande. Everyone is leaving because it’s dangerous. The gangs have taken over all the neighborhoods. Oeli Zuniga, Honduran immigrant See All Tags Aug 7 • Trump’s emissions and fuel economy rollbacks will cost Americans money, study says US Tech Policy Share your voice Jul 28 • Apple’s Q3 earnings are all about the iPhone 11 hints It’s also difficult for border agents to respond before whoever has crossed the river is gone, Martinez adds. Border Patrol is stretched thin, with only 1,750 agents deployed in the Laredo sector, which covers 110,000 square miles.”We can have all the technology in the world,” Martinez says. “But if we don’t have personnel to respond, what are we going to do?”‘They were going to kill me’When the caravan of Central American immigrants made it to Piedras Negras on Feb. 4, the Mexican authorities were expecting them. Off a highway on the outskirts of town, officials had prepared a former factory with sleeping mats, blankets, food, Wi-Fi and mobile health and dental trucks.At the entrance, a big red-and-white sign reads “Albergue Migrante, Migrant Hostel.” The entire facility is roughly the size of a football field and encircled by a yellow chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. Soldiers and police guard the building. Only officials are let in. The migrants aren’t allowed to leave.Up until last summer, asylum seekers could simply show up at a US port of entry to begin their application process. But now, under a new process called “metering” instituted by Customs and Border Protection, only a limited number of asylum requests are allowed per day, depending on the bridge and port of entry. Immigrants are being forced to wait in Mexico indefinitely.Detained migrants line up in a former factory in Piedras Negras, Mexico. James Martin/CNET “The so-called crisis is totally manufactured by the fact that they’re metering people at the port of entry. It creates dangerous situations for the migrants who are waiting at the foot of the bridge and in the border towns,” says Jodi Goodwin, a Texas immigration lawyer. “Those individuals become desperate and have no other option but to cross the river.”In a dusty yard at the facility in Piedras Negras, hundreds wait for their chance to cross the bridge to Eagle Pass. It’s a decidedly low-tech affair, with people standing around for hours waiting to be called. The migrants say about 15 people per day are let out.”So many families are here and single mothers,” the Honduran migrant Zuniga tells me through the chain-link fence. Her light brown hair is tied back in a messy ponytail and she’s wearing a pilled green fleece over a tight pink T-shirt. “I just want them to let me out and let me go and ask for political asylum with my daughter.”Back in Honduras, Zuniga’s neighborhood in the city of San Pedro Sula was ruled by the notorious 18th Street gang. She says she tried to keep a low profile working as a grocery store clerk and raising her young daughter. But all that came to an end in early January. One evening, members of 18th Street gathered in a field near her house. All of a sudden the police arrived, Zuniga says. A shootout ensued, and some of the gang members were killed. If you wanna stop people from coming, you have to stop the factors that are pushing them out of their homeland. Jodi Goodwin, Texas immigration lawyer. reading • At Texas border, tech can’t keep pace with immigrant influx US Tech Policy Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative In a Texas border town, a church on the edge and wildlife at risk Aug 6 • Trump says he’s watching Google ‘very closely,’ slams CEO Sundar Pichai Aug 6 • President Trump wants social media to catch shooters before they strike. It’s going to be hard Drones Military Donald Trump A high-tech, low-tech game of cat and mouse along the border It had all the makings of an old-fashioned Texas standoff.Hundreds of state troopers and US Border Patrol agents sat behind the wheels of black SUVs and green-and-white pickups facing the Rio Grande, their eyes fixed on the jade-colored water. A helicopter buzzed low overhead, winding along the bends of the river, while agents in a swamp boat cruised below. Four men, wearing army green uniforms and cowboy hats, rode horses up the shore, guns at the ready.Enlarge ImageThis is the second story in our Texas border trilogy, Tall Order: Building the Border Wall. Click here for the first story and click here for the third story. Amy Kim/CNET It was a quiet February morning, and all these law enforcement officers in Eagle Pass, a small Texas border town about a seven-and-a-half hour drive southeast of El Paso, were waiting for one thing: immigrants.Across the river, in the Mexican city of Piedras Negras, a caravan of about 1,800 Central American immigrants, including families with young children, had arrived at the start of the month — the first such caravan to make it to the Texas border. They had trekked more than 1,500 miles to ask the United States government for asylum. Most said they were escaping threats of violence and death in their home countries.”Everyone is leaving because it’s dangerous. The gangs have taken over all the neighborhoods,” Oeli Zuniga, 26, a Honduran immigrant traveling with her 7-year-old daughter, tells me. “We do this for our kids, so they can be in a country without so much crime and so many ugly things taking place.”In preparation for the caravan’s arrival, the US had beefed up border security. Under the direction of President Donald Trump, the Pentagon sent 250 active-duty military troops. Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent 500 officers from the Department of Public Safety. And US Customs and Border Protection outfitted its local agents with cement traffic barriers, riot gear and spools of concertina wire. That’s in addition to the high-tech cameras, sensors and radar tracking tools already in place to help monitor the 1,200 miles of Texas’ border with Mexico.Law enforcement lined the banks of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, in anticipation of a migrant caravan that arrived across the river days earlier. James Martin/CNET By the end of March, Trump declared he was cutting all foreign aid, approximately $450 million, to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — collectively known as the Northern Triangle. He also said he’d close the nearly 2,000-mile US southern border if Mexico didn’t do something about the migrants heading north. On Sunday, Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned as the president said he wants to go in a “tougher direction” on immigration.A “colossal surge” of people is entering the US and “overwhelming” the immigration system, Trump said after a visit to a California border town last week. And Customs and Border Protection confirmed it apprehended more than 100,000 immigrants on the southwest border in March, double the number for the same time period last year.
A few more messy Endgame moments to leave you with:Tony Stark sent his daughter, Morgan, to bed after eating a juice pop, without having her brush her teeth. What will the tabloids say?!Why would Cap ever compliment his own butt? Yes, jaded present-day Cap curses more, but agreeing he has “America’s ass” is so gratuitously un-Cap.Tony’s death scene with Pepper. Of course she’s fighting by his side… but their house seems pretty remote. Who’s watching little Morgan? This seems like something Tony would ask, given the effort he’s put into protecting his “second chance”.Read more: Avengers: Endgame review — so close to perfectionOriginally posted May 6. Now playing: Watch this: Spoiler-free review: Love letter to fans tops Infinity War Spoiler-packed review: MCU clincher so close to perfect No postcredits scene, but there’s a tiny audio stinger The biggest spoiler-filled WTF questions It’s three hours long: The best times to pee Captain America will always be my favorite Avenger 83 Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Still, considering the team’s penchant for stumbling into trouble when they collected the stones in the first place, it’s a pretty big leap to assume that one dude on his own will complete the task perfectly, six different times. How is he even getting from place to place, especially if the Pym Particles that enable quantum time travel are in short supply? How does one return the Soul Stone to Vormir?If Captain America didn’t take the Infinity Stone in the first place, how would he really know the precise moment in the timeline that he needs to drop in? He doesn’t.Good to see you again, Peggy. Richard Cartwright/ABC Cap-pily ever afterMuch has been said about Cap’s happy ending. After returning the Infinity Stones to their rightful place, he goes back for Peggy and they grow old together, making it as though Steve Rogers was never cryogenically frozen for 70 years. Presumably, he’s now lived life in his own timeline (is he living both timelines at once?) instead of popping back into 2023 on a platform the Hulk created for this last time-traveling adventure. We see Cap on a bench right next to this site, 5 seconds after he “left”. In the final scene, Captain Rogers and Peggy dance in a quiet house on a quiet street, a tidy, satisfying ending for Cap fans that’s more of a head-scratcher for people like me who are wondering why Rogers would risk altering the past or present of a world he’s taken great pains to help restore. Cap and his entourage may have gotten lucky with quantum time travel, but Mr. Values seems like the last person to claim he understands it, or of the possibility that the consequences of his actions could diverge Earth’s timelines forever. 1:20 Comments Captain America (Chris Evans) heads to battle in Avengers: Endgame. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET I’ve now seen Avengers: Endgame twice. I genuinely like it. It has heart. It has gravitas. It has the kind of compelling storytelling that makes you want to believe that, yes, in some parallel universe, maybe it’s not so far-fetched that the characters we’ve grown to love over the years could confront the evils of our day. But it also has clumsy and sappy moments that lumber along to remind us the comics genre initially targeted teenage boys.Cinematic perfection is nearly impossible, especially in a 3 hour, 1 minute long movie that deals with a massive ensemble cast, disparate storylines, time travel science(!!!) and peak viewer expectation. Marvel’s goals were ambitious, and considering the scale of the job, Endgame is a triumph that’s clobbered the box office to become the No. 2 movie of all time. However, the film’s unignorable, groan-inducing WTF moments jostled the plot enough to distract me from an otherwise sweeping epic. Before you aim your Infinity Gauntlet at my jugular, let me tell you where I’m coming from. I’m a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but not a superfan. I read Watchmen, V for Vendetta and anything Neil Gaiman ever wrote, but Marvel comics weren’t on my teenage radar. When Iron Man burst onto the scene in 2008, I was hooked. In Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr’.s breezy Tony Stark was a sassy, genius superhero who felt like a product of our times, not the Golden Age of comics. Marvel Studios But 21 movies and too many episodes of Agents of Shield later, I, like my colleague Roger Cheng, am ready for a steadier, more intimate Phase 4 to begin. I have my favorite MCU films (Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy), but I’ve also been struck by superhero fatigue. It takes a lot more to impress me than it did 11 years ago.Maybe that’s why some of the cringiest moments of Avengers: Endgame stuck out like they did. Maybe going into the next phase, Marvel will perfect its already formidable storytelling chops with a little more nuance and finesse. Here are the plot points that bugged me most, in chronological order.WARNING: Major Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead. Turn back now if you haven’t seen the film, or if you idolize Marvel and have a thin skin. You’ve been warned. Tags Spider-Man: Far From Home — Everything to know Women of Marvel Marvel We are Marvel women, hear us roarI’m not the first to groan over the cheesiness of amassing the women of Marvel in one swelling scene during the film’s megabattle. The miraculous grouping occurs when Peter Parker’s Spider-Man asks Captain Marvel how she’s going to get the Infinity Stones to Ant-Man’s time machine. If it weren’t ridiculous enough that the cowering teenager — who just attempted this very thing — is questioning one of the most powerful beings in the universe, take heart in the collection of female characters who seem to stop all this badass fighting they’re doing to congregate behind the glowing Captain Marvel while nobody attacks them.I’m all for girl power, but that was a little much.You can almost see the raw power shooting out of Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios You can’t. Beat. Thanos. One at a timeEarly on in Endgame, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel leaves Avengers HQ to go kill Thanos, until a bunch of other Avengers convince her to take them along on the ambush. Catching an injured Thanos unawares, they work together to restrain him before Thor whacks off his head.Yet in the film’s climactic battle, the Avengers & Friends fall back on the same tactic that led to their defeat in Infinity War: taking on Thanos one at a time. Captain America. Thor. Iron Man. The Scarlet Witch. Captain Marvel. Guys, you’re killing me. The living had five years to workshop a coordinated plan. The Vanished Avengers, who seemed to have just been chilling in limbo with Doctor Strange until the moment was right, also had time to strategize. Instead — and obviously for dramatic effect — they rushed the super villain one by one, appearing to be a bunch of rash hotheads rather than a group of superpowered geniuses desperate to win the day before Thanos shreds Earth down to its last molecule.Thanos won’t go down easily. Marvel Studios Ashes to ashes, dust to dustDid it strike anyone else as odd that The Vanished seemed to be aware that they were wiped off the face of the Earth for five years? The grateful hugs between Spidey and Ned, his Guy in the Chair; the tender reunion between Hawkeye and his family; the grateful glances among Scott Lang (Ant-Man), Hope (Wasp) and Lang’s daughter Cassie. (Uh, whatever happened to ex-wife Maggie? Did he even check to see if she had survived?)Earlier in the movie, Thanos declared everyone gone forever. When you turn to dust, it would make sense for your entire consciousness to go with it. Marvel’s suggestion otherwise — at least in this particular case — flirts with religious belief. Without establishing more context within the MCU, the revelation just feels out of step.You need 6 people to recover the Infinity stones, but only 1 to return them. SureTime travel is messy business, which is why all the Infinity Stones that the Avengers gathered must be returned at their exact point and time of extraction. For some reason, Cap is the one to do this. This is likely because they’re all running low on the Pym Particles needed to make the “time heist” work, so they can’t send everyone back. And also likely because of Cap’s ulterior motive to rewind time and seek out Peggy Carter, his long lost love. Avengers: Endgame toys, merchandise to re-create the MCU capstone 18 Photos 2:58 Hawkeye’s mohawk-mulleted Ronin is totally unnecessaryAvengers: Endgame opens with Clint Barton coaching his daughter Lila in archery, his alter ego Hawkeye’s weapon of choice. It’s a tender, touching scene made even more poignant when Barton turns his head and turns back moments after Lila, his two sons and his wife Laura turn to dust after Thanos’ deadly snap, which wiped out half of Earth’s population.The next time you see Hawkeye, he’s covered head-to-toe in black, wielding a sword (not a bow) and slaughtering random baddies. This is supposed to be his Ronin phase. Unmasked, he has a thickly inked sleeve tattoo and a mulleted mohawk straight off of some 1980s Brat Pack B-lister. That’s it, I’m officially calling him Mohawkeye.Hawkeye’s vengeful transformation is all so dramatic. It also feels like a forced nod to Marvel fans familiar with Hawkeye’s Ronin story arc. But it isn’t necessary to drive Endgame’s plot. In fact, it’s so devoid of narrative support, it’s distracting, and it isn’t entirely clear how Ronin/Hawkeye (Hawknin? Rohawk?) strayed from his fellow Avengers’ stick-together philosophy.Check out that sick ‘do. Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Jován Pulgarín/CNET There is no way Thor would ever ‘eat a salad’The first time you saw Thor’s new beer belly, you were supposed to laugh. Me, I rolled my eyes. The joke is all too clear. Normally muscle-bound Thor has a gut, swills beer and plays Fortnite all day with his best buds Korg and Miek. The Norse God of Thunder is so morose after the Snap, he’s all but abdicated his duties to New Asgard to become an unkempt drunk. Hilarious!At one point, chubby Thor time-travels back to Asgard (the “time heist” is, after all, Endgame’s driving plot point) and sees his mother, Frigga, who easily deduces he’s from the future and, after giving him a pep talk and a big hug, shoots out one more nugget of advice. “And eat a salad,” she quips. The theater erupts in laughter.Let’s just think about this for a second: Do gods eat salad? Would gods even joke about eating salad? Do gods even need to eat to survive, or is food meant for pleasure only? A god, we’ve seen, can die in extreme circumstances — but, please, not of gluttony or malnutrition. The bodies of gods and other supreme beings can take a lot of abuse. Thor even reminds us in Endgame that he has literal lightning flowing through his veins. And we’re supposed to accept that mowing down a Casear is going to reinstate him to his washboard physique? Please.Thor doesn’t look this good in Endgame. Marvel Studios And this beer that Thor’s such a fan of. As the scene in New Asgard opens, the camera very briefly rests on barrels of “Asgardian” beer as Valkyrie tells Hulk and Rocket that Thor only emerges once a month to pick up supplies. Blink and you’ll miss that detail.However, it’s an important distinction. The first Thor movie and Avengers: Age of Ultron make it clear that the booze of mere mortals doesn’t affect the God of Thunder in the slightest. Hence, it doesn’t make sense for Thor to let Rocket lure him on the Avengers’ latest quest with the promise of suds: “There’s beer on the ship,” Rocket says. “What kind?” asks Thor thirstily. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but where are all these barrels of beer coming from anyway? Asgard is gone, and with it, most of its population. It’s doubtful that New Asgard — on Earth — has the fancy space ingredients to produce quantities of the potent spirit, unless some witch or warlock magicked them up.Read more: The science of Avengers: Endgame’s biggest paradoxC’mon, everyone knew about the Soul Stone’s required sacrificeThe Avengers travel back in time to steal the Infinity Stones so they can bring back The Vanished, the 50% of the population that dissolved into ashes after Thanos’ “snap” in Avengers: Infinity War. Natasha and Hawkeye wind up on Vormir, the barren planet where Thanos sacrificed Gamora in order to obtain the Soul Stone, one of six he needed to become all-powerful. Natasha and Hawkeye seem to be unaware of the Stone’s toll. “In order to take the stone, you must lose that which you love,” Red Skull, the stone’s keeper, intones. Natasha and Hawkeye seem oddly cool with this, then fight over who gets to toss themselves off the mountain to their death for the greater good. A few things bother me about this. First, there’s the level of love required to make the spell work. Natasha, who has unrequited feelings for Hawkeye, is the obvious candidate since she has more love and therefore more to lose. Barton, who kills out of grief for his vanished family, tearfully reunites with them later on in the film.If Clint were to chuck himself over the edge without deep love in his heart for Nat, would he meet the terms of the Soul Stone’s stipulation? The bloodthirsty stone demands terrible sacrifice, not just any soul for a soul.Nebula is a key player in the Endgame. Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios The bigger problem is that Nat and Hawkeye should have known the stakes. They all should have. Modern-day Nebula, Thanos’ less-loved daughter and Gamora’s sister, makes it clear that she knows the score when she tries to convince 2014’s Gamora to help her after that timeline’s Thanos captures her (it gets a little confusing). “Nice Nebula” would surely have given her new teammates a heads up that sending two people to retrieve the Soul Stone would probably result in only one coming back.Read more: Avengers: Endgame’s deaths and twists: Our biggest questionsUh, guys. Did anybody realize Nebula was gone?Speaking of Nebula, her disappearance went completely unnoticed. After successfully grabbing the Power Stone on Morag, her mission partner, Rhodey, time travels back to Avengers HQ a moment before Nebula is gripped by paralyzing pain. She’s captured by that timeline’s Thanos shortly thereafter, and confronts her earlier, more hateful self.All the time-traveling Avengers pop back into headquarters together, except for Natasha and Nebula. “Clint, where’s Nat?” Professor Hulk asks. Nobody asks about Nebula, or even seems to notice her absence at all. The next time an Avenger interacts with her is during the battle, when 2014’s Nebula imposter encounters Hawkeye clutching the Infinity-stone filled gauntlet. “I know you,” he says, handing it over. Endgame is here TV and Movies Top 5 things Avengers: Endgame sets up for the future
Post a comment More games that will run an (almost) any nongaming laptop Stadia announcement: All the cool games previewed 1:49 25 Photos Space Gaming for your extraterrestrial adventures. Samsung At Gamescom 2019, Samsung follows up its Space Monitor with a Space Gaming brother that really sounds like an aptly named 32-inch version of the 27-inch nongaming model. They both have a 144Hz refresh rate and QHD (2,540 x 1,440) resolution, though the gaming version supports AMD FreeSync adaptive-refresh technology for synchronizing game frame rates with the display.It’s slated to ship by the end of the year, but we don’t yet know the price. Tags Share your voice 0 It’s not a very fun gaming monitor, basic black with no lighting; it basically sits there looking grim. While the stand design is clever and it’s nice to be able to pull it forward and down to find a comfortable angle, it only works directly in front of you because it can’t swivel. Nor does it seem to free up much space, since you have to move anything obstructive you’ve put in the free area if you want to pull the screen down.Samsung didn’t provide any specs, but if it’s similar to the 27-inch VA screen it’s relatively bright with an sRGB gamut — a basic but stylish entry-level model that lacks the pop of Samsung’s QLED colors. Now playing: Watch this: Computers Gaming Accessories Computer Accessories Samsung
Post a comment 0 Share your voice Concept art for Vader Immortal II shows Darth Vader getting his rocks on. ILMxLAB Memorably in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker travels to Dagobah to train under Jedi Master Yoda. The training challenges Luke physically, emotionally and psychologically, and Yoda is as fair as he is tough. But imagine if Darth Vader had trained Luke instead. He definitely wouldn’t win any “teacher of the year” awards, but I’d definitely want to see what the old Dark Lord could teach someone who is new to the Force. In the new Star Wars virtual reality experience Vader Immortal: Episode II, the Dark Lord of the Sith is here to teach you a few tricks. And when I say here, I actually mean it because one of the amazing aspects of this VR game is the ability to show scale and presence. Vader is no small potato.I met with the creators of the upcoming game and watched the first few minutes on Friday at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. and the footage isn’t available online, but I can tell you it looks insane. The full title of the game is Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series — Episode II. In this VR sequel, you meet a pre-Rogue One powerful and strong Lord Vader who’s taken a liking to you and wants to personally train you in the ways of the Force. I know, both awkward and amazing, right?At D23 I talked to Jose Perez III, a senior experience designer at ILMxLAB, creative executive Matt Martin and Ben Snow, who directed the game. They discussed how the galaxy’s greatest villain shapes up as a teacher. “It’s good to hang out with Vader,” said Snow. “He can’t really be a Yoda-like mentor to you. He’s going to be more the bad dad or the hard-ass coach that chucks a medicine ball at you.”To which Perez replied that Vader is like a really mean Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.The game picks up right where Vader Immortal: Episode I left off. You’ve mastered combat with a lightsaber, and now it’s time to learn to use the Force to fight. You get to sharpen your skills in the upgraded Lightsaber Dojo II that not only forces you to fight with a light sword but also master using the Force to move and grab and throw things. Best of all, you can hurl your lightsaber at an enemy, watch it cut them in half and have it return to your hand like a boomerang. And this is all done with a single button along with moving your hand. “I look at something, I point, I can pick it up and I can pull it towards me. I can throw it,” said Perez. “And it’s all the way you would think it would work.”This is concept art for the Darkghast which hides beneath Darth Vader’s castle. ILMxLAB It wouldn’t be Star Wars without creatures and boy does ILMxLAB, the maker of the VR game, have a doozy for you. It’s called the Darkghast and in the concept art shared at D23 Expo, it looks like a cross between a Rancor from Jabba The Hutt’s palace in Return of the Jedi and the Mind Flayer from Stranger Things 3. Apparently, the Darkghast has a mouth that is the size of you (hint, hint) and yes, you’re going to have to fight her.”You want to talk about cool VR, when you’re dealing with this giant Rancor-like thing right in your face that is incredible,” said Perez.There’s no release date yet for Vader Immortal: Episode II, but as Martin reminded me we’ve already been waiting for something like this VR game for decades.Vader Immortal: Episode II is “what people have been wanting for the last 40 years – the idea of stepping into Star Wars. This is really the best opportunity to do that.” Virtual Reality Disney Star Wars 50 Photos 2019 TV shows you can’t miss Mobile Tags