Netflix is making an original movie—but it won’t come cheap The video streaming company will work with The Weinstein Company to produce a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the first of several films that will premier simultaneously on Netflix and in Imax theaters. But shelling out for a Hollywood-scale production will be a heavy lift financially, since it will only provide a few hours of entertainment compared to an episodic series like “House of Cards.”
Turkish tanks do battle with the Islamic State. Shells fired from by the extremist group in Syria landed inside Turkey, killing two soldiers and wounding five others, prompting Turkish tanks to return fire. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has acknowledged that Turkey “can’t stay out” of the US-led campaign against IS.
Hong Kong’s streets are eerily quiet. Pro-democracy protests have turned the center of the city into a car-free zone, after a night without any significant confrontations between demonstrators and police. The size of the crowd is smaller this morning, but is expected to swell again in the evening, ahead of tomorrow’s National Day holiday celebrating the founding of China. You can follow the action from the “Umbrella Revolution” here.
The SoftBank-DreamWorks deal might not happen. According to The Wall Street Journal (paywall), talks between the Japanese wireless firm and the Hollywood movie studio have “cooled”, sending the latter’s stock down as much 8% in after-hours trading. Rumors of the deal only began swirling on Saturday.
A bloodless transfer of power in Afghanistan. Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister and World Bank technocrat, has been sworn in as president. He will share power with his bitter rival, Abdullah Abdullah, who takes the new position of chief executive office. Their first order of business: Give US troops permission to stay in the country past 2014.
Solar could be bigger than fossil fuels by 2050—if we really try. According to a report from the International Energy Agency, electricity generated from photovoltaic systems and solar thermal collectors could generate 16% and 11% of the world’s energy needs by 2050, respectively, together surpassing fossil-fuel sources. But that will only come about if the right policy programs and incentives are put in place.
Look for self-driving BMWs speeding along the Great Wall. The German auto-maker is bringing its prototype autonomous vehicles to Beijing and Shanghai for testing in collaboration with Baidu. The partnership between BMW and China’s largest search engine was inked just a few weeks ago; there’s no word on when the intelligent driving machines will go on sale.
How to turn a tractor into a tank. Kurdish fighters may not have the most advanced military equipment, but their resourcefulness—plus a couple of buckets of paint—has resulted in the creation of battle-hardened vehicles that look like they were ripped from the 1979 film “Mad Max.” Luckily for people in and around the Syrian city of Kobane, these battle-bots are being supported by US-led airstrikes.