Starting this week, anyone flying on Royal Jordanian’s routes to the United States from cities like Amman won’t be allowed to bring any electronic device bigger than a smartphone into the cabin. And Royal Jordanian is expressing its displeasure with some next-level subtweets.

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An interesting read via Gizmodo

GIF source: Pokemon Professor

Right now, most people playing Pokémon Go are hunting for one thing: a golden shiny Magikarp. Oh, they’re finding shiny Magikarp alright. It’s just not turning out how they’d expect.

Last year, Pokémon Go introduced Ditto, a shapeshifting creature who always appears as something else. You might capture a Sentret, for example, only for it to turn into a Ditto once in your Pokeball. Fun fact: Magikarp is one of the monsters Ditto can use as a disguise. Right now, lots of people are capturing what appears to be shiny Magikarp, only for it to transform into freakin’ Ditto. The reactions online are priceless:

Source: r/thesilphroad

Once upon a time, everyone wanted Ditto because it was somewhat hard to track and find. Now Ditto is causing all sorts of anguish and slight annoyance. So it goes! Really, you can’t blame anyone: for minutes, they might believe they’re about to capture the rarest monster in the game…only for it to turn into something else. Well-played, Niantic.

An interesting read via Kotaku

The Power Rangers are finally back on the big screen, and instead of being a camp, kiddie focused feature, this newest incarnation is like The Breakfast Club meets The Avengers, mixing a teen drama in a superhero origin story. Jason (Dacre Montgomery), the school’s star football player meets Billy (RJ Cyler) and Kimberly (Naomi Scott) in Saturday detention. Billy is a technical genius, while Kimberly is a cheerleader on the outs with her squad. The ragtag group soon are joined by Zack (Ludi Lin), a reckless classmate who rarely attends school, and Trini (Becky G), the "new girl" and outsider in their their hometown of Angel Grove. The first two acts of the movie centers around the teens getting to know each other as they’re chosen to become Power Rangers in order to protect the world from the villainous Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).

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During the group’s journey to become true Power Rangers, we learn more about this band of misfits and the complications they face in their lives. The movie successfully establishes the team as flawed and makes them more relatable, compared to the uninspiring versions in the original series. The same could even be said for the Power Rangers’ mentor, Zordon (Bryan Cranston), who the team find trapped inside an ancient spaceship. In part due to his slightly different backstory, Zordon comes across as a little harsh to the teens due to Rita’s threat to the world and a surprisingly selfish motive on his part.

While the film is less campy than the original series, it’s not a completely dreary movie. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and there are plenty of moments of levity as they interact with each other and learn how to adjust to their new Power Rangers abilities. The inclusion of the quirky robot Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader) further provides comedic relief as he helps train the Rangers.

Surprisingly, there’s really only a few action scenes in the film, and there’s also a lack of meaningful exploration of the character of Rita Repulsa. Having less action than expected in a big blockbuster movie and not fully fleshing out a villain are risky moves, but it does offer a strong payoff in the end here. A big-action movie like this needs an over-the-top villain like Rita, but it’s the characters’ bonds that carry the story in the film. Rita’s motives are never fully explained–other than a villain’s typical lust for ultimate power. Rita’s character feels closer to the original TV incarnation instead of having a deeper take similar to the teens, Zordon, and Alpha 5. Elizabeth Banks delivers a fine performance with what she has to work with, though this Rita simply isn’t a compelling villain.

The fight-scene visuals are heavy with CG elements–and a big departure from the original series’ low-budget scenes. The CG scenes sometimes contain too much CG, giving an unbalanced feel when compared to those taking place in the teens’ home and school. The effects to shine when the team morphs into their Power Rangers armor. Seeing the in-costume Rangers fighting Rita’s Putty Patrollers does an excellent job of balancing the old-school cheesy vibe with modern movie visuals. The days of spandex clad and rubber creatures are over. The Rangers’ hand-to-hand combat can also be displayed with more flare and on a grander scale compared to the past incarnations.

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Despite convincing performances during the character bonding moments from the Power Rangers actors, the lack of big-action scenes are a letdown. Diehard fans will want to see the Rangers’ Zords or the Megazord vehicles fighting giant monsters but that action is mostly contained in the climactic battle. The franchise is known for its over the top action, and there just isn’t enough here.

Minimal gigantic Megazord action aside, Power Rangers may be just another big-budget Hollywood reboot, but unlike some like 2001’s Planet of the Apes or 2010’s Clash of the Titans, it’s got plenty of charm. It’s an appealing blend that captures the source material’s essence while simultaneously making sure it stands on its own–and with characters you’ll want to see return in a potential sequel.

An interesting read via GameSpot

Trump, his deal-making skills having failed him, simply ordered his party Thursday night to pass his unappetizing Obamacare replacement plan, or else. And the "else" is Obamacare, forever and ever and ever.

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An interesting read via Boing Boing

It’s been six years since Twitter acquired Tweetdeck, but the company might finally bring new features to the client.

In a survey sent to some power users today, Twitter asked which features they would most like to see added to an “advanced” version of Tweetdeck. After that, respondents were asked if they’d be willing to pay for a more full-featured version of a client that otherwise has been mostly forgotten.

A brief history of Tweetdeck neglect

Twitter acquired Tweetdeck for $40 million back in 2011, at a time that was particularly fraught for developers building mobile and desktop clients that competed with Twitter’s own. Just two months earlier, Twitter’s then-head of platform Ryan Sarver had warned developers to stop making Twitter clients and focus instead on complementary apps and services.

In that respect, Tweetdeck being bought was probably preferable to having its API access shut off and dying a slow death. But those who hoped Tweetdeck would be the basis for a more robust Twitter client for power users would end up being sorely disappointed.

While Twitter never officially killed off Tweetdeck, the product has languished from lack of development over the last several years. It got a small update in late 2012, but since then has seen features slowly disappear or fail to keep pace with features that were added to Twitter’s official clients. First mobile Tweetdeck clients disappeared, and later the native Windows client was discontinued.

Still, despite lack of internal support, Tweetdeck maintains a fairly passionate user base on the Web and its Mac desktop app. And, like the phoenix rising from its ashes, Twitter is threatening to make the client a paid subscription client for power users.

Ranking valuable features

Tweetdeck users who participated in the survey were asked which features they might find most helpful if added to the client. That includes things like advanced charts, follower analytics, breaking news alerts, mobile and desktop management, ability to change the color scheme and multiple account switching.

Survey respondents were also asked how much or how little they would pay for the client. While Andrew Tavani, who publicly shared his questions from the survey, was asked if he would pay $19.99 monthly, TechCrunch director of audience development Travis Bernard was asked if he would pay $4.99 for a premium version of the app. It’s likely that Twitter is testing various different prices to see how users respond.

Some view the survey as a sign Twitter is considering developing a new revenue stream beyond advertising, which has started to lag in recent quarters. But Twitter says that isn’t the case.

After news of the survey got out, Twitter issued the following statement on its plans:

“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”

 

Featured Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An interesting read via TechCrunch

Just like the extra buttons dedicated to MMO macros on the gaming keyboards of yore, the Stream Deck’s buttons are aimed to give users quick access to things nested deep in program files. The keys are shortcuts to suit your streaming style, whether that’s firing up Twitter, starting/stopping a stream on Twitch, changing volume levels or dropping in a GIF. Finally, the keys themselves are essentially tiny LCD screens that can hold custom icons. Because who doesn’t want to drop in their favorite ridiculous thumbnail into their tiny keypad?

An interesting read via Joystiq

The chaos surrounding Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s monster of a health care bill grows: a long-planned vote in Congress was called off today, representing a devastating blow to the narcissist-in-chief’s bravado. Late news on Thursday night, “The President told Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus to go to the capital and tell Ryan to call a vote tomorrow,” reports MSNBC at 11:30pm ET.

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An interesting read via Boing Boing

Here’s a great backstory on the shot of Air Force One that cost a guy his job after commissioning an unannounced low-altitude flight around lower Manhattan. (more…)

An interesting read via Boing Boing

Trump’s distaste for publicly-funded children’s programming may or may not be connected to Sesame Street‘s character Ronald Grump, a grouch who finagles Oscar into relocating from his trash can to Grump Tower. (more…)

An interesting read via Boing Boing

Time‘s cover-story about Donald Trump features a long interview with the president, in which he insists, over and over again, that he is not a liar. It is full of lies.
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An interesting read via Boing Boing