China takes its turn at a giant fighting robot

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MegaBots’ giant robot duel might just turn into a full-scale brawl. Beijing outfit Greatmetal has unveiled a prototype of Monkey King, China’s take on an enormous battle machine. It’s still human-piloted, but it has a distinct trick up its sleeve: it can either fight on all fours (good for stability) or stand on its hind legs to wield a staff. While we wouldn’t expect wuxia-style acrobatics out of this bot, it could throw a curveball into what was otherwise set to be a relatively straightforward fight.

You might not have long to wait to see it in action, either. MegaBots is deciding whether or not Greatmetal can enter its giant fighting robot league, and might even pit its Mk. III robot against Monkey King after taking on Suidobashi’s Kuratas this August. That could be good news in the long run — even if the first fight amounts to little more than a novelty, having more than two early participants could spur other teams and increase the frequency of these mechanoid melees.



'Orange is the New Black' hackers may have stolen 36 other shows

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Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait

When the hackers who swiped Netflix’s unreleased Orange is the New Black season warned that they had shows from other TV networks, they might not have been kidding around. TheDarkOverlord has reportedly provided with a “preview” of the shows it obtained from Larson Studios, and it looks like there could be 36 more titles in the mix — many of which you’ve likely heard about. The mix includes recent and yet-to-air episodes of Fox’s New Girl, FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, IFC’s Portlandia and CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, among others. There are also singular titles like the Vin Diesel movie XXX: Return of Xander Cage as well as Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World and a YouTube Red original.

TDO’s strategy remains unchanged: it wants victim companies to pay a ransom if they hope to keep these episodes under wraps. Most of the companies have declined to comment (Netflix already said authorities were involved), but it’s not certain that the group is going to get what it wants, assuming the list is accurate. Variety notes that Bill Nye is already available, for instance. Likewise, the value of the other stolen shows may go down as more episodes air.

In that sense, the public revelations of the breach and its scale might not be bargaining chips so much as as they are last gasps. As with the Shadow Brokers, there’s an underlying tone of frustration — the hackers were expecting to make a quick profit and are realizing they may get nothing. Even so, it’s safe to presume that Netflix and conventional studios are evaluating the internet security of their partners to make sure there isn’t a similar incident down the road.



DNA in dirt can reveal where human ancestors lived

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When you want to know where humans have lived, you typically look for direct signs like bones or buildings. But that’s not always easy, especially with hominid ancestors who didn’t exactly leave an abundance of remains. Thanks to a new genetic research technique, however, those obvious clues won’t be necessary — you’ll just need some dirt. Scientists have discovered that they can obtain ancient DNA from soil by effectively luring it out and creating matches.

It starts by releasing the soil-bound DNA into a solution using chemical reagents. If you fill the solution with the synthesized DNA halves of the species you’re looking for, the soil DNA will naturally attach to those halves and let you sequence it.

The implications are huge for anthropology, paleontology and archaeology. In theory, you only need to sift through dirt to know whether or not hominids (or really, any relatively recent species) were in a given area. Early tests bear this out: the researchers not only found evidence of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA (both in expected and unexpected places), but even woolly mammoths and woolly rhinos. This could help verify mysteries like a recent discovery suggesting that humans may have been in North America over 115,000 years earlier than previously thought. Do you have evidence of early tools, but no bones to go with them? Just test the soil and you’ll know which species likely made them.

There are limits. DNA only survives for so long before it degrades, so it won’t help with dinosaurs and other species that have been gone for millions of years. And of course, the collection methods are imperfect. You need an idea of what species might have been present, and there are no guarantees that there won’t be some contamination. Even so, it won’t be surprising if this new gene discovery approach eventually fills in some important gaps in human history, and Earth as a whole.



Gene editing could lead to a vaccine for arthritis

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Michelle Gibson via Getty Images

Right now, arthritis treatment tends to be an all-or-nothing proposition: the drugs you take affect your entire body, causing havoc with your immune system and leaving you prone to infections. But how do you narrow the treatment to just those areas where you feel pain? Genetics, apparently. Researchers have used CRISPR gene editing to turn stem cells into cartilage that releases a biological anti-inflammatory drug when they encounter inflammation. It not only limits treatment to the affected area, but responds only when there’s a pain flare. You only get relief when you need it.

The team has only just started testing these custom stem cells in mouse models of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. However, the dream is that they’ll eventually be used to replace arthritic cartilage and, for all intents and purposes, serve as a vaccine against arthritis. That, in turn, could prevent the secondary damage that makes arthritis that much worse. On top of this, the scientists believe their basic approach could apply to any condition where there’s a “feedback loop.” Imagine if you could treat diabetes with cells that trigger insulin production in response to glucose, for instance. This kind of automatic cell-based medicine may be years away, but it is on the horizon.



Tesla ends SolarCity's door-to-door sales pitches

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Tesla is used to selling cars online, but that’s not how the recently acquired SolarCity liked to roll — it preferred door-to-door sales pitches to get panels on your roof. Thankfully, you won’t have anyone interrupting dinner going forward. Tesla has revealed that its solar energy division will stop those door-to-door sales in favor of internet and retail operations. It’s what “most of our prospective customers prefer,” the company says, and the other sales channels should more than make up for the loss. That will shake up jobs, but the roughly 1,000 people affected will either be moved to other sales methods or get a chance to interview for other positions at Tesla.

These in-person sales were sometimes effective, but it’s not hard to see why Tesla would shake up its strategy. It’s indicative of a maturing home solar energy market, particularly in Tesla’s home turf of California. Why chase after fewer and fewer customers through sales reps, especially when you’re effectively asking homeowners for an on-the-spot commitment to a solar panel installation? Tesla has already said it would focus more on saving money with its solar business than boosting its sales, and there’s no question that face-to-face sales are expensive when success is far from guaranteed.

As it is, SolarCity’s methods aren’t exactly in sync with Tesla’s upscale, relatively low-pressure sales approach. While the electric car and solar panel groups sometimes aim at very different audiences (one is eager to splurge, the other is trying to scrimp and save), the end to door-to-door sales should create more of a united front when Tesla pitches its eco-friendly vision of the future.



The best rice cooker

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By Karen Solomon & Tim Barribeau

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After more than 100 hours of research and testing, cooking more than 200 pounds of rice, and talking with rice experts specializing in Japanese, Thai, and Chinese cuisine, we recommend the Hamilton Beach 37549 2-to-14-cup Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker and Steamer for most people. It’s an outstanding value that’s well-suited to most households that want the ease and convenience of no-fuss, no-burning cooked rice.

Who should buy this

Though rice cookers have their roots in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and other Asian cuisines, they’ve become a frequently used tool for many international cooks, including those preparing Latin American dishes. Here in the US, rice cookers are essential to Hawaiian cookery and Cajun cuisine.

Rice cookers can dramatically improve the quality, flavor, and texture of rice. Great rice-cooker rice is really, really delicious—aromatic, nutty, earthen, and with a broad depth of flavor—and quite easy to make. If you want the ease of one-step cooking with delicious results while you put together the rest of dinner, it may be time to buy one. Another bonus for many cooks: Rice-cooker cooking is unburnable. It’s much easier to clean a rice cooker insert than burnt-on rice in a cooking pot.

How we picked and tested

A good rice cooker should cook delicious, fluffy, flavorful Japanese-style rice (meaning short-grain or medium-grain white rice) evenly throughout the pot every time. The machine should be sturdy and built of quality materials to stand up over time. The lid should have a tight seal to maintain steam and temperature. It should also cook consistently: One cup of rice should taste as good as cooking rice to maximum capacity. Though rice cookers aren’t known for being faster than cooking rice in a pot, they shouldn’t be painfully slow, either. A good appliance should also have some convenient features, such as delayed start, keep warm, and quick-cook settings. And ideally, a good rice cooker should be easy to clean and easy to use.

Rice cookers come in a range of prices, and if you want to cook grains like millet, quinoa, brown rice, or more, be prepared to spend $150 or more for a model that can accomplish these tasks. A variety of issues haunt cheaper rice cookers. For more on the relationship between price and quality of rice cookers, see our full guide.

Any rice cooker insert worth its salt is going to be nonstick; most have nonstick aluminum inserts. Thinner pots tend to wear out more quickly and lose some protective coating.

We looked for cookers with solid, tightly sealed lids and heavy, quality cooking pots. We also selected models with a minimum five-cup cooking capacity; many users report that they make extra rice, and 5 to 10 cups seems like the right amount for two to four people with leftovers. We also chose to look only at models that have a brown-rice option and—to help save time for busy cooks—a quick-cook setting for speed and convenience.

For our original 2013 review, we first tested the cookers informally with some home cooks. Then we conducted a formal group taste test with the chefs from Japanese restaurant Ken Ken Ramen in San Francisco.

For this update we didn’t perform a panel testing, but in each of the 10 cookers we made a batch of Japanese white rice—likely the most critical and the most-used skill for a rice cooker. If they performed well for rice flavor, texture, and cooking speed in this test, they moved on to three other tests (see below). For the Japanese rice tests, we washed the rice of its exterior starch for one full minute and then drained for one full minute before cooking (we didn’t wash the brown or long-grain white rice). See our full guide for details of our tests.

Our pick

The Hamilton Beach 37549 2-to-14-cup Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker and Steamer is the best value for most people because it offers tremendous functionality for the price. Above all, it makes short-grain or medium-grain white rice as delicious as that of models that cost four times as much. The construction feels solid, and it cooks more quickly when compared with most of the competition (it was the second fastest cooker we tested). With a 14-cup capacity, the Hamilton Beach is much larger than many other machines at this price. Additionally, it’s a pleasure to house on almost any kitchen countertop: its sleek stainless and black design makes it look like a more expensive model, and it’s more well-contained in a small footprint than most. It delivers on features that we thought a great rice cooker should have: a timer, stay-warm functions, a tight lid, and a heavy, quality cooking pot. For the majority of home cooks seeking a useful, manageable tool to make delicious white rice at a great price, it will be tough to beat this Hamilton Beach machine.

Many rice cookers under $50 leave a lot to be desired. Rare is the well-priced cooker with an insulated lid to hold in steam and keep food warm for hours, but the Hamilton Beach does both with alacrity. Low-priced cookers are often single-switch on-off affairs, whereas the Hamilton Beach has multiple advanced functions, such as settings for brown rice and quick-cooked rice. Few at this price have its delayed-start-time capability or its ability to slow cook or steam cook vegetables, meat, beans, soups, and stews.

Also great for frequent cooking and brown rice

The Cuckoo CRP-G1015F 10-cup Electric Pressure Rice Cooker. Photo: Michael Hession

For those seeking a great machine beyond the basics, we highly recommend the Cuckoo CRP-G1015F 10-cup Electric Pressure Rice Cooker. Although it’s fairly expensive, in our testing we found this made some of the most delicious rice we’ve ever made at home: flavorful, aromatic, and with a texture that preserves the integrity of every grain. What really sets this cooker apart is how fast it cooks a variety of rices. Short-grain or medium-grain white rice cooked wickedly fast—just 29 minutes, which is faster than the quick-cook setting on any of the other machines that we tested. Brown rice cooks almost twice as fast as in the Zojirushi (our former pick for frequent cooking), and almost a half-hour faster than the Tiger.

Runner-up for frequent cooking

The Zojirushi NS-TSC10. Photo: Michael Hession

If the Cuckoo is too expensive for you but you’d like a sturdier and more versatile cooker than the Hamilton Beach, the Zojirushi NS-TSC10, our upgrade pick from the 2013 review, is still a great buy.

The rice it makes is delicious, and the machine is easy to use and easy to clean. The big downside is speed: It was the slowest of the lot when it came to cooking white rice, clocking in at 46 minutes for a 3-cup batch, compared with 34 minutes for the Hamilton Beach and 29 minutes for the Cuckoo. And it was the slowest for brown rice by a landslide, taking an hour and 52 minutes, almost twice as long as the Hamilton Beach and the Cuckoo.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Sweethome: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.



After Math: Keeping it 100

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Getty Images Portrait

As America’s least likeable plutocrat rounds out his first 100 days in office, we’re taking a look at other centennial achievements from the world of technology. Google and Facebook were named as victims in $100 million scam, Instagram now boasts 700 million users and a drunk guy in California pulled a Florida Man after being arrested for brawling with 300-pounds of security robot. Numbers, because how else will we know how long we have until the midterms?

Gallery: After Math: April 30, 2017 | 7 Photos

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Ben Heck's logic gate board game: Fun with LCD displays

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With Karen’s laser cutting design skills and Felix’s soldering, the team has created a prototype of the logic board game using Karen’s magnetic clasp design. Now it’s time to give the concept a test run with help from The Game Craft proprietor JT Smith, whose experience with game design includes The Captain is Dead. JT says creating a game that’s both educational and fun is one of the hardest concepts to pull off, and usually the design includes some compromises — but where? While Karen contemplates JT’s input, Ben and Felix hack an LCD display with the Pic32 Microcontroller and a DE0-Nano FPGA. Hopefully this will lead to a design that doesn’t rely solely on LEDs! What do you think the team can compromise on? Or do you have experience driving an LCD screen with a microcontroller? Weigh in on build design over at the element14 Community.



MIT fires a rocket motor made using 3D-printed plastic

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If you’re going to 3D-print rocket parts, you’d want to make them out of metal to handle the stress, right? Not necessarily. MIT has successfully test-fired what it believes is the first completely 3D-printed rocket motor to be made with plastic casing. That’s right — an all too easily melted material was sitting a virtual hair’s breadth away from super-hot propellant. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but apparently it worked well — it generated real thrust, and there was only a small amount of damage to the motor’s throat after the initial run. A second test didn’t fare so well (it would be useless for moving anything), but MIT hadn’t intended for the motor to fire more than once.

This wasn’t just a because-we-can experiment. Metal 3D printing is expensive (the printers alone cost hundreds of thousands of dollars). MIT’s printer, a Markforged Mark Two, costs “just” $13,499. That’s not exactly an impulse purchase, but it could give small teams a chance at building rockets that would otherwise be impossible with a relatively modest budget. And while it’s not stated, it’s easy to see larger space agencies using this to keep costs down, especially for rockets that are unlikely to be used more than once or for long durations.

There’s a lot to accomplish before that happens. The scientists are researching larger, more resilient motors. Eventually, they’re aiming for plastic-hulled rockets powerful enough for flight. Don’t be surprised if you one day see lighter, cheaper rockets that only use metal sparingly.



Week 17 in review: Galaxy S8 still making headlines, iPhone 8 rumors intensify

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The Galaxy S8 once again occupied the news in the past week. The main reason were some issues with red tint on the display and fast-charging troubles with old charging pads. We also heard more of the refurbished Galaxy Note7 that is allegedly coming out in June.

In other news, a phone named “iPhone 8” appeared on Geekbench, but just two days later a rumor from Foxconn hinted that we might not see an anniversary iPhone at all. A KGI statement backed such info since the OLED iPhone supply might not be on schedule.

We also heard Huawei is once again the leader on the Chinese smartphone market, and Google might present three phones with Snapdragon 835.

Check out the top 20 most-read articles for the past seven days below.

iPhone 8 allegedly runs Geekbench, destroys the competition

Past iPhones, Samsung’s newly released Galaxy S8 duo – none even come close to the results obtained by the next iPhone’s chipset.

OnePlus 5 renders leak showing dual rear camera

The next “flagship killer” will allegedly keep the metal construction of its predecessors from 2016.

ZUK Mobile is shutting down, all new devices will be named Lenovo Moto

The reorganization is another attempt by Lenovo to make Motorola profitable.

In case you were wondering, The Galaxy S8’s Always-on home button won’t burn-in

A little investigation with some business cards confirms that the Galaxy S8 has implemented a mechanism to prevent the button from burning it into the pixels.

Moto E4 and E4 Plus full specs leak along with pricing info

We must be very close to the launch of these two, since today every possible detail has been outed.

Refurbished Galaxy Note7 launches in Korea in June for $250 less

The devices will arrive with smaller battery capacities than the exploding Note7 units.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ screen replacement to cost dearly

Screen replacement from authorized services to cost around €250 in EU.

Refurbished Galaxy Note7 inches closer to release, gets Wi-Fi certified

Several versions of the device received certification.

Samsung says nature of AMOLED displays causes red tint

The company says it has conducted thorough inspection of the device.

Google's three new Pixel devices for 2017 will all have the Snapdragon 835 inside

The information was revealed in code commits within the Android Open Source Project.

ZTE Axon 7s detailed: dual camera, bigger battery and Snapdragon 821

We knew about the updated chipset already, but the additional camera was a surprise.

No iPhone 8 this year, according to Foxconn gossip

An insider allegedly spilled the beans that Cupertino only placed an order for iPhone 7s and 7s Plus units.

Samsung and Qualcomm in talks over Snapdragon 845 for the Galaxy S9

The next generation flagship chipset may or may not be built at Samsung’s 10nm fabs.

Huawei moves past Oppo to retake the lead in China's smartphone market

Huawei’s sales for Q1 2017 have outpaced both Oppo and vivo.

Galaxy S8 US pre-orders were record-breaking for Samsung

The company has reiterated that it’s working on a software update that should fix the infamous ‘red tint’ issue on some S8 devices.

KGI: OLED iPhone facing supply issues, manufacture may be pushed back a couple of months

This anniversary iPhone is slated to bring much bigger updates than the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium gets a new color: Bronze Pink

The yet to be released flagship gets a pop of color to go with its Black and Chrome options.

Gionee M6S Plus is official with more RAM and twice the storage

The M6S Plus is here, building on the the M6 Plus formula with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Samsung confirms Galaxy Note8 in quarterly financial report

A flagship launch in the second half of this year will help maintain profitability.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 may have a new, better earpiece

The unorthodox earpiece on the original Mi Mix did not sound great in calls.

Apple adds one more year of warranty to first-gen Watches

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Apple will still repair your first-gen Apple Watch if it breaks due to battery issues even if it’s already older than two years. The tech titan has extended its wearable’s repair coverage related to battery woes to last two years instead of one, according to a note Apple sent to authorized repair centers that 9to5mac got its hands on. If you include its first year with limited warranty, the device’s owners can enjoy three years of coverage, and it’s all thanks to a several reports complaining of batteries ballooning inside their timepieces.

Some posts on Reddit and on Apple’s discussion board talk about how their first-gen Watches’ batteries ballooned and displaced the screens like what happened in the image above. It doesn’t seem to be a huge issue, and we haven’t seen anyone claim that their device exploded or caught fire like Samsung’s Galaxy Notes did. Still, it’s definitely good to know Apple can help if anything happens to your smartwatch, especially if you bought it when it was first released in 2015.



Tesla revives automatic braking in response to lower review scores

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Ethan Miller via Getty Images

Apparently, public pressure works… to a degree. Tesla has reintroduced automatic emergency braking to the Model S and Model X through an update after their continued omission led Consumer Reports to lower its ratings for the electric cars. It’s a tentative step, mind you. The feature currently only works at speeds up to 28MPH, so this won’t save you if someone abruptly slows down on the highway. Higher speeds will come in stages, Tesla says. It’s not clear just when you’ll see the 90MPH braking that came with models released before October 2016.

Consumer Reports plans to revisit its ratings once it believes the “vast majority” of Tesla owners have the update, and should look at scorecards again when higher speed limits arrive. That’s no doubt what Tesla is hoping for — even a slight bump could help the Model S recover the top spot on CR‘s charts. All the same, it’s hard to object too loudly when even a limited form of emergency braking could mean the difference between a nasty accident and arriving home safely.



“Network management” on Verizon Unlimited explained

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Home >> More Operators news >> This Article

Published on: 29th Apr 2017

Since the introduction of Verizon Unlimited, there has been some confusion about what the network experience is like once you use 22 GB.

To help clear things up, we put together this explainer with some common questions we’ve received.

By definition, when speeds are “throttled,” they are set by the carrier to a set maximum speed, like 2G or 3G speeds. Verizon does NOT do this at any point when you’re surfing the web, streaming video or music and checking email on your phone with Verizon Unlimited.

The only time your speed is slowed in this manner is when you are using an internet device or mobile hotspot and have already used 10GB of data in the current billing cycle.

When you reach 22 GB of data, your data may be prioritized behind other customers’ traffic during times of network congestion.

Translation: when your phone is connected to a busy cell site, you may temporarily experience some slower speeds. This only happens when that specific cell site is busy-once congestion clears up, you get the same great speeds you are used to having with Verizon Unlimited.

On prepaid unlimited, you get the same great 4G LTE speeds you get on Verizon Unlimited, though your data may be prioritized behind other customers’ traffic during times of network congestion.

Again – this means you may temporarily experience some slower speeds, but only when that cell site is busy.

We manage the network this way to ensure everyone can get a great experience on our network. Our network is a shared resource, and while we’ve built incredible capacity into our network, we need to ensure that heavy data users do not tarnish the experience for anyone.

More than 97% of customers don’t use 22 GB in a month. If you live in an area that doesn’t have network congestion and happen to exceed 22GB, you will not experience a change in speeds, no matter how much data you use.

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Amazon's free Android app program is nearing its end

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Back in 2015, Amazon launched a program called Underground that gave users free access to paid Android apps and in-app purchases. For those who’ve never heard of it before, you can think of it as a way to find applications you never knew existed or to try fun or useful ones you’d typically ignore. You can still try it out now by downloading the Underground app to an Android device — it comes pre-installed on Fire tablets — but as a word of warning, its days are already numbered. The e-retail giant has announced that it’s shutting down the service and ending all support in 2019.

Amazon didn’t give an exact reason for the service’s impending demise in its announcement. It merely said that it has created “new monetization opportunities for developers” since the program launched two years ago. “Developers can now earn revenue outside their game by converting game characters and imagery into branded t-shirts via Merch by Amazon,” the announcement read. “And with Amazon Coins, Appstore customers can save on every game in the Amazon Appstore. Customers can buy Amazon Coins at a discount, while developers continue to get their full 70 percent revenue share.” To note, developers’ payment for apps downloaded from the Underground store is based on how long you keep their creations.

If you have an Android device from another manufacturer, you can only access Underground’s free app store until this summer. In case you’d still like to like to try it out, you’ll need to visit its official website on your phone or tablet to install it, since it’s not available on Google Play. If you have a Fire tablet, you can access the store until it shuts down in 2019. However, you’ll have to make do with what’s already available, because Amazon will no longer accept requests to be included in the program after May 31st.



Hideo Kojima on his cinematic influences, 'Death Stranding' and VR

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If you’re starting a new gaming festival, having Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima aboard is a good way to prove you mean business. That was the case for the inaugural Tribeca Games Festival, which featured Kojima in a keynote conversation tonight with Geoff Keighley, producer of The Game Awards. The wide-ranging chat covered Kojima’s cinematic influences — of which there were many — and his progress on Death Stranding, his long-awaited upcoming project.

Anyone who’s played a Metal Gear Solid game can tell, without a question, that Hideo Kojima loves movies. When he was asked about his earliest impressions of cinema, Kojima says it started when he was a child, when his parents wouldn’t let him go to bed without watching a certain amount of movies every night. His first solo theater-going experience for 1975’s Rollerball; he was so short, he couldn’t see over the ticket counter, and a worried theater attendant led him to a seat personally.

Before the age of home video, Kojima would see the same film in the theater several times a day, changing his seat with every screening to get a different angle of the film. And when he finally did get access to video, he would watch Taxi Driver daily before going to school or work. Not surprisingly, Robert De Niro was his favorite actor throughout his teens — the character of Solid Snake was actually inspired by De Niro’s in The Deer Hunter.

When Keighley wondered why Kojima liked working with actors in his games so much (Death Stranding features The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and the great Mads Mikkelsen), he noted that he liked the small bits of inspiration they bring to a project. “By bringing in actors, they do some things that I don’t imagine,” he said. ” That alone makes the world bigger, there’s something happening on the stage.” Ultimately, that leads to more natural feeling characters than you’d get from completely CG creations.

As for progress on Death Stranding, Kojima quipped, “It’s moving on PS4… Overall, [we] have the general plan for the project, there’s a plot.” His team is also still testing out different systems for the game, characters and environment. If the game were an Italian restaurant, he said, he’s now focusing on what kinds of tables would be there, and what’s actually on the menus. The development progress is “going pretty well” overall, he added.

Kojima was particularly intrigued by the possibilities of virtual reality. “A photo has always been something that’s been a frame. A painting has always been a frame. 130 years ago Lumier brothers created movies and that was also in a frame,” he said. “The media so far has always been about what kind of information you can put inside a frame. This goes the same for games, they’re very interactive. In an FPS, you can move around, but it’s still about what kind of information you can put inside that frame.”

“When it comes to VR/AR, you lose that frame. It becomes something totally different. It’s about how you can put this information in a completely different canvas… That goes for games and videos. That’s something I’m very excited about.”

Given his excitement for VR on stage, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s eyeing some sort of VR project in the future. It’s also the ideal medium for Kojima: He helped to mature gaming as a storytelling medium, and I’d bet he has plenty of ideas of how to push that new medium forward.

Keighley rounded out the chat by asking if Kojima would ever direct a traditional film. “I love movies, so definitely one day I’d want to,” he said, while noting that it would also be impossible until he finishes Death Stranding. Funny enough, he also pointed out that he’s worried about making a movie — since he loves cinema so much, “if I start making a movie I might never finish it.”

As for what type of movie Kojima would like to make? Not surprisingly, he’s game for a “big budget blockbuster.” But he’s also intrigued in doing a smaller feature with a few characters in a single room. I’m calling it now: #KojimaforDieHard.

Check out all of our Tribeca 2017 coverage here.