TO GO WITH AFP STORY LIFESTYLE-PHILIPPIN

Let's say that, for a moment, Frank Underwood's connivings and Piper Chapman's descent into the belly of the beast don't do anything for you; you keep your Netflix subscription active for documentaries and little else. Well, you're in luck because the streaming juggernaut has recently announced plans for an episodic documentary series about something everyone needs to survive: food. Chef's Table is scheduled as a six-part series headed up by David Gelb. If that name doesn't sound familiar, perhaps one of his most prominent works does: Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The show, Netflix says, debuts next year and will focus on half-a-dozen international chefs and should fit in nicely between the likes of Exit Through the Gift Shop and Herzog's Into the Abyss. While Netflix is slowly pushing out content filmed in UHD 4K, given the 8K screen that LG recently teased we're hoping that the outfit can up its streaming resolution by next year -- call us greedy hungry for detail.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

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Netflix post-play on Chromecast

One of the most alluring (if dangerous) features of Netflix is its auto-play feature -- that's how you end up watching half of House of Cards when you only meant to check out one episode. Chromecast owners haven't had that luxury, however, so Netflix is releasing new versions of both its Android and iOS apps that enable the serial viewing option when you're using Google's streaming media stick. It works much like you'd expect if you were watching on the mobile device itself, but gives you extra time to reach for that phone buried in the couch cushions. You should see both apps surface within the next few days, and PC support is due "soon."

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This week it's all about Bungie's next big game. Destiny has arrived, and so far, it seems that things are going well for the heavily internet-connected shooter. Of course, that's not all there is for our TVs this week, as Sons of Anarchy begins its final season and Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrives on Blu-ray. New offerings on Netflix include the documentary Who is Dayani Cristal? and a Dennis Miller standup special. Comedy Central also has some comedians for you to check out with Ian Karmel, Aparna Nancherla and Brendan Lynch on Adam Devine's House Party. Hit the gallery or just look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

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Well, this is rather surprising: Microsoft is in talks to buy Minecraft's developer, Mojang, according to a few different sources. The Wall Street Journal says that the ever loose-lipped "person familiar with the matter" has noted the deal is valued at over $2 billion, while reps for both Redmond and the Swedish developer remain mum on the subject. We've reached out to Microsoft and, as expected, were told by a company spokesperson that the outfit doesn't comment on rumors or speculation, as well. If true, this doesn't come too far after outspoken Minecraft mastermind Markus "Notch" Persson recently changing his stance on the Facebook/Oculus VR purchase. Maybe he's come around to the idea of no-longer being one of the world's largest indie developers? Hopefully we'll know rather soon. Until then, you'll find us playing with Steve on Xbox One.

Update: A few new developments have surfaced, including details on the deal and when it should be completed. The New York Times reports that Microsoft approached Mojang as early as three months ago and the purchase should be finished by the end of this month. Perhaps most interesting though is that should the deal go through, Notch might not stay past six months after the ink has dried. Why? He likely wants to make sure his employees are being well taken care of. According to Bloomberg's sources, Notch (not Microsoft) actually made the approach to Redmond given the positive experience Mojang had bringing Minecraft to the Xbox One. Bloomberg also reports that Notch will help with the transition into ownership, but doesn't plan on staying long beyond that -- this isn't Microsoft forcing him out, it could be him looking to try his hand at something else.

Update 2: Reuters hears that Microsoft could unveil the deal (reportedly up to $2.5 billion) on September 15th.

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"Waffles. Waffles with Swedish fish in them!" Destiny developer Bungie's community manager Eric Osborne is telling me about his crew's Halo LAN-party ritual. Lugging bulky CRT TVs everywhere ("You didn't have a 36-inch [Sony] Trinitron Wega?" he asks), snaking Ethernet cables around a possible stranger's house, sipping Mountain Dew in the kitchen between games of capture the flag, eating lots of cheap pizza. Or, in Osborne's case, breakfast food sprinkled with candy. "That was my experience!" It's easy for him to chuckle at how ridiculous his go-to game fuel sounds in retrospect.

Back then, host advantage wasn't having non-lagging bullets -- it was knowing where the bathroom was and not having parents home. Times were a lot simpler.

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Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest's thermostat and Protect smoke detector may help automate your home, but they haven't actually talked directly to home automation systems so far -- a bit of a discrepancy, don't you think? All should be well now, though, since the Works with Nest program has just expanded to support the whole-home automation gear from Control4, Crestron, RTI and URC. If you're fortunate enough to have one of those systems, you can now integrate Nest equipment with home theaters, lighting and anything else that talks to one of the supported control hubs.

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We've been waiting for what seems like forever, but today's the day that Amazon finally lets Android users watch video on the go. The company has updated its core shopping app to bake-in Prime Instant Video, enabling users to catch digital re-runs of The Sopranos whatever device they're rocking. The updated app also now lets customers access every part of Amazon's online retail catalog, so they can pick up a kitchen appliance or two in line at the DMV. The app is available for free on Google Play, with 5GB of free cloud photo storage with Amazon Cloud Drive thrown in as a sweetener.

[Thanks, Anthony]

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PlayStation 4 and DualShock 4 controller

With over 10 million worldwide sales, Sony's PlayStation 4 has enjoyed a very solid start. It's consistently outselling Microsoft's Xbox One, and in the UK, it's already become the company's fastest-ever selling console. In an interview with Eurogamer, Sony UK boss Fergal Gara revealed that it took the PS4 just 42 weeks to reach one million sales, beating the PlayStation 3 and the PS2 to the same milestone by four and eight weeks respectively. By contrast, the Xbox 360 took a total of 60 weeks, while Xbox One figures remain undisclosed.

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There many, many things blocked and banned in China, including Google and Twitter, but apparently, The Simpsons isn't one of 'em. According to Variety, Fox and Chinese online video platform Sohu have agreed to stream The Simpsons (yes, that same series that's been poking fun at American culture and its all-American family for decades) in China. Their deal includes the latest season which will air later this September, but it's unclear how many episodes will be available in the country -- and if episodes that reference China will even be shown at all. Instead of dubbing over the characters' iconic voices, they opted to air the show in English with Mandarin subtitles. One can't help but wonder how they'll translate all the pop culture references, so don't be surprised if you see a Simpsons bad translation blog out of the mainland in the future.

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When it comes to video games, more often than not audio gets the short shrift because, well, you can't see music in a screenshot. It's with that in mind that Red Bull (yes, that Red Bull) is putting together a documentary series about the scene surrounding classic Japanese video-game music called Diggin' in the Carts. The first episode focuses on the early days of the industry at Namco Bandai and Nintendo and features interviews with, among other luminaries, the first person in charge of game music for the Mario company, Hirozaku "Hip" Tanaka. Tanaka would go on to produce the iconic scores for Balloon Fight and Metroid, as well as design the sound chip for the first Game Boy. This premiere episode, embedded below, also showcases just how early soundtracks were composed. Spoiler: it involved more wave-forms and soldering than it did keyboards and drum machines. Interested in seeing more? A new clip is scheduled to release every week for the next month-and-a-half.

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We weren't lying in our review when we said that the Xbox One felt like a work in progress. From the sounds of it, though, the system's next update will add features and functionality that frankly should have been in the box last fall. For starters, once the patch rolls out to everyone in October, double-tapping the Guide button on the Xbox One controller will act an awful lot like pressing the Guide button on the Xbox 360 controller does: it'll give options to bring up your friends list, achievements and messages. Finally! The update is also supposed to make recording video without Kinect voice controls a lot easier by letting you save the last 30 seconds of game-video by double-tapping the Guide and then hitting the X button.

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The TiVo Mini is a great little device and add-on if you've got one of the company's DVRs, but there's one small problem: no built-in wireless connection. That means you'll need a coax cable, Ethernet cord or wireless bridge to get video from your DVR or pull up internet apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus. It's not always convenient and devotees like our friend Dave Zatz have been waiting for a model with wireless since the original debuted last year. The good news (other than the fact that Mini owners can ditch the $6 per month subscription fee for a $50 "Lifetime" activation) is that a new model is coming, and its FCC listing means there's some wireless kit in it. The bad news? It doesn't seem to mention WiFi, only a 2.4GHz "Zigbee" connection. The new TGN-TCDA93000 (Mini) is even listed on TiVo's own website, and while there's not much mentioned about what it does, we have a few guesses.

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The folks who created Halo have a new game, Destiny, and it launches tomorrow on both last-gen and current Xbox and PlayStation consoles. While that prospect might be enough for some folks, there are no doubt many more of you unsure if Destiny is worth your ducats. Thankfully, the game's servers are online one day early and we've got a PlayStation 4 copy handy to give it a live run before it's officially available tonight at midnight (via retail and for pre-load on current-gen consoles). Join us for a jaunt through the next big online game from Bungie Studios, just beyond the break. And bring your best Peter Dinklage impersonation!

Update: And we're out, folks. Thanks for joining us!

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