TIME Video Games

Watch Brand New Footage of Nintendo’s Next Star Fox Game

New Wii U title hits shelves during holiday 2015

The upcoming Star Fox game is going to place a big emphasis on vehicle variety.

Star Fox Zero, set to debut on Nintendo’s Wii U console by the end of the year, will let players transform Fox McCloud’s famous Arwing into a walking mech with the press of a button. The functionality was a feature in the never-released Star Fox 2 for the SNES, now resurrected for the new title.

Players will also be able to drive Fox’s landmaster tank and a gyro-wing copter in the new game, which appears heavily influenced by the on-rails dogfights of Star Fox 64.

The game will also make heavy use of the Wii U’s gamepad. Players will see a cockpit view of the action on the gamepad screen and a more cinematic, third-person view on their television screen. Aiming will be aided by the gamepad’s gyroscope controls.

Check out Star Fox Zero in action in the new footage above.

TIME Video Games

Watch Conan Get Dominated in Halo by the Stars of Silicon Valley

Conan is on the red team, of course

No one has gained as much notoriety for being terrible at video games as Conan O’Brien.

The late-night talk show host has taken his tongue-in-cheek celebration of the medium to a new level in a recent segment in which he (poorly) attempted to play the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. Conan, along with Andy Richter and Aaron Bleyaert, squared off against Silicon Valley stars Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller and Zach Woods in a multiplayer bout of the new first-person shooter.

Conan was predictably awful, spending one round trying to shoot out a pane of impenetrable glass to release a shark that’s actually just there for decoration. At one point the warring factions call a truce, only for Conan to “accidentally” take a potshot against one of the Silicon Valley stars.

Check out all the antics in the video above.

TIME Media

This Is YouTube Stars’ Newest Plan to Make Big Money

Vessel
Kris Ubach and Quim Roser—Getty Images/Cultura RF Woman using tablet computer on sofa

A startup called Vessel is courting online video stars with the promise of a bigger payday

Anna Akana has called YouTube home for a long time. The 25-year-old comedian has been posting sketches and web series on the world’s largest video site for five years, amassing a following of more than 1.2 million fans. She earns about $4,000 per month on the site thanks to her popular videos, like a recent sketch in which she was caught cheating on her boyfriend with her cell phone. The earnings have been enough to help her fund her often elaborate videos and short films, but certainly not enough to make her rich — or even well-paid.

“You can’t make that good of a living off YouTube anymore,” she says. “That also means you can’t reinvest a lot of that money into making more stuff.”

This year, though, Akana has a new, potentially lucrative revenue stream. She was one of the first online personalities to sign up for Vessel, a new video site attempting to straddle the line between the TV-like original video content on Netflix and the user-generated free-for-all on YouTube.

Officially launched in March following a splashy media push in December, Vessel is aiming to be a premium platform for online video creators. The site charges users a $2.99 monthly subscription fee to access creators’ videos a few days before they appear on YouTube or other free video sites. Videos on Vessel range from comedy sketches like Akana’s, to cooking shows like Epic Meal Time, to clips from Ellen Degeneres’ television talk show. The idea is to leverage the super-dedicated fan bases these stars have built up elsewhere and convince them to pay a small fee for earlier access to content (users can also access a free version of Vessel with no access to the timed exclusive windows). Right now there are 175 creators on the cloud-based platform.

Jason Kilar, Vessel’s CEO, believes his company can help the online video ecosystem monetize content in a more systematic way. He likens the process to the way movies are able to generate revenue across many different formats, such as theatrical releases, DVD sales, and television licensing.

“We think it’s inevitable that web video is going to evolve in a very sophisticated manner, just like television and movies before it,” he says.

Kilar has plenty of experience with the entertainment business. He was the founding CEO of the popular streaming service Hulu. While Hulu’s main calling card is shows from traditional TV, Kilar says Vessel is aimed at helping find the next generation MTV, CNN or Oprah Winfrey.

That will be a tall order for the fledgling company. YouTube has dominated online video for a decade now, boasting more than 1 billion users. Facebook, another billion-user platform, is now loudly elbowing into the space with an increased focus on video and attempts to poach YouTube’s stars.

Vessel is trying to take on these giants by offering creators more favorable terms. The company splits 70% of its ad revenue and 60% of its subscription revenue with creators. YouTube gives 55% of ad revenue to creators, while the company is planning an ad-free version of the site that will reportedly offer creators the same split. Thanks to a combination of subscription revenue and ad dollars from deep-pocketed brands like Chevrolet and McDonald’s, Kilar says creators on Vessel currently earn about $50 for every 1,000 views on the site. On YouTube, they earn just a fraction of that.

Vessel also offered several creators guarantees on their videos to entice them to try the site. Akana, for instance, said she was guaranteed the same $4,000 per month rate on Vessel whether her videos generated that much revenue on the site or not.

The company has yet to divulge any usage statistics, but the concept has struck a chord with investors. Vessel raised $75 million before it even launched last June and pulled in another $57 million in April from investors such as Greylock Partners and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Though it’s tempting to pit Vessel and YouTube as adversaries, Kilar argues that helping creators make more money will end improving the quality of content on other video sites. “The creators are going to create more content and higher-quality content, and that flows right to free ad-supported content on the heels of Vessel,” he says. The company doesn’t currently have plans to bankroll original content that will be exclusive to Vessel permanently.

It’s too early to judge whether Vessel will be a hit, says Dan Cryan, a streaming analyst at IHS. The startup will face challenges building up its brand, considering YouTube is so well-entrenched as the de facto option for online video. But the big online names and venture capital the service has attracted early on shows there’s an appetite for more options in the world of online video.

“It’s entirely possible that both Vessel and YouTube could start attracting traditional TV audiences,” says Cryan. “We’re still fundamentally at the relatively early stages of how the TV business changes and adapts to the Internet.”

TIME Fast Food

Subway Is Dropping Artificial Ingredients

Fast food chain joins Taco Bell and others in offering more natural foods

Subway is joining the growing list of companies that plan to drop artificial ingredients from their menu items. The sandwich chain plans to remove artificial flavors, colors and preservatives from its food in North America by 2017, according to the Associated Press.

Some of the changes will include using banana peppers that are colored with turmeric instead of Yellow No. 5 and using turkey that includes with vinegar rather than the preservative propionic acid.

Subway earned a spate of bad press last year when a food activist launched an online petition asking the company to remove azodicarbonamide from its bread, which is a substance also used in yoga mats. The ingredient is no longer in Subway’s food.

Offering up more natural food options has been en vogue among fast food chains this year. Businesses like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Panera Bread have all announced that they were dropping artificial ingredients from some or all of their products.

Read next: How Your Favorite Fast-Food Meals Are Changing

TIME Companies

This Major Twitter Investor Says Google Should Buy the Company

Twitter Goes Public On The New York Stock Exchange
Andrew Burton—Getty Images The Twitter logo is displayed on a banner outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 7, 2013 in New York City.

Social network would be an "instant fit" for search giant

An early investor in Twitter who penned a massive blog post this week on how to save the company believes Google should buy it out.

Chris Sacca told CNBC that the social network would be an “instant fit” for Google.

“I think it’s a fantastic use of Google’s cash,” he said. “This is the thing Google has never had. They’ve never understood social, they have never understood those personal interactions. This bolts right in cleanly.”

Sacca is a former Google executive who worked in the company’s wireless division. In his blog post published Wednesday, he said he owns more Twitter shares than “virtually anyone working at the company.” Sacca argues that Twitter should, among other things, offer curated feeds of tweets for live events to make the site more engaging and less lonely.

Google and Twitter recently resurrected a deal to have tweets displayed prominently in Google search results, a sign that relations between the two companies have been warming lately.

TIME Media

Drake Reportedly Walked Out on Tidal at the Very Last Minute

The 2014 ESPYS - Show
Kevin Winter—Getty Images Host Drake performs onstage during the 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Rapper is rumored to be partnering with Apple instead

As rumors swirl that Drake has signed with Apple on to be a celebrity DJ for a revamped iTunes Radio, there are now reports that the rap star rejected an earlier opportunity to partner with Tidal, the streaming service recently bought and relaunched by Jay-Z.

According to Billboard, Drake was supposed to be one of the many celebrities that signed on for joint ownership of Tidal at a star-studded launch ceremony back in March, but he dropped out as late as two days before the event.

The ceremony, in which celebrities such as Kanye West and Daft Punk announced their joint ownership was a service, was derided as an opportunity for rich celebrities to get richer. Tidal has been suffering from an ongoing torrent of bad press since then, though Jay-Z has publicly defended the service.

TIME Apple

Here’s Everything Apple Could Announce at WWDC 2015

There will be the expected updates to iOS and Mac OS, along with a few surprises

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is upon us, and it’s promising to be an event full of big announcements. New operating systems for the iPhone, iPad and Mac are expected to be announced, as well as a huge expansion in Apple’s music apps and services.

Here’s a full breakdown of what’s expected to be announced when WWDC gets underway Monday (and here’s how to watch live):

A new iPhone/iPad OS

WWDC is historically the time Apple unveils its latest software, and this year should be no different. iOS 9, which should come out in the fall around the time of a new iPhone, isn’t expected to have quite as many new bells and whistles as iOS 7 or iOS 8. A big focus will be on stability, bug fixes and making the OS work with old devices like the iPhone 4S, according to 9to5Mac.

Still, some big new features could include transit routes in Apple Maps, a dual-app viewing mode for the iPad, and a new digital assistant interface codenamed “Proactive.”

A new Mac OS

Much like its mobile OS, Apple’s new operating system update for laptops and desktops, Mac OS X 10.11, is expected to mainly focus on under-the-hood improvements. A new security system called “Rootless” (also expected in iOS) is expected to boost security by blocking user access to certain files. Macs may also get a new typeface based on the San Francisco font, which is already being used on the Apple Watch.

A music subscription service

Apple is finally throwing its hat in the music streaming ring, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company is expected to announce a new music subscription service that costs $10 per month for unlimited access to millions of songs. Unlike Spotify, Apple isn’t expected to have a free, ad-supported tier of the service; however, the company may make select songs free for promotional purposes. In an unusual move, Apple is also planning to make the service available on Android devices, according to the Journal.

A revamped iTunes Radio with celebrity DJs

Apple’s first big push into music streaming was the Internet radio service iTunes Radio, which launched in 2013 but has failed to put a big dent in Pandora’s market dominance. The company is planning to retool the service with a big focus on celebrity DJs. Apple recently hired BBC radio DJ Zane Lowe, reportedly to lead up the iTunes Radio revamp. And according to multiple sources, the company is trying to lure music stars like Drake and Pharrell to DJ as well, with contracts valued as high as $19 million.

One thing that won’t likely be announced: Apple’s upcoming pay-TV service. According to Re/code, Apple has been forced to postpone plans to unveil its upcoming service that would deliver live TV via the Internet. The company is still stuck in negotiations with networks, and in particular is trying to wrangle the streaming rights for local broadcast stations across a variety of markets. Such a feature would help Apple’s service stand out from other cheap cable alternatives like Sling TV.

Read next: This Exec Confirmed Apple’s Streaming Service Launches Today

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Guns

Texas Lawmakers Pass Bill to Allow Concealed Carry at Public Colleges

Mike Schoefield
Eric Gay—AP Rep. Mike Schoefield packs up his desk after the House adjourned on the final day of the legislative session in the House Chamber at the Texas Capitol on June 1, 2015, in Austin, TX.

If governor signs bill, openly carrying guns on campus would remain prohibited

The Texas state legislature passed a bill Monday that would allow people to carry concealed guns in buildings on public college campuses, and Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign it.

The new law would remove a blanket ban on guns on campus at public Texas colleges, though school administrators could still ban guns from specific buildings, CNN reports. Backers of the bill claim it will provide increased individual protection to properly licensed gun-owners, but opponents argue campus shootings could increase and schools will have to pay up to boost security.

Texas is the first state to have a campus-carry bill reach the governor’s desk to be signed. Private universities won’t be affected by the new bill, and openly carrying a weapon on a public college campus would remain prohibited.

[CNN]

Read next: Vince Vaughn Says Banning Guns ‘Like Banning Forks’

TIME Media

Why Apple Reportedly Wants to Pay Drake $19 Million

Singer Drake attends the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, on September 21, 2013
David Becker— Getty Images Singer Drake attends the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, on September 21, 2013

Rapper may be the next big get for iTunes Radio

Apple is reportedly opening up its checkbook to secure its place in the future of music streaming.

The tech giant is trying to sign rapper Drake to a $19 million deal to perform as a guest DJ for iTunes Radio, according to the New York Post. Pharrell and David Guetta are also in talks to provide exclusive content to Apple, the Post reports.

Apple recently picked up BBC Radio host Zane Lowe to work on iTunes Radio. The company is expected to unveil new features for the Internet radio service as well as a Spotify-like on-demand streaming service at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

An Apple spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more: Everything We Know About Apple’s New iPhone Software

TIME Gadgets

Man Fined For Using Apple Watch While Driving

Police in Quebec equate the gadget to using a telephone

A Canadian man recently was fined $120 for wearing his Apple Watch while driving.

Jeffrey Macesin was pulled over by Quebec police after he was using the gadget on his wrist to change the song he was listening to, CTV News reports. A law in Quebec’s highway safety code prohibits driving a car while using a handheld device that has a telephone function.

Macesin argues that the Apple Watch shouldn’t be treated the same as a smartphone. The watch needs to be paired to a smartphone to function, but it can send and receive both calls and text messages. “It’s not so much handheld. It’s a watch,” he told CTV. “You know, it’s on my wrist. That’s where it gets controversial.”

Macesin is protesting the ticket and may seek a lawyer to argue his case.

[CTV]

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