What should have been a very easy win for Sony turned into pure chaos on Wednesday evening. Just weeks after PlayStation worldwide marketing head Eric Lempel reassured gamers that Sony wouldn’t surprise announce PS5 pre-orders, it did exactly that after a digital showcase. Right after the event, which ended with the reveal of the console’s price and release date, Sony announced in a very matter-of-fact Twitter reply that pre-orders would be available “starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers.”
Naturally, this sent PlayStation fans into a frenzy, as they searched for more information on which retailers were planning to open PS5 pre-orders the next day. But even the most eagle-eyed consumers weren’t ready for what followed. Despite that fact that pre-orders were set to go live on Sept. 17, several retailers put their listings up early. The result was about what you’d expect.
Walmart was the first to open pre-orders ahead of schedule and Best Buy, Target, and GameStop quickly followed suit. While there were certainly a few lucky fans who were able to quickly secure a pre-order, the mad scramble to find a working link to a pre-order page at one of these retailers was nothing short of a nightmare. And once you did find a link that actually worked, there was no guarantee the listing would actually let you put a PS5 in your cart.
In some cases, Walmart and Best Buy wouldn’t let users go through checkout. I got closest at Walmart, although every time I tried to confirm my order, I got an error message. The worst experience was at GameStop though, which at one point went down completely as the site was flooded by anxious customers.
Google Meet 60-Minute Limit For Free Users Delayed Until Next Year
Until next year, users of the video conferencing web application can continue to chat with friends and family members for 24 hours if they want.
It’s good news for Google Meet fans as the tech company has decided to continue to let people to use the video conferencing app for free without a 60-minute time limit until next year. So users can chat with their family, friends, colleagues, therapist, or really any random people on the internet without the worry of being cut off. Technically, the time limit is 24 hours, but it’s unlikely anyone would want to chat that long.
Formerly known as Hangouts Meet, Google Meet is an enterprise version of the video chat component of Google Hangouts. Meant to compete with other video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom and Skype, the app is designed for online meetings and can be synced with Google Calendar. Google Meet is available as part of the company’s subscription-based G Suite web applications. Back in April, in light of COVID-19 forcing people to socially distance from one another, Google also made the product free for anyone with a Gmail account.
Next month, Google Meet was going to restrict those calls to an hour. Even at 60 minutes, Google Meet would be a pretty good option when compared to Zoom, which cuts off free calls at 40 minutes but now that time limit has been deferred. Google Meet’s group product manager Samir Pradhan wrote in a blog post Tuesday that the September 30 cutoff had been pushed back until March 31, 2021. This means any Gmail user can still schedule video meetings that last up to a full day throughout the holidays and beyond.
Other Google Meet Features
Pradham wrote in the post that since Google Meet redesigned the product to appeal to non-business users as well, the video conferencing tool has been used by millions of people for a variety of different types of meetings, including book clubs, trivia nights, band practices and even dance parties. Google Meet also includes some newer features that might appeal to video chatters, such as integration with both G Suite’s digital whiteboard Google Jamboard and Nest Hub Max, which allows users to make hands-free calls on the device. Users can also choose to blur the background so only they appear in focus in the video stream and hide their possibly messy surroundings.
In another recent update, Google Meet increased the number of video tiles users can see on a screen to 49. Granted, that could make for a rather confusing and loud conversation, especially if some of the video streams are showing more than one person. But it’s an option for those who, say, may want to have a holiday phone call with their insanely large extended family across the globe. If they feel they need a bigger screen to see everyone, they can always cast the call to their TVs. For whatever purpose it’s used, Google Meet is a good video conferencing tool and the decision to hold off on imposing a time limit for free calls will likely continue to be a boon for the company.
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HBO Orders Weekly Late-Night Show from Sam Jay
The “Saturday Night Live” alumna is bringing her comedic talents to HBO.
HBO is bulking up its slate of weekly late-night programming with an upcoming series from “Saturday Night Live” alumna Sam Jay. WarnerMedia announced the untitled show on Tuesday.
Per WarnerMedia, the project will be a weekly 30-minute late-night show in which Jay tackles the top trending topics in urban and world culture for the week — including race, politics, sexual identity, science, celebrity, religion, and more — and examines them from her unique and subversive point of view.
The series will be executive produced by Jay, Prentice Penny for A Penny For Your Thoughts Entertainment, Chris Pollack (HBO’s “Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds” and Netflix’s “Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping”), and David Martin and Kara Baker for Avalon. Alex Soler also will serve as co-executive producer for A Penny for Your Thoughts Entertainment.
“I’m really excited to bring my point of view to late-night television and have felt nothing but support creatively from HBO and A Penny For Your Thoughts,” Jay said in a statement. “So everyone wear your mask and vote so I can make my TV show! Thaaaanks!”
Jay’s upcoming show, which does not have a premiere date, will mark HBO’s first female-fronted weekly late-night show (“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” airs on the WarnerMedia-owned TBS and is available for streaming on HBO Max). HBO’s other weekly-late night programming includes “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Real Time With Bill Maher.”
The diversity of late night has received a boost recently with the launch of new streaming services; NBCU’s new platform Peacock is the home to “The Amber Ruffin Show,” hosted by “Late Night With Seth Meyers” veteran Ruffin, and “Wilmore,” hosted by long-time late night entertainer Larry Wilmore, who previously hosted Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show” until it was abruptly canceled in 2016.
“Sam is fiercely funny, provocative, and a complete original. Her comedy seamlessly glides between vulnerability and grit, and she always makes you see the world in a whole new way,” Nina Rosenstein, HBO’s executive vice president of programming, said in a statement. “Joining forces with Prentice to bring Sam’s talent to late-night is a perfect fit.”
‘NCIS’: Is It Time for Bishop & Torres to Break Rule 12? (POLL)
According to Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), never date a co-worker (Rule #12). And while NCIS Season 1 saw Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) and forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) together, and everyone knows about the will they/won’t they of it all with Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), we haven’t seen teammates date in 17 seasons. Could that change in Season 18? Should it?
The CBS procedural has clearly set up Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) to be Tiva 2.0, with the most obvious hint at their romance coming when they ended up on a double date in the Season 17 episode “No Vacancy” (pictured above). Unsurprisingly, neither one of their respective relationships lasted after that.
That’s not the only trope we’ve seen with the two. We’ve also had instances like the undercover-as-a-couple episode (“High Tide”) and the playing-a-couple-as-other-characters-in-a-story episode (“Ephemera”). Chances are, whether or not Bishop and Torres do ultimately get together, we’ll at least get a couple more teases this coming season.
Valderrama didn’t know what was coming up for other characters when he recently spoke with TV Insider, but he did say, “I certainly don’t think that we will do something the show has seen before, and we’re definitely trying to work on doing something different.” If that becomes true for the potential relationship between his and Wickersham’s characters, we could very well see a romance between teammates for the first time on NCIS.
But should they get together? Both have quite a lot to figure out — Bishop is training with ex-CIA instructor (and Ziva’s ex-landlord) Odette (Elayn J. Taylor), and Valderrama has teased that Season 18 will delve into Torres’ past and family. Now probably isn’t the best time. Plus, the beginning of the season is jumping back in time to the mission that took Gibbs away during Episode 8 of last year, “Musical Chairs.” Therefore, it may be some time into Season 18 that we catch up to present day again.
Once the show does explore those aforementioned aspects of their lives in the current timeline, that will be when it becomes feasible to see these two together. But until then, we won’t be holding our breaths.
What do you think? Vote in our poll below.
NCIS, Season 18, Fall 2020, CBS
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