South Korea Movie Elysium

Every story needs a hero, and comic-book based yarns aren't any different. Good thing Sharlto Copely has some experience in that department because the upcoming Powers adaptation for PlayStation would be awfully different without Detective Christian Walker. The District 9 alum has been cast in the lead role alongside Michelle Forbes (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica) as Retro Girl. Series co-creator Brian Michael Bendis writes on the PlayStation Blog that while the actors don't resemble their 2D counterparts in appearance, neither he nor co-creator Michael Avon Oeming ever intended a faithful version of the book to hit the screen. He says that the pair were looking more for actors that captured the spirit of the characters instead and he wants the show and the book to exist, more or less, in parallel universes and play to the strengths of each respective medium. How much will those universes cleave? Well, we should know come December.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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Tanks and other land-based fighting vehicles are typically fitted with layers upon layers of armor for protection, but they move real slow as a result. Since more advanced weapons are being developed to punch holes through thick plating anyway, DARPA wants to find a way to develop faster, more agile fighting vehicles that don't depend on armor for safety. To accomplish that, the agency has launched the Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program, which aims to conjure up technologies that'll lead to slimmer tanks that can avoid getting shot at. The program wants to cut vehicles' weight and the number of operators needed to operate them in half, as well as to make them twice as fast so they can dodge incoming threats. It also plans to give these new breed of vehicles the power to drive through rough terrain and to evade enemy detection. DARPA's slated to work on GXV-T technologies for the next 24 months before it awards any contract, so it might take a while before we see a finished product.

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Generally speaking, Amazon's Fire phone hasn't had the warmest of receptions, and the online retailer is looking to improve things with its first major update for the device. To start with, the flagship smartphone from Amazon is finally capable of multitasking, a feature that's hard to believe could be missing to begin with -- double-pressing on the home button now lets you quickly switch between apps and tasks. In this new version of the handset's Fire OS, Amazon has also introduced App Grid Collections, aka application folders; Carousel Pinning, which lets users pin their favorite apps to the main home screen; and the ability to take Lenticular photos with 11 images rather than only 3, something that should make the optical illusion better on those type of images. Perhaps most importantly, however, this update is said to bring "dozens" of system tweaks which improve the Fire phone's battery life, and we all know how important that is.

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Richard James, aka Aphex Twin

Fans have been waiting for a new Aphex Twin (aka Richard James) album ever since 2001's Drukqs. Well, he finally put out the first details of this follow-up today -- and in a very modern (if characteristically cryptic) fashion. The electronic musician revealed both the title and track listing through a Tor web link, which requires the kind of privacy-minded "secret web" browsers used by NSA whistleblowers and black market dealers. In fact, trying to visit the public version of the site gives you seemingly everything but what you're looking for; all you'll see is your own internet connection details and James' signature "A" logo. It's almost an anti-publicity campaign, in that sense. You can look at the image below if you're willing to spoil the surprise, but be sure to check out Aphex Twin's excellent/disturbing "Windowlicker" video (the music starts around 3:50) while you're at it.

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Sprint sign

T-Mobile has lately enticed families by giving them a big, 10GB bucket of mobile data at a relatively low $100 rate, but Sprint isn't about to take this competition laying down. Big Yellow has just unveiled a Family Share Pack promotion that lets you split a minimum of 20GB of data (and unlimited voice/text) for a relatively modest $100 per month, plus $15 per line. You're almost certainly getting more than that, too. Sprint throws in another 2GB for every line, so a family of four will have 28GB to play with. If you max out the plan with 10 people, that's a pretty hefty 40GB. You won't get the carrier's signature unlimited data, but this may eliminate worries that Snapchat-happy kids will chew up all your bandwidth.

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Earlier this year when the Facebook purchase of Oculus VR went down, there were more than a few detractors but none as prominent as the man behind Minecraft. At the time, Markus "Notch" Persson said that his company Mojang was in talks to bring the blocky construction set to Oculus Rift, but cancelled the deal because Zuckerberg's social network creeped him out. That's all changed now. Notch recently tweeted that he's officially over being peeved about the transaction, and was now more upset about a hole in one of his favorite socks (yes, really). That musing didn't go unnoticed by Oculus. Specifically, the outfit's chief technology officer and all-around game-industry legend John Carmack, who offered:

"Say the word, ship the source and I'll make sure it runs well on you-know-what..."

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Let us help you brighten your Monday a bit, yeah? Today we've got everything from a concert violinist playing a tune while surgeons fiddled with his brain, the unsurprising news that even North Koreans are accessing porn and a bit more! It's all waiting for you in the gallery below.

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Enhancing the world around us with projectors and 3D scanners is nothing new. But what about stylizing yourself? With Omote, you can use face-tracking tech to paint on digital makeup -- or anything imaginable, really. In the demo below, it renders a variety of makeup styles and visual effects (like changing eye color) on a model's face. What's most impressive, though, is that the CGI-like projection reflects her movements in real-time. This doesn't necessarily mean your face-painting days are coming to an end though, ladies. Omote's visual magic is equipment-heavy and limited; the woman in the video below never leaves her seat and doesn't crack so much as a smile. But if you someday find yourself using the technology to virtually try a new shade of foundation, we wouldn't be surprised.

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Shark Week is no longer upon us, and real NFL action is almost here. But first, we've got a few more things to get around, including the premiere of a new season of Doctor Who, with Peter Capaldi taking over the title role of The Doctor. Netflix also has a couple of premieres this week, with its new series starring Will Arnett as the voice of Bojack Horseman plus a US/Canada premiere for the BBC drama Happy Valley. The F1 series continues in Belgium, and on HBO fans will be able to see the last episode of True Blood. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition brings the series to next-gen consoles this week as well (in 1080p on Xbox One and PS4) and with some options for cross-platform saves. On Blu-ray there's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and a new Y Tu Mama Tambien release from Criterion. Check after the break for a list of what's new this week plus a few trailers, and drop a note in the comments if you see any highlights we've missed.

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The human body undergoes some weird physical changes when it hands the keys to a shiny new car to someone else; the pulse quickens, the throat dries out and the palms get unnaturally clammy. If that shiny new car happens to be a Corvette, though, the human body may be able to worry a little less - Chevy kitted the 2015 model out with a Valet Mode to help you lock down your ride when you're not the one driving it. Once you key in your code and fire up Valet Mode (introduced in 2014), the system springs into action: the glovebox and the storage bin in the center console automatically lock themselves and the infotainment system gets disabled completely. There's something new this year though: using the Performance Data Recorder tech, a built-in camera films where the car goes (complete with vehicle data like speed and engine RPM) while a microphone records what's going on inside the cabin. Sure, using the feature may speak to an intense distrust of your fellow man (if you've seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off), but really now -- what have those randoms done to earn your trust in the first place?

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