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Billionaire CEO on a mission to save Toys 'R' Us

CNN News Feed - 37 min 43 sec ago
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Categories: Money

Toys 'R' Us founder Charles Lazarus dies

CNN News Feed - 50 min 48 sec ago
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Categories: Money

Detective Pikachu Review: Elementary, My Dear Watt-son

Gamespot News Feed - 56 min 34 sec ago

Pikachu is normally very cute and a little bit sassy, but its Detective variety is unlike any Pikachu you've ever seen. Detective Pikachu plays with your expectations of what Pikachu should be, and the game has a lot of fun reveling in the weirdness of a small, adorable creature talking and acting like a human man. It's campy and self-aware, showing a different side to Pokemon and Pikachu with an infectiously rambunctious attitude. Detective Pikachu--the character and the game--is full of personality, and as a result an otherwise standard mystery-solving game is far more fun and entertaining than you might expect.

You play as Tim Goodman, who has arrived in Ryme City in search of his father, Harry, who went missing in an accident. Of course, the real star is Detective Pikachu--you meet him almost immediately, and you're the only human who can understand him. Like a grizzled detective out of a '50s noir, he sounds like a middle-aged man and gestures like a caricature of a New Yorker, and his voice acting and animation captures that character perfectly. He'll occasionally get your attention with a cute jump and a gruff "Hey!"; sometimes he'll give you hints, which are entertaining even if you didn't need them, while other times he'll just chatter away about something random or interact with a nearby Pokemon. His streetwise attitude and campy quips never get old, adding a delightful (if weird) charm to every scene.

You soon learn that Pikachu was your father's partner Pokemon and lost his memories after the accident, though he can still lend you his detective skills to solve mysteries. Those mysteries largely involve misbehaving or even violent Pokemon, most of which have been exposed to a chemical called R. The cases start out with simple mischief, but as you investigate, you'll solve bigger ones--including actual white-collar crimes--and find clues about Harry's disappearance. The game follows a basic detective story structure overall, but the pulpy tone can make it feel less derivative, and the conspiracies around R and Harry are intriguing enough to keep the pace up.

Cases consist of everything from finding missing Pokemon to whodunnits with dramatic reveals. Your job is to talk to people--Pikachu will translate for Pokemon witnesses--and gather evidence that you can then use to solve each case. You talk to people, get more information, and use that information to unlock follow-up questions until you have everything you need to start the deduction process. Pikachu guides you through most of this, framing the questions you need to answer and later prompting you to pick the evidence that best supports your theories. There's no real way to fail; as long as you talk to everyone and search the environment thoroughly, you'll get everything you need to piece things together. That on its own is disappointing if you're hoping for compelling mysteries and puzzles.

Finding all the clues is fun, however, especially with Pikachu wisecracking as you go. Getting one solution will open up a new question or pose another problem to solve, and while they all follow the same gameplay structure, each case is deeper than it seems at first. For the most part, I was never so far ahead of the game's pace that I was still gathering evidence long after I'd figured everything out--while nothing shocked me, there were times when I wasn't entirely sure how a culprit had done it until I was choosing what evidence matched Pikachu's hints. But there were also a few frustrating times when I'd figured out the solution but couldn't find the last piece of evidence to back it up. In one chapter, for example, you have to gather a half dozen or so alibis, then use witness testimony to deduce which alibi is a lie. It involves a lot of talking, and I ended up running around for 15 minutes re-interrogating everyone until I finally found the person I'd missed (despite knowing who was responsible and why the entire time).

It's hard to stay annoyed for long, though, because Detective Pikachu is brimming with personality. Pikachu himself is a total goofball, but the other Pokemon are also entertaining in their own right. Each one gets its own special subtitle (Garbodor is the "connoisseur of trash," for example), and they typically have interesting things to say, even if those things aren't useful as evidence. The world of Pokemon is cleverly incorporated into different parts of the New York-inspired city, from flying Yanma that work as news camera operators to the Trubbish that occupy the subway entrances. You don't need to know anything about Pokemon to solve Detective Pikachu's cases, but being familiar with Pokemon and appreciating all those details enriches the simple gameplay and story.

And Detective Pikachu is a simple game. There's not much variety to the way you solve cases; the story follows a standard detective formula, and as long as you're thorough, you won't have too much trouble connecting the dots. But it's full of heart, and its silly characters and intentionally campy tone are what make it fun.

Categories: Games

Government and AT&T face off in opening of major antitrust case

CNN News Feed - 1 hour 23 min ago
Long lines formed Thursday morning for opening statements in the government's lawsuit over AT&T's planned purchase of Time Warner, which observers are watching as potentially the most consequential antitrust case in years.
Categories: Money

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT First Drive: V(olks’)-6

Motortrend News Feed - 1 hour 53 min ago

These days $30,000 doesn’t get you a top-shelf midsize sedan. No, today’s enthusiastic family-car buyer must budget closer to the national average new-car transaction price of $35,444 to get the coolest engine and the latest driver-assistance toys to secure block-party bragging rights. Or must they? This month the Peoples’ Car folks are introducing a 280-horse, 258-lb-ft V-6-powered bargain Q-ship: the 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT, and they’re only asking $29,995 for it.

To save you the Googling, that’s fully $5,505 off the former opening bid for a V-6 Passat in the range-topping 3.6 SEL trim. It’s $4,520 less than a Nissan Altima 3.5 SL, $4,725 cheaper than the Ford Fusion Sport, $5,300 less spendy than a Camry XLE V-6, and it represents a $5,850 discount off the similarly sporty Camry XSE V-6. It’s even $1,205 less than the Honda Accord Sport 2.0 and $1,900 cheaper than the Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0.

The new Passat GT even comes with its very own Yankee Doodle Dandy of an origin story: Engineers and product planners in VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee office dreamed up this package on their own, pitched it to the suits in Wolfsburg, and got the green-light. #MakeAmerican-madeSedansGreatAgain! I can attest to this, having had a sheet surreptitiously lifted from this top-secret project during an August 2016 plant visit to drive an Atlas SUV prototype.

The car they described then was purely an appearance package that primarily consisted of replacing nearly everything chrome with shiny black trim (grille, fascia openings, side window trim, mirror caps, lower door trim), then painting the roof panel black, adding a rear lip spoiler, and fitting cool 19-inch “Tornado” wheels that frame red brake calipers. The grille also gets GTI-inspired red accents. There’s a choice of four colors—Pure White, Reflex Silver, Deep Black, and Platinum Gray—but no options, save the usual dealer stuff (wheel locks, luggage net, etc.).

Fortunately the Tennesseans managed to sell management on providing a bit more steak with the above sizzle. The suspension is uniquely tuned for the GT, with slightly stiffer springs and dampers, and a ride height that’s 0.6 inch lower. The six-speed dual-clutch transmission gets steering-wheel shift paddles and very sporty S-mode tuning and the exhaust rumbles a bit throatier and louder. They even managed to throw in standard LED headlights, running lights, and taillights (an $1,195 option on the R-Line trim that serves as the basis for the GT).

Alterations to the interior include replacing the light headliner and pillar trim with black, fitting the black V-Tex leatherette seats with Moonstone Gray inserts and contrast stitching, and adding aluminum GT-logo sill plates. The GT’s cross-car dash trim includes a textured aluminum-look strip above a glossy, quasi-photorealistic attempt at carbon fiber. It works reasonably well, and the cockpit makes an upscale first impression. You get heated front seats, a sunroof, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Naturally, shaving $5,505 off the SEL V-6’s bottom line costs the GT buyer some niceties—like leather upholstery, a power front passenger seat and heated rear seats, Fender audio with navigation and telematics, parking sensors and assistance, lane assist, remote start, and rain-sensing wipers. Frankly, we think any serious enthusiast can get along fine without that stuff.

How’s it all work? Pretty darned well. As luck would have it, my press car for the week was a Camry XSE V-6 (301 hp, 267 lb-ft). Subjectively, the Passat seemed closely matched in acceleration performance, engine note, and linearity of power, and if anything VW’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission’s sport tuning in the S shifter position was more eager to downshift and hold lower gears than was the Toyota’s eight-speed automatic. Indeed our test figures place a Passat SEL V-6 right on top of the 120-plus-pounds heavier Camry XSE, with both hitting 60 mph in 5.8 seconds en route to a 14.3-second quarter-mile (at which point the Camry’s going a tad faster—99.6 mph versus 98.8). Among V-6-powered mid-size family sedans, only the fire-breathing twin-turbo AWD Fusion Sport is substantially quicker, hitting 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and clearing the quarter in 13.9 at 97.7 mph. Of course, those who can tolerate the coarser grain of a 2.0-liter turbo will find both the Honda Accord Sport 2.0T and Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0 slightly quicker than the Passat GT, at 5.7 seconds to 60 and 14.3 seconds in the quarter at 99-plus mph.

On what passes for twisty roads in southeast Michigan, the Passat GT seemed to corner eagerly on a reasonably even keel. Test figures from our slightly heavier, more lux-tuned SEL V6 (on less aggressive 18-inch ContiProContact TX tires, versus the GT’s 19-inch ContiProContact GTs) trail only the vastly torquier Fusion Sport and the lighter Malibu 2.0 on the figure-eight—and then only by a half-second and a few hundredths of a g. Of course, one way VW can get away with this car’s value pricing is that its tooling is WAY paid for. Remember, this Passat earned our Car of the Year calipers way back in 2012 when it was new. It had a freshening in 2015, but it’s overdue for replacement. This shows up in a structure that reverberates a bit after suspension inputs, and in a bit more structure-borne road and tire noise. Suspension inputs are also heard at least as intensely as they’re felt.

The narrow-angle VR6 has been accounting for just about five percent of Passat sales. That pencils out to about 3,000 cars last year. This strong value play stands to improve those numbers substantially, without any threat of becoming “common.” It’ll also remain American—our super-sized Passat gets distributed to Latin America, the Middle East, and South Korea, but only the U.S. and Canada are getting in on the GT bargain.

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT BASE PRICE $29,995 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 3.6L/280-hp)/258-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6 TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT 3,600 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 110.4 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 191.9 x 72.2 x 58.5 in 0-60 MPH 5.8 sec (MT est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 19/28/22 mpg ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 177/120 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.87 lb/mile ON SALE IN U.S. Currently

The post 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT First Drive: V(olks’)-6 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Car brands with the most and least loyal owners

Auto Blog News Feed - 1 hour 56 min ago
A new survey reveals which car companies owners like to buy from again, and which ones they can't wait to get away from.

Continue reading Car brands with the most and least loyal owners

Car brands with the most and least loyal owners originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Categories: Cars

Spied! Refreshed BMW 7 Series’ Grille Looks Even More Massive up Close

Motortrend News Feed - 2 hours 5 min ago

A few weeks ago, we caught BMW testing an updated 7 Series prototype. It didn’t look drastically different from the current 7 Series, but the front and rear ends had clearly been reworked. Specifically, we noted new taillights, sleeker headlights, and a larger grille. These new spy shots don’t reveal much more, but they do show the updated grille in more detail. And if it wasn’t clear before, that grille is humongous.

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is probably still the king of large grilles, but based on these photos, the 7 Series is set to give it a real run for its money. The X5 prototype we saw back in February wore a slightly different grille, but both appear to be influenced by the awkwardly styled X7 iPerformance concept that BMW showed off at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Look closely at this 7 Series prototype’s headlights, and you can see they have their own X7 influences, as well.

We’ll have to wait to see the final, undisguised version before we give our official verdict, but at least for now, it’s hard to imagine the larger grille improving the flagship sedan’s look. Especially in M760i form, the grille on the current 7 Series looks pretty good. Mercedes has sold nearly three S-Classes for every BMW 7 Series sold so far this year, but we doubt that has anything to do with the BMW’s grille not being big enough. Then again, with the new headlights and reworked fascia, it could end up making the whole car better looking.

As we said before, though, we’ll have to wait and see.

Photo source: CarPix

The post Spied! Refreshed BMW 7 Series’ Grille Looks Even More Massive up Close appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

These American companies could lose in a trade war with China

CNN News Feed - 2 hours 14 min ago
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Categories: Money

Junkyard Gem: 1998 Mercedes-Benz S500 Sedan

Auto Blog News Feed - 2 hours 21 min ago

Filed under: ,,,

Sold new for the equivalent of $134,000, this refrigerator-white 1998 S500 sedan gave its owners twenty years of luxury under the Arizona sun. Now it has reached the end of the road.

Continue reading Junkyard Gem: 1998 Mercedes-Benz S500 Sedan

Junkyard Gem: 1998 Mercedes-Benz S500 Sedan originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Categories: Cars

5 Spring Styling Strategies to Make You Completely Forget about Winter

Elles Fashion News Feed - 2 hours 21 min ago

Think: Patterns, pastels and all shades of denim.

Categories: Fashion

The poisonous myth of confidence culture

CNN News Feed - 2 hours 38 min ago
Women are constantly being told they need to be more confident.
Categories: Money

Experts say crash video shows Uber's failure to protect pedestrian

CNN News Feed - 2 hours 45 min ago
New video of the fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, shows a failure of the expected performance of the autonomous vehicle's technology, according to experts. The technology's backup -- the human test driver who was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash -- also failed to react.
Categories: Money

Radhika Jones signals her arrival at Vanity Fair with Lena Waithe cover story

CNN News Feed - 2 hours 50 min ago
Vanity Fair's decision to put actress Lena Waithe on the magazine's latest cover is being hailed as a watershed moment for the venerable publication.
Categories: Money

Origin of 'six-inch mummy' confirmed

BBC Health News Feed - 3 hours 48 min ago
Scientists investigate an unusual, small, mummified skeleton from Chile to establish is medical history.
Categories: Health

Citigroup restricts gun sales by business customers

CNN News Feed - 3 hours 49 min ago
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Categories: Money

Lay takes on director role to grow Landwood Auctions

Property Week News Feed - 3 hours 49 min ago
Landwood Property Auctions, the recently launched auctions platform backed by the Landwood Group, has continued its growth with the appointment of Kate Lay as director.
Categories: Property

Maybe there won't be an Audi R8 V6 after all

Auto Blog News Feed - 4 hours 11 min ago

Filed under: ,,,,,

Will they, won't they? Those are the questions we have to ask about the supposedly forthcoming Audi R8 V6. Road & Track writes that an Audi spokesperson told the mag, "There is no V6 planned for the R8." However, if that's true, then reports over the last 72 hours in other publications are misinformed and possibly hallucinating. Or else there's some key piece of information we haven't received yet to make sense of it all.

Continue reading Maybe there won't be an Audi R8 V6 after all

Maybe there won't be an Audi R8 V6 after all originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Categories: Cars

Instagram prioritizes newer posts after user complaints

CNN News Feed - 4 hours 24 min ago
Instagram is answering the wish of many of its users: It will once again prioritize newer content.
Categories: Money

Is going public still worth it for startups?

CNN News Feed - 4 hours 32 min ago
John L. Nesheim is an engineer and adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the SC Johnson College of Business of Cornell University. He is the author of the best-selling book, "High Tech Start Up," which focuses on getting startups into the IPO process. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to him.
Categories: Money