Take a look inside Johnson & Johnson's new startup incubator in NYC's SoHo neighborhood, that feels more like a rustic-chic coffee shop with jewel-toned couches

JLabs SoHoCharlotte Hu / Business Insider

Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s Manhattan outpost of its startup incubator, JLabs, is the new kid on the NYC-health-tech block. 

First opened in June, JLabs host startups looking for a space to grow their businesses — whether that be developing drugs, coming up with new medical devices, or applying new technology to the world of healthcare. In addition to NYC, there are JLabs in San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, Houston, Boston and Belgium as well as another planned in Shanghai. 

The incubators provide J&J, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with a front-row view of what’s happening at the startup level. Though J&J doesn’t take an immediate stake in the companies, it does end up investing in some in the long-run. The relationship works like this: J&J will provide all the infrastructure, operation management, network, and programming, and the startups just have to bring new and innovative ideas.

It’s part of J&J’s plan of looking to the future and adapting to become more nimble as it evolves for the new generation of consumers

We’re the leading healthcare company,” Kate Merton, head of the NYC and Boston JLabs, told Business Insider. “In the future we want to be the leading digital healthcare company.”

Take a look inside JLabs’ NYC digs, which with its coffee-shop vibes looked unlike any startup space we’ve ever seen. 

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Destroyer is a guilt-ridden detective story made by one incredible director

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our brief breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

Tackling the leap from directing low-budget indies to tentpole features is no easy feat, and Hollywood has a history of being particularly unforgiving when the filmmakers are women. Case in point: director Karyn Kusama, who burst onto the filmmaking scene in 2000 with her debut feature, Girlfight. Five years later, she took on the feature-film adaptation of Aeon Flux, but the movie ended in disaster. After a studio regime change, Paramount Pictures balked at Kusama’s original vision, taking the movie away from her in order to hack it into the confusing mess that eventually arrived in theaters.

In an industry where male directors are often able to jump from a flop to a new blockbuster gig without issue, Kusama’s career took a different trajectory. After eventually landing the Megan Fox vehicle Jennifer’s Body, she stepped away from directing entirely for a while. But she re-emerged with a vengeance with the 2015 film The Invitation. Stylish, disturbing, and incredibly unnerving, The Invitation was a reminder of Kusama’s colossal talent, and she swiftly began working on TV shows like Masters of Sex and Halt and Catch Fire.

Now Kusama is back with her fifth feature, the arresting modern noir Destroyer. The story of Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman), a burned-out LAPD detective on the hunt for vengeance against a gang leader, it’s a gripping, stylish film, filled with standout performances. The script is a little too overwrought, but it’s a tremendous piece of filmmaking, fueled by Kusama’s fearless creative vision and Kidman’s transformative performance. It’s yet another sign that we need more Karyn Kusama films in the world, whether big or small.

What’s the genre?

Sun-bleached neo-noir. Destroyer is a Los Angeles movie, but rather than setting noir tropes against the backdrop of Los Angeles nightlife, or leveraging 1930s nostalgic affectation, it uses the deserts outside the city and the omnipresent Southern California sun as a weapon. Everyone in this film is weary and worn out, beaten down by too many years hunting for things they’ve never been able to find.

What’s it about?

In the present day, LAPD detective Erin Bell receives a package in the mail that lets her know gang leader and bank robber Silas (Toby Kebbell) has resurfaced. Bell and Silas have a history, it turns out. Back in the 1990s, Bell was deep undercover along with her partner Chris (Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s Sebastian Stan), trying to bring down Silas and his gang. But something terrible happened, and the film cuts between Bell’s present-day quest to track Silas down and exact her revenge, and the time she spent with Chris some 20 years ago.

The summary is relatively simple, but there’s a lot going on in Destroyer. Characters leap between decades, the twisty-turvy machinations of any good detective story are in play, and Bell is also trying to navigate her contentious relationship with her daughter. It’s a dense film, with a lot to dig into.

What’s it really about?

It’s a movie about how grief, regret, and self-blame can eat a person alive. The younger Erin Bell has her own set of problems, but she’s relatively hopeful about what her future might hold. The modern incarnation of the character, however, is a burned-out shell. When she’s first introduced on-screen, she’s spent the night sleeping in her car, and the film suggests that’s how she begins most days. Her entire present-day journey is fueled by the idea that if she can just right a few wrongs, she will eventually find something approaching peace — but the events from two decades ago have irrevocably defined her, and her singular focus on addressing them makes her toxic to anyone who might cross her path and want to help.

Thematically, Destroyer has some things in common with two other films that screened at TIFF this year: David Gordon Green’s Halloween and Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself. One of those films is far more successful than the other, but both tackle the idea of how traumatic events shape and define us, and get passed along to those we care about like some defective gene. Destroyer offers another riff on the core theme, and manages to strike a balance between the laughable romanticism of Life Itself and the grim nihilism of Halloween. Bell is driven and self-destructive, but it’s by her own choice. She intentionally chooses the paths she walks down, and while unpleasant outcomes may result, there’s never a question that her own agency brings her there.

Is it good?

It’s a strong film, directed with confidence and a trust that the audience will be able to keep up, no matter how convoluted the narrative becomes. Much of the film rides on Kidman’s performance, and she’s all but unrecognizable as modern-day Erin Bell. Makeup designer Bill Corso used prosthetics to transform her physically, but the way Kidman moves and speaks really brings the character home. It’s a performance unlike anything she’s attempted before, and while it’s mildly disorienting at first — any time an actor is this deeply ingrained in the public consciousness, a transformation this extreme can bring along a moment of dissonance — Kidman soon disappears into the role.

Her performance will no doubt receive the lion’s share of attention, but the entire cast is filled with strong actors doing great work. Kebbell’s Siras is a mix of charisma and danger, while Stan’s empathetic performance continues to prove he’s more than just a Marvel superhero. Even the smaller roles are filled with standouts: Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, Halt and Catch Fire’s Scott McNairy and Toby Huss, and Get Out’s Bradley Whitford all appear. From Erin’s estranged husband (McNairy) to Silas’ gangland girlfriend (Maslany) they’re all gritty, grounded, and believable.

The weakness comes in the third act, where the film gets lost on the way to a fully satisfying conclusion. Destroyer is a little too long, with just a few too many narratives twists from screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, to the point where the audience is likely to get ahead of the film. And its final operatic moments, while beautiful, veer away from the grounded realism that makes the rest of the film so successful.

What should it be rated?

I suspect this one is going to be an R, primarily due to violence.

How can I actually watch it?

Destroyer opens in theaters on December 25th.

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Comcast has outbid 21st Century Fox for Sky

Comcast has won an auction to acquire UK telecommunications company Sky, bidding $38.8 billion to overtake Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox after a lengthy bidding war this summer. Comcast’s win paves the way for it to acquire Sky and its 23 million European subscribers and entertainment assets. Sky’s shareholders will now need to approve the deal.

Over the course of this year, Comcast and Fox have been locked a titanic battle over their futures, one that will define the nature of the industry as a whole. Last summer, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke with Murdoch about an acquisition of Fox, and Comcast had made its own overtures. The two made several bids this spring, but after Disney later upped its offer, Comcast dropped its plans to efforts to acquire Murdoch’s company.

Simmering in the background of this was Murdoch’s ambitious to completely acquire Sky — Fox already owns at 39 percent stake in the company, and Murdoch has been working to fully acquire Sky since 2016 — to better position the new version of Fox in the larger telecommunications world. He wasn’t the only one: Comcast was also interested in acquiring Sky, and another bidding war ensued this summer. In August, government regulators set up an auction for the company, which pitted Fox (and by proxy, Disney, which would swallow up Sky during its Fox acquisition) against Comcast.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Comcast’s win will give it a huge new pool of international customers, but it comes at a steep price: this summer’s bidding war boosted the final cost for Sky’s cost far above what it was willing to pay months ago. The acquisition will also give Comcast Sky’s major television and programming assets, which will help it compete against the likes of Netflix and Amazon, which have invested heavily in original entertainment.

Ultimately, the sale is a loss for Disney, which is working on its own streaming service. Disney still owns Fox’s 39 percent stake in the company, and it remains to be seen if it’ll hold onto it. The deal will now go before Sky’s shareholders for their vote.

Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

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This Tesla key fob looks like, you guessed it, a mini Tesla Model 3

No, this is a pic of an actual car. The photo of the fob is below.
No, this is a pic of an actual car. The photo of the fob is below.
Image: tesla

Tesla likes to do things differently. 

So when Electrek reported last month that the electric car company was allegedly working on a new key fob for its Model 3, we should have known it wouldn’t be just your standard blob of a BLE device. Thanks to newly released documents filed to the FCC, we now know that’s exactly right. 

According to the filing, the as-of-yet-unreleased fob is actually shaped like a mini Model 3. Basically, it looks like the most expensive Hot Wheels car you never owned. 

Vroom.

Vroom.

Image: tesla / fcc

A photo of the fob’s underside clearly shows that the design is an explicit call out to the Model 3. 

Belly up.

Belly up.

Image: tesla / fcc

As Engadget notes, the Model 3 does not currently come with a fob at all. Instead, car owners rely on their smartphones or a keycard to unlock and start the ride. 

Interestingly, the Model S, unlike the Model 3, does have a key fob. Unfortunately though, that key fob was recently shown to be vulnerable to hackers. Thankfully, Tesla provided owners an easy fix — the ability to set a PIN code on the car — that we imagine could also be used to protect the Model 3 from any potential vulnerabilities in the fob.  

There’s no word yet on when the new key fob will be released, but when it does expect to see lots of annoying people pushing them across their desks while making “vroom” sound effects. 

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Game of Thrones concept artists work together to create an Unseen Westeros exhibition

Something to look forward to: For three years 40 Game of Thrones concept artists – the people responsible for every dragon and castle in the show – have been planning this “once in a lifetime” exhibition. It will feature over 80 gigantic and unseen concept artworks, inspired by George R.R. Martin’s The World of Ice and Fire.

The exhibition will be accompanied by uniquely crafted music in each room “allowing the visitor to feel as if they are traveling through these distant countries.” Accompanying excerpts from the Game of Thrones books will be narrated, and to top it all off the exhibition will be held in a previously abandoned industrial complex filled with catacombs. It’ll be an amazing atmosphere for the upwards of 40,000 fans that the exhibition is expecting to see.

Unfortunately, it’s only open for four days from January 23rd to the 27th, next year in Berlin. The artists insisted on making entry free so that as many fans as possible can enjoy the exhibition, but to cover costs they’ve also launched a Kickstarter campaign.

If you want to support the exhibition or simply can’t go, a limited-edition Unseen Westeros book is available from the Kickstarter campaign for around $60. It contains all the artworks and excerpts in the exhibition.

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