With Netflix touting more than a trillion possible permutations for its first grown-up stab at an interactive movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, there’s a lot to unravel.Netflix has been making interactive choose-your-own-adventure videos for more than a year, but Bandersnatch is the first that isn’t a cartoon for kids. The interactivity is simple: A or B choices that branch the plot. But Bandersnatch gives the model a self-referential spin by building the story around a choose-your-own-adventure novel. Netflix press materials note the movie has “five main endings, with multiple variants of each.” Discussions on Black Mirror subreddit, Discord and social media have tried untangling the knot. The pathways can be so convoluted that Netflix has nudged viewers to find scenes that few have uncovered weeks after the movie’s premiere. In fact, Netflix said that of the five main endings, one in which Stefan follows his mother onto the train remains the most hidden, with the fewest number of viewers taking that path. The company has shared that 73 percent of viewers chose for Stefan to accept Tuckersoft’s job offer, and that British viewers were slightly less inclined to spill tea than viewers in the rest of the world. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings dropping important financial disclosures during the company’s earnings call. Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even broke into the company’s earnings discussion in January to disclose that 73 percent of Bandersnatch viewers chose Frosties over Sugar Puffs. After two relatively inconsequential interactions about cereal and music, the story starts to offer crucial choices that take you to different plot points or assign attributes to your account that determine what choices you may see in the future. These determine the possible passwords you can enter into the locked cabinet in Stefan’s dad’s office, and they influence the options for how to respond when Stefan calls out “Give me a sign!” when he’s grappling with the idea that somebody is controlling him.Whatever Netflix defines as an “ending” to add up to “five main endings” isn’t really clear, but here are some of the permutations and endings that viewers have mapped out:You choose for Stefan to work with Tuckersoft. Backed by a team, the game is a messy failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. After watching the game review on TV, Stefan yells out that he wants to try again and you loop back with the opportunity to reject Tuckersoft’s offer instead. Stefan jumps from Colin’s balcony, and the game is published after the “tragic accident” without getting a rating. You’re eventually forced to have Stefan discuss his mother’s death with Dr. Haynes. You take the pills that Dr. Haynes prescribes. The game is published but with Stefan’s madness under control, it’s a failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. But hey, nobody dies this time!When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose Netflix, the story takes a meta turn where you either end up with Stefan laughing maniacally as he’s dragged out of the building or Stefan facing a reality where he’s actually on a movie shoot, much to his confusion. When Stefan explores his father’s locked study, if he enters the passcode TOY on the file cabinet and then chooses to leave with his mother to board the train that derails and kills her, Stefan dies in the present day in his therapist’s office because of a timeline paradox. When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose PAC, Stefan learns about a government conspiracy, kills his father and ends up in prison after calling Dr. Haynes’ office; the Bandersnatch game is released with a 2.5 star-rating. When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you chose the little glyph that Bandersnatch novel author Jerome F. Davies painted all over his walls, then Stefan ends up in prison without Bandersnatch ever being released. Various choices determine whether Stefan ends up in prison after seeing (or sometimes killing) Colin, Tucker, or Colin’s girlfriend Kitty. If you choose to make Stefan chop up his dad’s body, Bandersnatch is released to acclaim with a five-out-of-five rating, but a present-day news report explains the game was pulled after Stefan was imprisoned for murder. A report describes how Colin’s daughter, the baby Pearl that viewers meet briefly during the trip to Colin’s apartment, is a game programmer who wants to revive Bandersnatch. She encounters a bug similar to the one Stefan does, and your choice about whether she destroys her computer or pours tea on it seems to loop you back to earlier points in the story. The interactive story seems to eventually force some choices. No matter how much I tried to avoid talking about Stefan’s mother with the therapist Dr. Haynes, eventually I had no choice but to hear Stefan hash out his mommy issues. And no matter how many times I just wanted to bury Stefan’s dad instead of (gag) chopping up his body, the story eventually just went to repeat loops until I agreed to dismemberment. (Of course, the grisliest choice led to the Bandersnatch game getting the highest possible critical rating…) Protagonist Stefan (left) interacts differently with his game programming hero, Colin (center), and Tuckersoft CEO Tucker (right) depending on the choices you make. Netflix But the way that movie’s interactivity is set up, it also seems that after you’ve followed the course of a few of the endings, it’ll keep prompting you to return to certain choice points that are crucial to unlocking parts of the story you haven’t seen yet. It also seems that you get different endings presented as the “official” end — with video vignettes interspersed into the end credits like other linear episodes often do — depending on where you arrive around the 90-minute mark. And there are sideways trips that the story can take depending on various factors. Sometimes when you choose to pick up the book before Stefan goes to sleep, he dreams that he breaks his bathroom mirror when he touches it. Other times, if you choose to pick up the book, he dreams that he can reach through the mirror to travel back in time. Netflix’s UK and Ireland Twitter account teased viewers on Jan. 8 by suggesting they have Stefan “try picking up the family photo, ~twice~.” That might not be a hard science as our particular playthrough required selecting the photo three times. This will trigger a scene where Stefan is working in his room and suddenly Jerome F. Davies appears before stabbing Stefan in the chest. Stefan will then wake up, the attack being an apparent dream, and the story will continue. Picking up the book to read can unlock different elements depending on previous answers. Netflix/Black Mirror You can also unlock different nightmares (or realities?) depending on the password you enter into the father’s locked file cabinet. TOY seems to be the only way to get to the ending where Stefan dies in his present-day therapist’s office because you choose for him to join his mother on the train in the past. PAC explains a government conspiracy that’s experimenting on and surveilling Stefan, while JFD and PAX give you some creepy jump scares. There’s also a post-credits scene where Stefan listens to his Walkman but instead of hearing music he hears digital noise. Discussion on Reddit says that decoding the sound results in a QR code that leads to a separate online Easter egg. Some viewers have speculated that some elements of the story are chosen at random, a little chaos purposely inserted to drive everyone crazy who attempts to flowchart all the different narrative branches. And there are additional Easter eggs sprinkled outside the video as well. A website for Tuckersoft, the gaming company in the movie, has a landing page that looks like something you’d load with an AOL dial-up connection. Its job recruitment page is styled like a 1980s magazine ad, with actor Asim Chaudhry’s Mohan Tucker pictured. And the Tuckersoft game that Colin is developing when he first meets Stefan — Nohzdyve, an early allusion to the trip off the balcony that Colin and/or Stefan can take later in some Bandersnatch plot branches — is available to play through an emulator. Mike Sorrentino contributed to this story. Editors’ note: This story was first published Dec. 28, 2018 and is updated as more Bandersnatch pathways are discovered. Share your voice 12 17 Photos Comments Aquaman director James Wan the latest celeb to take social media break Tags Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech. What we know about the Disney+ streaming service: It’s getting ready to rival Netflix. TV and Movies Digital Media Netflix
reading • Dark mode color scheme is coming to iPhones with iOS 13 At the end of 2018, there were 1.4 billion Apple devices actively used around the globe, the company said in late January during its quarterly earnings report. More than 900 million of them were iPhones.Meanwhile, Apple has more different operating systems than ever before. There’s iOS for iPhones and iPads, MacOS for its computers, tvOS for Apple TV and watchOS for the Apple Watch. Then there’s Apple Pay, iTunes, Apple Music, the App Store, iCloud, HomeKit and various other apps and services. It’s critical that Apple make a strong impression at WWDC with the next versions of its software. See also Apple’s annual developer convention kicked off Monday at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California (fittingly enough for fans of dark mode, the show’s opening video featured the song “I Guess I Should Go to Sleep” by Jack White). The confab is in its 30th year, and it’s the third year for Apple to hold its developer conference in San Jose. The city — the third biggest in California and 10th largest in the US — is about 50 miles south of San Francisco and only about 10 miles from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.WWDC is where Apple details its newest software and services that will arrive on devices later in the year. The company may be best known for its hardware, but the seamless integration of its hardware with its software is what sets Apple apart from rivals. Apple’s ability to control every aspect of its products — something that began when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the company in 1976 — has been key in making it the most powerful company in tech. Now playing: Watch this: Apple iOS 13: New Siri voice, camera tools, Dark Mode for iPhone New Mac Pro makes its debut, starts at $5,999 Apple gives the iPad its own OS Returning to Apple’s WWDC after 20 years, now with 5 OSes instead of 1 Get all the latest from WWDC 46 Photos See All Dark mode for iOS 13: iPhone’s dark side never looked so good The long-rumored announcement didn’t come as much of a surprise. Just last week, leaked screenshots showing off Apple’s take on dark mode surfaced on 9to5Mac. It’s also worth noting that Google introduced a similar feature for Android Q users at its I/O developer conference last month. Dark Mode comes to Apple iOS Aug 19 • iOS 13 and iPadOS: How to join the beta, use the best new features on your iPhone and iPad 2:45 As of February 24, 83% of Apple’s mobile devices on the market were running iOS 12, the company’s mobile software from late 2018. Another 12% used iOS 11, and 5 percent of devices ran an older version, according to the company’s developer dashboard. By comparison, only about 10% of Android devices ran Google’s latest software, dubbed Pie, as of May 7At the end of Apple’s WWDC presentation last year, the company gave a sneak peak of Project Marzipan, its effort to make it easy to take apps developed for iOS devices to Macs. Its MacOS update released in September included four of Apple’s own apps that originated on iOS — News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home.. CNET’s Shara Tibken contributed to this story. Jun 30 • iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas: How to download and install them now Post a comment Share your voice Jun 14 • Apple Music vs. Apple Podcast vs. Apple TV: What’s the difference? WWDC 2019 Apple Event Tags Jul 5 • RIP, iTunes. This is what happens to your Apple music now 0 • Apple WWDC 2019 With iOS 13, native Apple apps and interfaces can ditch the white backgrounds in favor of black. James Martin/CNET WWDC, Apple’s annual developers conference, brought the usual slew of software announcements meant to power Apple’s hardware through the new year. Among them: An alternative dark mode color scheme for devices running iOS 13, the newest version of Apple’s operating system for iPhones. Enable it, and your phone will replace the light-colored interfaces in native Apple apps like Maps, Mail and Messages with a much darker design. 9 Photos Mobile Tech Industry Wellness WWDC 2019: A quick visual recap of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote
Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Company Limited (BDMCL) shares flared up on the BSE on Thursday, hitting an intraday high of Rs 54.40 before closing at Rs 53.85, a gain of 5.80 percent. In the past four trading sessions this year, the stock has appreciated about 13 percent.BDMCL is in the news for its revival plans that are expected to bring the loss-making company back in black in the next few years.As part of its efforts to exit non-core activities, the company sold land on December 31, 2016 for ~ Rs 185 crore in Maharashtra, including a flat in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi area for Rs 9.4 crore. The other sale effected was “MIDC Land & Building and some specific utility machinery of Ranjangaon unit” for Rs 174.45 crore, the company said in regulatory filing on January 1, 2017.”What Bombay Dyeing aims to do now is to revive the loss making flagship textile business by investing in the brand, expanding store network, growing product portfolio and liaising with international designers. Manufacturing will be outsourced,” brokerage Dynamic Levels said in an update a few days ago.”From now till 2020, the Wadia group owned company plans to invest over Rs 100 crore in the brand, double its multibrand outlets to 10,000, more than double its franchise stores to 500 and commence three to four new products every year,” Dynamic Levels added.For the quarter ended September 2016, the company incurred standalone loss of Rs 71 crore on sales of Rs 430 crore. In 2015-16, the company posted loss of Rs 84 crore on total sales of Rs 1,804 crore. The company’s chairman is Nusli Wadia, who was in the news recently in the context of the ongoing corporate battle saga within the Tata Group.
Pope poses with Aung San Suu Kyi during a meeting at the presidential residence in Naypyidaw on 28 November 2017. Photo: ReutersPope Francis on Tuesday urged the leaders of majority-Buddhist Myanmar, mired in a crisis over the fate of Muslim Rohingya people, to commit themselves to justice, human rights and respect for “each ethnic group and its identity”.The pope avoided a diplomatic backlash by not using the highly charged term “Rohingya” in his addresses to officials, including leader Aung San Suu Kyi.However, his words were applicable to members of the beleaguered minority, who Myanmar does not recognise as citizens or as members of a distinct ethnic group.More than 620,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh – where the pope heads on Thursday – since the end of August, escaping from a military crackdown that Washington has said included “horrendous atrocities” aimed at “ethnic cleansing”.Francis made his comments in Naypyitaw, the country’s capital, where he was received by Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace laureate and champion of democracy who has faced international criticism for expressing doubts about the reports of rights abuses against the Rohingya and failing to condemn the military.”The future of Myanmar must be peace, a peace based on respect for the dignity and rights of each member of society, respect for each ethnic group and its identity, respect for the rule of law, and respect for a democratic order that enables each individual and every group – none excluded – to offer its legitimate contribution to the common good,” he said.Myanmar rejects the term “Rohingya” and its use, with most people instead referring to the Muslim minority in Rakhine state as illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.The pope had used the word Rohingya in two appeals from the Vatican this year.But before the diplomatically risky trip, the pope’s own advisers recommended that he not use it in Myanmar, lest he set off a diplomatic incident that could turn the country’s military and government against minority Christians.Human rights groups such as Amnesty International, which has accused the army of “crimes against humanity”, had urged him to utter it.A hardline group of Buddhist monks warned on Monday – without elaborating – that there would be “a response” if he spoke openly about the Rohingya.RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCES “A FORCE FOR UNITY”Richard Horsey, a former U.N. official and analyst based in Yangon, said the pope’s speech was “very cautiously worded” and “crafted to avoid antagonising local audiences”.”He has clearly taken the advice of his cardinals to avoid weighing in too heavily on the Rohingya crisis, but he certainly alludes to it with a message in his speech on some of the specific points that he makes,” Horsey said.Vatican sources say some in the Holy See believe the trip was decided too hastily after full diplomatic ties were established in May during a visit by Suu Kyi.The pope met privately with Suu Kyi at the presidential palace in this sparsely populated town that became the capital in 2006, and then they both made public addresses at a conference centre.Suu Kyi said in her speech that there had been an erosion of trust and understanding between communities of Rakhine state, but did not refer to the Rohingya.Francis, speaking in Italian, said that as it emerged from nearly 50 years of military rule, Myanmar needed to heal the wounds of the past.He called for a “just, reconciled and inclusive social order”, adding that “the arduous process of peacebuilding and national reconciliation can only advance through a commitment to justice and respect for human rights”.Myanmar’s army, whose leaders the pope met on Monday, has been battling various autonomy-seeking ethnic minority guerrillas for decades.The military has denied the accusations of murder, rape, torture and forced displacement of the Rohingya that have been made against it.The Rohingya exodus from Rakhine state began after Aug. 25, when Rohingya militants attacked security posts and the Myanmar army launched a counter-offensive.Referring to the country’s communal tensions, Francis said religious differences “need not be a source of division and distrust, but rather a force for unity, forgiveness, tolerance and wise nation-building”.He made the same point at an earlier meeting with leaders of the Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish and Christian faiths in Yangon, where he called for “unity in diversity”.Aye Lwin, a prominent Muslim leader who was at the interfaith meeting, told Reuters he had asked the pope to appeal to Myanmar’s political leaders “to rescue the religion that we cherish, which could be hijacked by a hidden agenda”.Only about 700,000 of Myanmar’s 51 million people are Roman Catholic. Thousands of them have travelled from far and wide to see him and more than 150,000 people have registered for a mass that Francis will say in Yangon on Wednesday.Francis is expected to meet a group of Rohingya refugees in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, on the second leg of his trip.
Submitted to the AFRO by Dr. Kaye Wise WhiteheadFor the past five months. I have spent my days driving around and visiting the Black Butterfly neighborhoods of Baltimore City. I visited the schools, the corner and liquor stores, and the churches. I rode the bus through the neighborhoods, listened in on some conversations, and talked to some of the residents. There were days when I was overwhelmed by the feelings of despair, the rows of boarded up houses, and the ever-growing piles of trash. There were days when I walked on some blocks and it felt like time had stood still. The streets looked abandoned. The houses looked old almost as if the world had moved on and had forgotten that they existed. On my third week of walking around, an elderly woman, who reminded me of my grandmother, wanted to know what I was doing and why I kept showing up. She wanted to know if I was cop or if I was lost. I fumbled around for an answer because how do you tell someone that you are walking through their neighborhood so that you could bear witness to their suffering. I tried to explain that I was the host of “Today With Dr. Kaye” and that I wrote for the AFRO and that I wanted to document what was happening in our city. I knew that I was rambling and that I probably sounded like an outsider or an interloper, but I wanted her to understand why I was there and why I had to document what I saw. I also wanted her to understand why I kept coming back. She looked at me, long and hard, and then, as she turned to walk away, she said, “Dr. Kaye, we’re invisible to them. They don’t see us. They don’t hear us. They don’t care about us. You tell them that we’re not invisible. Tell them that we matter.”I thought about Miss Janet and about what she said every time I walked through her neighborhood. I used to look for her because I wanted her to know that I heard her. I wanted her to know that I saw her. I wanted her to know that she was not invisible to me. I have written this letter to her a dozen times in my mind, trying so hard to put words down on paper, especially on the days when I read about the increasing neighborhood violence, or walked past another sidewalk vigil with candles and teddy bears and handwritten notes. I tried to write something on the day when I walked into one of the schools and saw the bars on the windows, the trash in the hallways, and our children, sitting in overcrowded classrooms trying to learn. I wanted to share her message with them, to let them know that they are not invisible and that their lives and their futures do matter. I wanted to do that to speak some truth into the void, to fill the pockets of pain with her words of hope.Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead (Courtesy Photo)I understand Black invisibility in a city where politicians argue about policies and theories while their most vulnerable residents suffer in silence. I understand Black suffering and the reality of life in the Black Butterfly versus life in the White L. I understand this the system is designed to keep certain communities impoverished, thriving on its suffering and breeding on its pain. I understand that when you live in the Black Butterfly, you are living in a conflict zone within a stressful environment that causes severe, prolonged trauma. I understand all this, intellectually, but emotionally, it makes no sense to me. I visited these neighborhoods, met some of the residents and listened to their stories, and there were days when the pain was so real to me that I experienced trauma. There were days when I got home, sat in a chair in my living room, and cried. Those were the days when it took me a few hours to decompress, breathing slowing and talking myself through my pain. I can only imagine what it must be like if you are unable to leave.What do you do when you realize that the most dangerous place that you can imagine is a place that some people call home? What do you tell people when you know that they cannot afford to move and they cannot imagine another way forward? When you listen to their stories of pain and sorrow, what can you say to offer some type of solace? How do you deal with the everyday reality that comes from knowing that there are people living in the Black Butterfly and dealing with Black invisibility and Black suffering? I believe that you send up an emergency flare; you put a note into a bottle and toss it into the water; you find a place and speak their pain into the wind; you disrupt life and yell out their truth with every breath that you have; and, you tell everyone you know, everyone you see, that they are not invisible and that they do matter. And when you are finished, you find the strength within yourself, to do it all over again.Karsonya Wise Whitehead is the #blackmommyactivist and an associate professor of communication and African and African American studies at Loyola University Maryland. She is the host of “Today With Dr. Kaye” on WEAA 88.9 FM and the author of the forthcoming “Dispatches from Baltimore: The Birth of the Black Mommy Activist.” She lives in Baltimore City with her husband and their two sons.The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO.Send letters to The Afro-American • 1531 S. Edgewood St. Baltimore, MD 21227 or fax to 1-877-570-9297 or e-mail to email@example.com.