'Doctor Who' fans are so into this cute, hangry creature called a 'Pting'

There’s a hangry little new creature on Doctor Who and Twitter is into it.

Dubbed a Pting, the small but fierce newcomer appeared on Sunday in “The Tsuranga Conundrum,” the fifth episode of Series 11, which stars Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.

Without spoiling too much, the Doctor and her crew found the creature somewhere in the galaxy, hanging out on a spaceship. It’s super cute, but is poisonous to touch, and though non-carnivorous, it will feed off any kind of non-organic material it can find.

The Pting’s rampant insatiability was something that struck a chord with some on Twitter.

Sure, it’s a little vicious, but it’s truly cute, and a damn sight less terrifying than the Weeping Angels. Folks on Twitter ran with their own interpretations of the Pting, and where they’d seen it before.

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Korean AI startup Skelter Labs lands strategic investment to expand to Southeast Asia

Korean AI startup Skelter Labs is expanding to Southeast Asia after it pulled in undisclosed funding from Singapore-based VC firm Golden Gate Ventures.

Skelter Labs was founded in 2015 by founded by Ted Cho, the former engineering site director at Google Korea. It started out developing apps and services that made use of AI but then it pivoted to focus fully on AI tech, which it licenses out to companies and corporations that it works with. Now it is eying opportunities in  Japan and parts of Southeast Asia — which has a cumulative population of over 600 million — with Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia specifically mentioned.

The startup raised a $9 million seed round earlier this year, and Golden Gate has added an additional check to that round which came from KakaoBrain — the AI unit of Korean messaging giant Kakao — Kakao’s K-Cute venture arm, Stonebridge Ventures and Lotte Homeshopping, the TV and internet shopping business owned by multi-billion dollar retail giant Lotte.

More specifically, Seoul-based Skelter Labs works on AI in the context of vision and speech, conversation, and context recognition, while it goes after customers in areas that include manufacturing, customer operations, device interaction, and consumer marketing.

The startup doesn’t disclose customers, but it previously told TechCrunch that its vision is to bring its machine learning technology to daily life and schedules. Possible examples of that might be could include “intelligent virtual assistant technology that can be widely applied to various areas including smart speakers, smartphones, home appliances, automobiles and wearable devices.”

Golden Gate is one of Southeast Asia’s longest running tech VC firms. This deal is part of its recently announced third fund, which is $100 million in size.

In a statement, Skelter Labs CEO Cho paid tribute to the VC’s strong footprint in Southeast Asia that he said could open doors for the company. Startups in Golden Gate’s portfolio that might be of particular interest could include mobile listings startup Carousell, auto portal Carro, fashion commerce site Grana and online furnishings seller Hipvan.

Note: The original version of this article has been corrected. Skelter Labs has announced an extension to its previous round not a new round. Apologies for any confusion caused.

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'The Walking Dead' says goodbye to Rick in one of the best episodes yet

See ya around, Andrew Lincoln.
See ya around, Andrew Lincoln.
Image: Gene page / amc

This article contains spoilers for Season 9, Episode 5 of The Walking Dead.


Rick Grimes is gone and it looks like The Walking Dead might be better for it.

Despite advertising to the world that Sunday’s episode “What Comes After” was going to be lead actor Andrew Lincoln’s last hurrah, The Walking Dead managed to produce one of the best episodes in the series’ eight-year history that was both heartfelt and refreshingly surprising.

At the end of Episode 4 of Season 9, Rick rode off on his own to draw away a horde of zombies, until to be reared off his horse and find himself impaled on a piece rebar, jutting up out of his abdomen. “What Comes After” picked up right after with an emotionally charged, suspenseful scene of Rick digging deep and freeing himself just in time to get away.

Some heart-pounding suspense.

Some heart-pounding suspense.

Image: Jackson lee davis / amc

Rick’s hurt. It’s bad. He’s slipping in an out of consciousness with a shambling mass of undead nipping at his heels. Rick is on a death march.

What follows is a Rick-centric episode, taking us into his fever dreams where the show revives meta versions of past characters like Shane (Jon Bernthal) and Hershel (Scott Wilson) in a sort of homage to the show, which comes off as a touching reprieve to Rick’s seemingly inevitable demise.

There was definitely a rose-tinted glasses vibe going on. Although I knew while watching this episode that the last eight years of The Walking Dead were consistently oscillating between boring and predictable, “What Comes After” effectively tugged at those nostalgic strings between some stellar moments of acting from Lincoln.

Meanwhile, back at the Sanctuary, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) was storming in with wrath in her veins and a weapon in her hand to kill Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who murdered her husband Glenn (Steven Yeun).

The scene stands out as one of the best to ever grace The Walking Dead, where an emaciated Negan pleads for Maggie to end his suffering and his life so he can finally die, be at peace, and be with his wife Lucille.

It’s heartbreaking

“Please kill me, please kill me,” he pleads, “I should be dead, I have to be dead.”

It’s gripping, and it catches Maggie off guard, who decides it’s a worse punishment to let the man who murdered Glen and others to live with his guilt.

Back to Rick, who keeps passing out. He’s losing blood. We see some iconic scenes like Hershel’s farm, the “Don’t Open Dead Inside” doors from the hospital, Atlanta.

Rick is stumbling forward, bleeding, walking like a zombie as the horde continues to follow him. He’s on the edge of death and he tries to lure the slow-moving group of people eaters over a bridge that’s just begging to collapse.

There are close calls, some fake outs, and Rick’s last move is to shoot some bundles of dynamite, blowing up the bridge and zombies and saving the day for everyone else, sacrificing himself.

It’s heartbreaking, until moments later when Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) with a walkie talkie sees him washed up on the side of the river that the bridge ran over. And then one of the biggest twists to ever hit the show occurs: the helicopter we first learned about a year ago appears on the horizon, and Rick is ferried away through the skies to some unknown location.

The helicopter development is a great twist.

The helicopter development is a great twist.

Image: jackson lee davis / amc

Maybe it’s a stable settlement, maybe there are some parts of the world that aren’t in such dire straits as the southeastern U.S. It’s intensely intriguing. The possibilities of what this means are just swirling.

And then, boom, time jump, where we see a roughly 10-year-old Judith saving a group of 20-somethings from zombies with her dad’s old gun.

There hasn’t been an episode ending this enticing in a very long time.

Andrew Lincoln’s last episode was shockingly outstanding. And while he was one of the best actors on the show with some truly compelling performances throughout the years, the show needed to move on. The Walking Dead has been stuck in a sort of complacent loop of the same old stuff.

The show was exciting at the beginning, it felt fresh and fun, but as the years wore on, it just felt like the same old things were happening to the same old characters. This shake up is exactly what the show needed to inject a little excitement into it.

For the first time in years, I’m excited to watch the next episode of The Walking Dead.

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Ubisoft sanitizes 'Rainbow Six: Siege' to expand its audience


Ubisoft

Ubisoft wants to bring Rainbow Six: Siege to new Asian markets, and it’s sterilizing some parts of the game in the process — regardless of where you live. It’s prepping a Year 3 Season 4 update to the global version of the game that removes numerous references to gambling, sex and certain violent elements. Slot machines, neon stripper signs, blood patches and even skull imagery has been replaced with ‘safer’ references, even in in the activity feed for kills. There will be a separate build, Ubisoft added on Reddit, but it’ll be region-locked even if you try to use a VPN.

According to the developer, the sanitized version is all about speed and efficiency. This reduces the amount of work Ubisoft has to do (important if it has to quickly address bugs or gameplay balance), and makes the game “future proof” by ensuring that any updates are in sync with regulations.

The company stressed that the changes wouldn’t affect the “core gameplay.” Nonetheless, that could easily leave players frustrated. Ubisoft is making everyone play the same toned-down edition of Siege whether or not it’s necessary in their corner of the world. While this really isn’t going to dilute the quality of the game itself (your attention will likely be focused on players, not decor), it might be hard to shake the feeling that the game has lost a bit of its edge in the name of expedience.

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Ryu From Street Fighter Fights Captain America in This Animation, Because It's Cool

Go Cap!
Image: Screenshot via YouTube

Ryu’s been getting around lately. Sure, yeah, he’s in Street Fighter. But he’s also in Smash Bros. And he’s a Power Ranger? And now he’s a Lego man, fighting Captain America?

That’s what happens in this cute little stop-motion fight scene, via LEGO Empire on YouTube. The fight scene, which shows Ryu struggling against the implacable good-person-powers of Captain America and his sweet shield, took about ten hours to film, according to the video description, with an additional thirty hours of editing.

That’s a lot of work for what is essentially a forum argument made flesh. Or, well, plastic. And that’s why I love it, honestly.

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