Time Warner officially announced that it’s spinning Time Inc. off with $1.4 billion in debt, adding that the financing will be used to purchase Time Inc.’s U.K. operation, IPC Media. The debt will be raised through an offering of unsecured senior notes and Time Inc. will enter into a secured loan facility, according to a statement. Whatever remains of the debt facility after buying IPC will be used to pay a cash dividend back to Time Warner. Time Warner’s chief financial officer Howard Averill first revealed a $1.3 billion debt load attached to the Time Inc. spin-off in early February during TW’s fourth quarter earnings call.Time Warner bought IPC Media, which publishes brands such as Woman’s Weekly, NME and InStyle, in 2001 for about $1.7 billion.The spinoff is on track to happen by the end of the second quarter.
Tags 7 Comments Activision I’m currently playing a video game called Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It’s an action game in which you’re a shinobi trying to rescue your young kidnapped lord from formidable foes. You may have heard that it’s a hard game. I’m probably less than a quarter of the way through, but I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve died — without exaggeration, the number is probably in the 40 to 50 range. Both in spite of and because of that difficulty, I’m having a great time. It’s an awesome game. Admittedly, I’m a fan of developer From Software. I’ve written in the past about the positive impact that Dark Souls, one of its previous games, had on my life. Overcoming the challenges of that game led me to some important life lessons. Sekiro might be the most difficult game this company has made and it has a reputation for making hard games. This has led to an intense online debate about whether or not Sekiro should have an “easy mode.” In a lot of video games, you can choose if you want to play on easy, medium or hard. Sekiro doesn’t offer that choice. One compelling article on Kotaku argued for the need for accessibility options in Sekiro so gamers with disabilities can play too. I firmly believe Sekiro is a better game without an easy mode, and I don’t say that because I want to belong to an exclusive club of people who can play it. To me, the ideas of difficulty and accessibility should not be conflated. While some gamers with disabilities have already come forth in defense of the game, Sekiro and all video games should have readily available accessibility options so that anyone who wants to can play them. Having accessibility options — perhaps similar to those outlined on Twitter by the creator of Celeste, another difficult game — is not the same as offering an easy mode. Accessibility options should include specific tweaks to gameplay in a specialized menu you can access if you need them — such as tweaking the game’s speed — but should stay out of sight if you don’t need them. An easy mode typically means a choice presented to all players right at the start of the experience that changes many aspects of the balance of the game. A lot of the value of the experience of Sekiro comes from overcoming the challenges and improving at the game. Playing Sekiro can be an incredible experience for anyone with the patience and perseverance to see it through, and in a lot of ways, Sekiro is a better game for gamers that kinda suck.Opening the gatesA big misconception about Sekiro and Dark Souls is they are only for “elite” gamers. That’s not the case at all, and those who argue against an easy mode because they want to use these titles for a kind of artificial gatekeeping, that keeps gaming exclusively for “real gamers,” are missing the whole point.They’re meant to be teaching exercises. They’re meant to provide a feeling of hard-won accomplishment not found in other games. Sekiro is designed for those willing to put in the effort. Period. That’s what makes it beautiful. The difficulty in Sekiro makes you pay attention and take in every detail of the environment. The difficulty is what makes the back-and-forth samurai swordplay so enthralling. You have to know when to attack and when to defend and each decision you make in each split second could lead to victory or defeat.All games should be playable by all gamers, but Sekiro is not walled off for only the elite. It takes humility. You will certainly die, and if you get mad at the game and stop, you won’t get better. If you let your deaths teach you how to improve, you’ll eventually be able to conquer everything the game throws at you. It’s a cool feeling when that happens, and a unique one in gaming, and there should be room in the gaming world for all manner of unique experiences.Combat in Sekiro is demanding and awesome. Activision Stumbling to victoryAs painful as it is for me to admit this, I’m not a particularly skilled gamer. I enjoy video games, but I tend to struggle my way through them, especially ones that are supposed to be hard. Another recent action game called God of War offers four different difficulty modes. In order from easiest to hardest, they were called “give me a story,” “give me a balanced experience,” “give me a challenge” and “give me God of War.” The game was lauded for letting people choose their own experience without being made to feel guilty if they wanted something easier. That was part of the artistic vision of the designers and there’s nothing wrong with that. God of War is an awesome game. I ended up playing the balanced experience option after trying and failing at the next level up. Even the normal difficulty proved challenging enough to kill me several times, but I never felt stuck. That wasn’t the point of God of War. That difficulty was perfect for me and perfectly described. Sekiro doesn’t have that. It has a narrower focus. God of War is about many things. At the forefront is a story about a father trying to reconnect with his son over the course of a harrowing journey. Sekiro has a story too, but it’s primarily about overcoming the steep challenges presented through patience and perseverance. In a lot of games, you make your character more powerful as you play. You do that in Sekiro too, but you also get significantly better at the game and as a gamer. The game teaches you how to win as long as you’re willing to learn. You’re naturally going to improve at almost any game as you play it, but I’ve never experienced anything similar to the curve of a From Software game.After beating Dark Souls for the first time, I started a new game with a fresh character to try my hand at some of the early bosses again. These bosses had all killed me numerous times on my first playthrough — approaching 10 to 20 times each. On that second playthrough, I killed the first three bosses without getting hit. Again, I’d started fresh, so it wasn’t my character that was more powerful. It was me — I was much more powerful. That’s an amazing feeling. Like Dark Souls before it, Sekiro is incredible in that regard. It’s collaborative art at its most interactive, because it requires your dedication to see it through to the end. Your journey mirrors the protagonist’s more than in any other game I’ve played. As your character faces tough challenges and grows and learns, so do you. Compromising on that vision with an easy mode would lessen that quality. It would take away from its singular artistic focus.Why do we fall? Defeating your enemies in Sekiro after a hard-fought battle feels amazing. Activision I’m still early in Sekiro. Just last night, a midlevel boss killed me five times, but I eventually beat him. Most enemies in the game are stronger than your character, but that’s OK, because every time you get knocked down, you can get back up and try again. To beat him, I couldn’t worry about the fact that I’m inevitably going to face much more challenging bosses. My job at that moment was to overcome that one task, and trust that this challenge would teach me to face the next one. Like the other From Software games I’ve played, Sekiro teaches a few life lessons about learning through failure and facing the task in front of you. Working through it is a remarkable experience that any gamer with patience and a willingness to learn can have. An easy mode would take away some of the qualities that make this game so wonderful. Not wanting to be frustrated with a video game is understandable, but not every video game needs to appeal to every taste. I sometimes like playing video games to relax as well. That’s not Sekiro, and it’s better for it. It’s unique and demanding and it’s meant for everyone who can appreciate those qualities in a game. Nintendo Labo VR, reviewed: a box of magic tricks 28 Photos The 28 best games on PlayStation 4 Video Games Now playing: Watch this: 3:03 Share your voice Originally published on April 14.
By MESFIN FEKADU AP Entertainment WriterNEW YORK (AP) — Jennifer Pinckney was hiding under a desk holding the mouth of her then-6-year-old daughter when Dylann Roof fired more than 70 shots in Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine black worshippers.The new documentary, “Emanuel,” explores life after the tragic shooting on June 17, 2015, as family members, friends and the community try to heal through faith and forgiveness.In this June 24, 2015, file photo Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s wife Jennifer Pinckney, center, and her daughters, Eliana, left, and Malana, right, follow his casket into the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was one of the nine killed by Dylann Roof, who sat through 45 minutes of Bible study at the church before firing shots. Pinckney and her daughter, Malana, were in the late reverend’s office when they heard gun shots in another room. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt, File)Pinckney’s husband, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was one of the nine killed by Roof, who sat through 45 minutes of Bible study at the church before firing shots. Pinckney and her daughter, Malana, were in the reverend’s office when they heard gun shots in another room.“It brings it all back for me,” Pinckney said of watching “Emanuel,” which opens in theaters nationwide for a limited run on Monday and Wednesday . Oscar winner Viola Davis and NBA star Steph Curry are executive producers.“It’s emotional. I can’t help but to relive what happened.”Roof was convicted of federal hate-crime and obstruction-of-religion charges and sentenced to death.Before the attack, the then-21-year-old had told a friend that he intended to kill people at the historic black church to start a race war. Emanuel is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the U.S. South.In this June 19, 2015 file photo, police tape surrounds the parking lot behind the AME Emanuel Church as FBI forensic experts work the crime scene, in Charleston, S.C. he new documentary, “Emanuel,” explores life after the tragic shooting took place on June 17, 2015, as family members, friends and the community try to heal through faith and forgiveness. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)Pinckney said she hopes the film, directed by Brian Ivie, “kind of opens people’s eyes.”“It’s like an awareness,” she said. “We have to get to that point where we start respecting, and showing more love and more care, and coming together, (and) becoming one unity.”At a bond hearing days after the attack, some of the victims’ family members offered Roof forgiveness and said they were praying for him, even as they described the pain of their losses. Emmy-winning actress Mariska Hargitay, a co-producer of “Emanuel,” was touched when she saw the way the family members reacted.“We’re all fascinated by people who can do things that we can’t do. I’m watching a movie (where) a group of people were loving at the highest level. You feel like these people are shamans and possessed something deeply extra, and the extra was indeed grace for me,” Hargitay said.“Like everyone does in seeing a movie like this, it goes straight to the core and straight to our souls,” she said. “I experienced deep outrage and sorrow and anger and all that for those we lost. I also experienced hope.”The shooter killed six women and three men. Eight died at the scene, while the ninth, Daniel Simmons, died at the hospital. Then-U.S. President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy at the Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral and led the singing of “Amazing Grace.”Jennifer Pinckney said thanks to counseling and prayer, she and Malana, now 10, are doing OK. She also has a 15-year-old daughter.But Pinckney, like many other family and friends of those who died, said it’s hard moving on with life after losing loved ones.“We’ve already started college tours and stuff like that — kind of difficult just to think on that level, but also to think this is something that we’re doing that Clementa’s not sharing,” she said. “That he’s not physically with us.”Despite her own grief and loss, she hopes the community can continue to come together.“You have to learn to respect each other’s differences. No two people are alike,” she said. “That’s something that I hope people will get from this (film) — to love more and get right with God.”
Asian video streaming service Hooq has committed itself to developing at least 100 original shows and films by the end of this year. They will be produced in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and India, and range in genre terms from horror to comedy and from factual to lifestyle.The company has begun the immediate release of “Bhak,” a colorful dramedy from aspiring filmmakers Arjun Chatterjee and Shreyom Ghosh, loosely based on their experience trying to break into the bowels of the Bollywood film industry. Starring Sreecharan Rachakonda, Akash Arora, and Priyanka Nath, the show runs to 8 episodes. It was the first winner of Hooq’s Filmmakers Guild, competition.The 2020 roster is also set to include, “She’s A Terrorist And I Love Her.” HOOQ also it as this year’s winner at the APOS conference in Bali, Indonesia. The 8-part dark comedy revolves around a down-and-out man who enters a sham marriage for a quick payout, only to find that his beautiful “wife” is an extremist, hell-bent on wreaking havoc. The pitch came from Singapore online comedy channel, Ministry of Funny’s Terence Chia and Haresh Tilani. It will star Haresh Tilani, Alexis Sueann, Noah Yap, Farah Lola, Tiffany Gnanaraj and Jacky Ng. ALL NEW! HOT LIPS 2 11 lipstick shades inspired by 11 incredible icons Ad by Charlotte Tilbury See More AdChoices Popular on Variety Hooq is jointly owned by Singtel, Sony Pictures and Warnermedia. It says it will play some of its originals on its newly enhanced “freemium” layer, which was recently rolled out across Southeast Asia.The moves are part of an intensifying arms race between OTT platforms in the Asia region. They are using original content to attract eyeballs to their platforms, convert users to subscriptions, and to beat their global rivals which have smaller amounts of local content. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
When India play Pakistan at the World Cup, it’s no cliche that both captains say they’re not looking beyond their first game of the tournament. World Cup organisers are tipping Indo-Pak clash to draw the biggest television audience when the teams meet in Adelaide on Sunday in the opening Pool B clash.The politically uneasy neighbours also have a long rivalry on the cricket field, with Pakistan leading overall in their limited-overs meetings. But defending champion India have a 100 per cent record so far after five World Cup clashes. The two teams first locked horns in 1992, also the last time the World Cup was jointly staged by Australia and New Zealand, and the atmosphere was intense and couldn’t be compared with any other game. Also Read – Mahavir Phogat plans sports complex in native villageIn his autobiography Playing It My Way, which was released last year, Tendulkar has recalled a 2003 World Cup match against Pakistan, saying he’d waited for the showdown for a full year after the schedule was unveiled and couldn’t sleep for several nights before the match. “The nation would brook no failure and for many of our fans this was the true final. It really did not matter to them what happened in the rest of the tournament,” wrote Tendulkar. Also Read – Ballon d’Or: A trophy that evaded legends of the gameIndia won that match by six wickets but lost the final to Australia. India got a measure of revenge by beating Australia in the quarterfinals in 2011, then held of Pakistan in the semifinal in Mohali before beating Sri Lanka in the final at Mumbai, where Tendulkar finally added the World Cup crown to his decorated hat in his sixth attempt.India’s dominance in World Cup matches against Pakistan has confounded critics. The two countries did not meet in the first four editions of the World Cup. In 1992, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, an 18-year-old Tendulkar scored a half-century to propel India to a 43-run win. Though Pakistan lost that match, it went on to win the title. Tendulkar, who scored a record 2,278 runs in 45 World Cup matches, is the only common denominator in those results, averaging 78 and posting three half-centuries, including a high of 98 in that 2003 match. But he retired in 2013, leaving India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to continue the legacy. Both teams have been conscious to emphasise the rivalry between players is on the field, and there’s no animosity outside the boundary. Yet both teams were publicly silent, holding closed practice sessions as fans from both sides started flooding into Adelaide. Hotels and flights on the weekend were fully booked, and anticipation was growing. Commenting on Sunday’s match, Mohinder Amarnath, hero of the 1983 World Cup-winning side, said, “There is not much of a difference between the two teams. Both have good individual players but I will go with the record. India has always done and played well against Pakistan in World Cup. But if India wins this time, it will be because of their batting and not bowling.”Interestingly, this will be India’s first World Cup fixture against Pakistan which will not feature Sachin Tendulkar. “Tendulkar has been a great player but every player has to retire and you can’t get a replacement of his calibre anywhere. Not only him but players like Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh are irreplaceable,” added Amarnath, who was man-of-the-series during India’s World Cup triumph in 1983.Four years back in Mohali, Tendulkar (85) again rose to the occasion in a crunch semifinal tie and helped India to a fighting total of 260/9. The home team was well placed to post a superior total but was restricted by left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz (5/46). Pakistan’s response was typical, a strong start followed by a middle-order failure. The onus fell on the reliable Misbah-ul-Haq (56) to pull Pakistan through but he ran out of partners and ultimately was the last person to be dismissed.No Tendulkar gives Pakistan World Cup hopeIndia go into the World Cup without the reassuring presence of retired batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar for the first time since 1992, which surely must bring relief to arch-rivals Pakistan. Pakistan have lost all their five World Cup meetings against India and Tendulkar, who featured in all of them, proved a stumbling block on at least four occasions. India and Pakistan face each other in a high-voltage clash at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday to kickstart their campaigns in the 2015 edition of cricket’s showpiece event. Tendulkar, who retired in 2013 as the world’s leading run-getter in both Test and one-day cricket, added colour to the World Cup, both literally and metaphorically. Coloured clothing was introduced to the World Cup when Tendulkar made his tournament debut in Australia and New Zealand in 1992 after the first four editions were played in whites. Over the next six editions, the prolific Mumbaikar scored more runs (2,278) and centuries (six) than any other batsman in the tournament, ending his World Cup career with a creditable average of 56.95. Indian fans hold a placard for Sachin Tendulkar, who has scored more World Cup runs and centuries than any other player. Tendulkar often spoke of his dream of winning the World Cup for India, saying he was inspired as a 10-year-old by the country’s triumph in the 1983 editon when Kapil Dev’s men stunned favourites West Indies at Lord’s. He saw action from close quarters as a ball boy at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium when India co-hosted the World Cup with Pakistan in 1987, two years before he burst on the world scene as a 16-year-old. Tendulkar was the tournament’s leading scorer when India made the semifinal in 1996 and the final in 2003 before he realised his dream when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side won back the title on a memorable night in Mumbai on April 2, 2011.Former greats favour IndiaLegendary cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Ian Chappell tipped India as favourites in their much anticipated World Cup clash against Pakistan, saying past history and better acclimatisation to Australian conditions could tilt the balance in favour of the defending champions. Both Gavaskar and Chappell said Pakistan are unlikely to break their World Cup jinx this time also, although both sides go into the showpiece event as struggling teams. “Both teams are going into the World Cup not in great touch. Pakistan are also struggling as they had lost to New Zealand recently, it could be even stevens. But I think India will start as slight favourites because of their past records,” Gavaskar said.He said the absence of off-spinner Saeed Ajmal will have a huge impact on the 1992 champions. “Without a doubt, Ajmal was half the Pakistan side and they will be hit hard without him. He is a wicket-taking and a containing bowler. He is just like Muttiah Muralitharan in his prime days in the Sri Lankan side,” the former Indian captain said. “They (Pakistan) won the World Cup in 1992 but at that time they had so many match-winners in Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq. They don’t have those match-winners in the current team. The loss of Junaid Khan is also a big blow for them. India have been playing in Australia for the past two months and they have acclimatised more to the conditions than the Pakistanis,” Chappell said.
A blog isn’t a website. Simply repurposing your site content, press releases or brochures on your blog means death in the blogosphere. When blogging for business, you have to change what and how you communicate. According to an April 2006 study by blog search engine Technorati, about 75,000 new blogs are created daily. There are about 1.2 million blog posts every day, or about 50,000 posts each hour. That’s an overwhelming number of messages vying for the attention of blog readers. To catch their attention, you’ve got to connect with them, not just throw information at them. How can you do that? Be a storyteller from your industry. Share your personal insights, favorite resources and relevant statistics. Reveal your name and the position you hold in your company. Blog readers don’t want a company voice; they want a personal one. And the voice doesn’t only have to be yours. Ask several key employees to post periodically. This spreads the workload while giving prospects a more personal look at your team. Getting personal is great for business. Before you get too personal, though, make sure you relate the right kind of information. A ski resort owner could absolutely discuss her crazy crashes on the slopes, and a pet store owner can certainly share silly stories about his pets. Those postings are relevant. But an online diary won’t likely bring in new business. Focus on making your blog a fun and informational industry resource. If you do, other blog and website owners will link to you quickly. A company blog has a better chance of getting links than a company site does. Not only will you score direct traffic from these links, you’ll also get greater link popu-larity, which boosts your blog in organic search results. To further boost your search engine rankings, use keywords in your blog posting titles that are relevant to your business. Effective blog marketing isn’t simply setting up a blog. Invite your future customers into your conversation with what you say and how you say it. Speaker and freelance writer Catherine Sedaowns an internet marketing agency and is author of Search Engine Advertising. Register Now » August 1, 2006 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. This story appears in the August 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals