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Justice League
Director Zack Snyder was determined to complete the highly anticipated "Justice League" movie for this year's November release, starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as the Flash.

However, he had no choice but to hand over the reins to "Avengers" director Joss Whedon since it is difficult for him to direct the movie while mourning the loss of his daughter, Autumn, who committed suicide in March at the age of 20.

Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to bury himself in work to cope with the loss of his daughter, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

"In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it," he said while in his office on the Warner Bros. lot. "The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all-consuming. And in the last two months, I've come to the realization ... I've decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me. They are all having a hard time. I'm having a hard time."

He got Whedon to help write additional scenes for the movie, but Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich said they are still making an effort to "adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set." "We’re not introducing any new characters. It's the same characters in some new scenes. He's handing the baton to Joss, but the course has really been set by Zack. I still believe that despite this tragedy, we'll still end up with a great movie," said Emmerich.

Autumn is Snyder's daughter from his first marriage with Denise Snyder. He is now married to Deborah Snyder, and together they have seven kids and step-kids.

For fans who are worried that "Justice League" might suffer from his departure, Snyder assured them: "I know the fans are going to be worried about the movie, but there are seven other kids that need me. In the end, it's just a movie. It's a great movie. But it's just a movie."

Before "Justice League" hits cinemas, however, DC fans will first be treated to Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Woman."

Gal Gadot, who plays the titular superhero, is hopeful that the movie will be well-received by fans and that her character will inspire people to spread love instead of hate. "With this character, what I love about her so much is that her agenda is love. It's not about fighting, it's not about who is stronger than whom; it's not about women versus men. It's about love, and acceptance of others. She stands for love, justice and compassion," she said during a chat with We Got This Covered.

"Wonder Woman" will be released on 2 June, while "Justice League" will hit cinemas on 17 November. J


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The Future
The Geneva Motor Show has always been the place to see the latest innovations in automotive technology since 1905. And the 87th show is no different after it was awash with autonomous and zero-emissions offerings from the biggest names in the global car industry.

Less predictable was the preview of a self-driving zero-emissions flying car concept.

Designed by Airbus in collaboration with Italdesign, the Pop.up represents a vision of the future where congestion (and pollution) are reduced by taking cars off the road and into the skies.

Users move around in a carbon fibre pod that can be attached to either a set of wheels or hooked up to drone-like rotors that carry passengers over the rush hour traffic.

Far from being an attention-grabbing stunt, Airbus insists the Pop.up is a serious project.

"Adding the third dimension to seamless multi-modal transportation networks will without a doubt improve the way we live and how we get from A to B," said Mathias Thomsen, general manager for Urban Air Mobility at Airbus.

"Successfully designing and implementing solutions that will work both in the air and on the ground requires a joint reflection on the part of both aerospace and automotive sectors, alongside collaboration with local government bodies for infrastructure and regulatory frameworks."

Airbus says its flying pod would be best used as part of a ride-hailing app service such as Uber, which has said it wants to be using flying cars as part of its offering within the next ten years. Dubai plans to make use of drones capable of carrying people before the end of this year.

The designers also say it will take seven to ten years for the Pop.up to become a fully working concept, but Airbus does plan to fly a single-seater taxi, known as Project Vahana, by the end of 2017.

With 60 per cent of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2030, Airbus and Italdesign see Pop.up as a solution to the anticipated growth in ground traffic. Although some experts have suggested that changing attitudes to personal mobility might result in a reduction in the number of cars on our streets, traffic congestion could still cost the economies of US, Britain, France and Germany as much as US$ 300 B a year by 2030.


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Microsoft Surface
It is time for Microsoft to take back what it has lost to competitors by unveiling last 2 May a Surface laptop and streamlined operating software. This is a move designed to regain the losing ground in classrooms, where Google Chromebooks have taken hold.

Surface Laptop powered by a Windows 10 S operating system were shown off at an education-focused Microsoft event in New York City, and will hit the market next month in an array of countries with the hardware starting at US$ 999.

Surface Laptop was aimed at college students and evidently intended to set a performance bar for partners, some of which will be coming to market with lower priced computers powered by Windows 10 S to entice students at all grade levels.

"Our goal with Windows 10 S is to develop the open vibrant partner-centric ecosystem we have today," Windows and Device group executive vice president Terry Myerson said in a release.

He gave a list of partners that included Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba, and said Windows 10 S devices priced as low as US$ 189 should be available in coming months.

Microsoft is taking orders for Surface Laptop, and planned to begin shipping them in mid-June.

Google Chromebooks that act as gateways to programs and services hosted in the internet cloud have become a hit in US classrooms, taking terrain once dominated by Microsoft and Apple.

Computers running on streamlined Windows 10 S will tap into online tools such as Microsoft Office 365 and will get applications that have been vetted at a Windows online shop, according to the Redmond, Washington-based technology giant.

"Windows 10 S is inspired by students and teachers, streamlined for simplicity, security and superior performance," Myerson said.

"I believe it best reflects the soul of Windows."


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SF Housing
Early this year, The Guardian reported on an anonymous Twitter employee in his 40s who says that, even on a US$ 160,000 annual salary, he's barely scraping by in Silicon Valley.

"I didn't become a software engineer to be trying to make ends meet," he told The Guardian.

The employee's biggest expense is the US$ 3,000 monthly rent he pays on a two-bedroom house where he lives with his wife and two kids, which he describes as "ultra cheap."

"Families are priced out of the market," he says, explaining that it's hard to compete with the hordes of 20-somethings willing to pile into a shared house — and still pay US$ 2,000 per person for a room.

The employee's grievances are echoed by many of his fellow tech workers in the Bay Area.

Another woman who spoke to The Guardian says that although she and her partner make a combined salary of over US$ 1 million, they can't afford a house. "This is part of where the American dream is not working out here," she says.

San Francisco is notorious as one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., and the booming tech industry has only exacerbated the cost of housing. The median rent price is US$ 3,320 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and US$ 4,430 for a two-bedroom, according to real estate site Zumper. That's more than twice as much as the median rent price for the country overall, which sits at US$ 1,164 for a one-bedroom and US$ 1,377 for a two-bedroom.

Engineers at prominent tech firms can expect to fork over 40 to 50 percent of their annual salaries to rent an apartment near work, according to one study cited by The Guardian.

Things are even worse in San Francisco for those outside of the most lucrative sectors. Doctors can't afford 58 percent of the homes in the city, according to a recent study by Trulia, and teachers can expect to put up to 77 percent of their income toward housing, Curbed San Francisco reports.


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Viral Fight
According to the report of Jeremy Wagstaff, companies from Singapore to Finland are racing to improve artificial intelligence so software can automatically spot and block videos of grisly murders and mayhem before they go viral on social media.

So far, nobody can claim to have cracked the problem completely.

A Thai man who broadcast himself killing his 11-month-old daughter in a live video on Facebook a few days ago, was the latest in a string of violent crimes shown live on the social media company. The incidents have prompted questions about how Facebook's reporting system works and how violent content can be flagged faster.

A dozen or more companies are wrestling with the problem, those in the industry say. Google - which faces similar problems with its YouTube service - and Facebook are working on their own solutions.

Most are focusing on deep learning: a type of artificial intelligence that makes use of computerized neural networks. It is an approach that David Lissmyr, founder of Paris-based image and video analysis company Sightengine, says goes back to efforts in the 1950s to mimic the way neurons work and interact in the brain.

Teaching computers to learn with deep layers of artificial neurons has really only taken off in the past few years, said Matt Zeiler, founder and CEO of New York-based Clarifai, another video analysis company.

It's only been relatively recently that there has been enough computing power and data available for teaching these systems, enabling "exponential leaps in the accuracy and efficacy of machine learning", Zeiler said.

Some of the companies said industry adoption was slower than it could be, in part because of the added expense. That, they say, will change. Companies that manage user-generated content could increasingly come under regulatory pressure, says Valossa's Rautiainen.

"Even without tightening regulation, not being able to deliver proper curation will increasingly lead to negative effects in online brand identity," Rautiainen says.


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