Amazon Prime saves blockbuster sci-fi show The Expanse from obscurity

Update: Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has confirmed that The Expanse will return on Amazon Prime, though as yet there’s no fixed date for season four.

Our original story continues below…

The Expanse has been around for three seasons now and was Syfy’s big push into creating a blockbuster science-fiction TV show. 

Big money did mean, however, that the show would have to attract some big viewing figures. Unfortunately for The Expanse fans, a 25% drop in season two and a further 5% in season three meant that Syfy had no option but to cancel. 

There’s no such thing as ‘cancellation’ in the age of Netflix and Amazon Prime, though, services that have become the home of second chances. 

Although nothing has been signed, it is thought that The Expanse will continue its fourth season on Amazon Prime – a place where money is seemingly no problem, especially when the boss of the company, Jeff Bezos, is a fan of the James SA Corey’s best-selling books on which The Expanse is based. 

The show is no stranger to streaming platforms – its previous seasons are currently streaming on Amazon Prime in the US and on Netflix in the UK, and has made it into TechRadar’s best shows on Netflix list.

Prime time

If The Expanse does come to Amazon Prime, it will join a roster of big budget shows in production. 

These include a Lord Of The Rings TV series, which will follow the exploits of a young Aragon, Utopia (a remake of the superb UK show), a TV version of the movie Hanna and Jonathan Nolan and Tina Joy’s latest drama The Peripheral.

It will also see Amazon Prime wade into similar sci-fi territory as Netflix, which has been creating a number of movies and shows in sci-fi genre.

 Just last month, it was revealed that Netflix’s big push for this year and beyond is scripted sci-fi and fantasy drama

Via Hollywood Reporter

  • These are the best shows on Amazon Prime Video right now.

Xbox at E3 2018: 6 things we want to see from Microsoft

With the launch of Xbox One X, Microsoft went pretty big for E3 2017. And that puts the pressure on for E3 2018 because now we’re hoping this Xbox showcase will be just as big as the last. 

Now, we’re not expecting any kind of Xbox Two reveal or anything but this is a chance for Microsoft to really set the tone for the next few years until the next-gen console arrives. With the Xbox One X being the most powerful console on the market right now, we’re hoping Microsoft will pull out all the stops when it comes to software at this year’s Xbox show.

Xbox appears to be doing well at the moment, but E3 is the perfect platform to address criticisms that the console doesn’t have enough first-party exclusives and concerns about the mass move towards online service games. 

We’d love to see some big exciting announcements that really show off what the 4K console can do. These announcements will hopefully include some Xbox exclusives that have been developed with all that power in mind. 

A new exclusive

Microsoft is often criticised for its lack of exclusive games and we think E3 might be time to announce one, if only to appease the fans who look at Sony’s offering with somewhat distraught eyes. We imagine there are going to be plenty of exciting third-party reveals at this year’s show but one striking first-party announcement outside of the long-running exclusive franchises has the potential to steal the show. 

It would be understandable if Microsoft was unwilling to announce a brand new first-party IP very early in the development process after what happened with Scalebound but some kind of tease would probably be well received. 

At the very least we can probably expect some exciting ID@Xbox reveals. Titles like Cuphead and Ori and the Blind Forest have done well for Microsoft in the past so it’d be surprising if there weren’t a few more announcements in this vein. 

Gears of War 5

Although we’d love to see some kind of Gears of War 5 announcement this year, we’re not holding out too much hope. Gears of War 4 was released in 2016 which is, in the game world, a while ago. However, Gears of War 3 was released in 2011 so large gaps between releases is not unusual for the Gears of War franchise. 

Earlier this year there was an apparent pre-E3 leak from Walmart Canada which may have revealed some unannounced games. Gears of War 5 was one of the games. Another of the titles from the leak – Rage 2 – ended up being real but some others – Forza Horizon 5  – were far less believable for obvious reasons. 

Whether this leak was accurate or not, it has given us some hope, however faint. If Microsoft were to make a Gears of War 5 announcement with a prospective 2019 release date, it would still be a very respectable three year gap between releases. 

Halo 6

We’re not really expecting Halo 6 to appear at this year’s Xbox presentation in any big way this year but we do think it’s more likely to show its face than Gears of War 5. The Halo games do, after all, tend to follow a three year development cycle and Halo 5 was released in 2015. In light of that, we’d love to see the next Halo acknowledged in some way. 

Following the announcement of a Halo arcade game, 343 Industries’ Brian Jarrard was quick to promise fans on Twitter that work on the next console game was not impacted. In a roundabout way, this is a confirmation that Halo 6 is in the works .

So, since it’s pretty much common knowledge that 343 Industries has been hard at work on another Halo game, we’d love Microsoft to acknowledge this in some way at the show. Whether it’s a teasing logo or a full-blown trailer we’d be satisfied. 

Find out what Playground Games is working on

Now, we think it’s likely that Microsoft will make a Forza Horizon 4 announcement this year and we’d be very surprised if it didn’t come from the usual developer, Playground Games. However, Playground did open a second studio at the end of 2017 which suggests it’s working on a little more than usual and we’re really hoping we’ll find out what that is at this year’s show. 

There have been a lot of rumors around the possible return of the Fable franchise recently. With the closure of Lionhead and the abandonment of Fable Legends, it all ended somewhat tragically and abruptly for one of Xbox’s most beloved franchises. 

Although Lionhead is no longer operating, it’s been suggested that Playground Games is working on Fable 4. Now, we don’t know if there’s any truth to these rumors but Phil Spencer has previously said the series still has places to go. 

The reports around Fable 4 have suggested that the game will be an open world RPG with a focus on narrative and story; this is the kind of title Microsoft is lacking at the moment in its exclusive offerings (particularly compared to PlayStation) so if there is any truth to these rumors, we’d love to see Microsoft make some kind of announcement at this year’s show for a 2019/2020 release. 

Age of Empires 4

We know so little about Age of Empires 4 it’s starting to get painful. The game was first announced in August of last year with no release date and an announcement trailer seemingly comprised entirely of concept art. When you start a hype train journey like that, it’s probably best to have a station not too far down the line. 

You’ll understand and probably share our desire, then, to find out a little more about the game at this year’s E3. A rough release window if we’re feeling our most optimistic, a little gameplay footage or a confirmation of some of the nations that will make an appearance if we’re being more realistic. Anything would be welcome. 

What’s happening with VR?

When Microsoft announced Project Scorpio during E3 2016, it made a point of saying that the console would support virtual reality. Yet 2018 has arrived, Project Scorpio has become Xbox One X, and we still haven’t seen any sign of a dedicated VR headset and Microsoft has gone rather quiet on the matter. 

Although Microsoft has launched some Windows Mixed Reality headsets in partnership with big names like Asus, Lenovo, Dell and HP, we haven’t heard anything about them working with Xbox One X, despite the fact that Microsoft has been trying to blur the line between its platforms. 

We’re not sure if Microsoft has simply decided it’s no longer interested in competing with Sony in this area or if it’s holding off on announcing a dedicated console headset. 

But if Microsoft is going to tag the Xbox One X to come into the VR ring, we reckon it’ll have to do so during E3 2018. 

  • Everything we know about E3 2018

Best property management software of 2018

If there’s one market that always seems to be growing, it’s real-estate. According to research from Savills, the industry grew from $217 trillion (£162 trillion) in 2016 to $228 trillion (£171 trillion) in 2017. That represents growth of 5%.   

The sector is also pretty diverse. While there are clearly major real-estate businesses with properties and other assets across the globe, there are also people renting second homes to make some extra cash. Whatever your situation, managing a property portfolio is a complex undertaking. 

Succeeding as a property manager means being able to operate and control your properties carefully. Clearly, properties need to be monitored and maintained to a certain standard,  and that’s particularly important for those acting as a landlord. If a home isn’t up to scratch, safe, and habitable, landlords can face legal action.   

Then there are the financial and business fundamentals of property investment. If you invest in a property for the sole purpose of selling it on, you’ll need to ensure it is in the best possible state to attract the interest of a buyer. And should you want to rent it, you’ll need a way to manage monthly payments.

However, the property management process needn’t be bogged down by bureaucratic paperwork; there are plenty of applications out there that make it easier to manage a property portfolio. Here are five of the best.

  • We’ve also highlighted the 10 best personal finance software and services

Appfolio

Described as a real-time property management solution, Appfolio provides a range of cloud tools for apartment, residential, commercial, council and student property managers. The software helps real-estate professionals manage assets and financial data, but also attract new renters and clients. 

Aimed at streamlining processes in the real-estate and property management sector, the platform lets users access business metrics, track maintenance, and communicate with renters, owners and vendors. There’s also a dedicated owner’s portal, which offers access to reports and statements. 

Other features include the ability to accept online rental applications, and to screen potential renters, distribute vacancy adverts across the internet, collect rent online and perform mobile inspections. What’s more, tenants are able to submit maintenance requests through the software, meaning property managers can quickly resolve faults. 

Depending on the type of properties you’re looking to rent or sell, there are several monthly plans available. The residential and student plans cost $1.25 (93p) per unit, while the commercial option costs $1.50 (£1.31) per unit. However, community associations looking to use the software only need to pay $0.80 (50p) per unit.   

  • You can sign up for Appfolio here

Buildium

Positioned as a network of property management services, Buildium is another popular platform for real-estate specialists. It provides a plethora of property management, accounting, business operations and leasing tools. 

Whether you own three properties or three thousand, Buildium gives you a quick and easy way to manage and expand your real-estate portfolio. Not only can you use the software to manage maintenance requests and finances, but you can also market properties and find tenants online.

Just like Appfolio, you can accept online applications and screen tenants before drawing up contracts. There are also portals for property owners, home owners, residents and board members, letting you communicate with stakeholders easily.

The software covers community associations, student housing, affordable housing and residential properties. Currently, price plans start at $150 (£111), although there is a free trial available.   

  • You can sign up for Buildium here

Rent Manager

Capable of handling properties of any size, Rent Manager is a flexible and easy-to-use property management platform. It comes packed with an asset management database, integrated accounting, contact management, and work ordering capabilities plus marketing solutions.  

From the platform, you’re able to track, manage and resolve service issues, and you can keep an eye on your finances by downloading detailed reports. If you’re looking to find new tenants or buyers for a property, you can create a professional and interactive website that’s integrated with Rent Manager.  

Another great thing about the platform is that it’s mobile-friendly. Whenever you’re on-the-go, you can accept payments, organize service inspections, enter work orders and take photos from a mobile app.

However, this software isn’t just handy for property managers – tenants can also access real-time information and transaction records, as well as sign leases and pay their rent, from any device. To get an idea of pricing, you’ll need to get in touch with the company, but there is a free trial available if you’d like to check the software out.

  • You can sign up for Rent Manager here

Re-Leased

Re-Leasedallows you to lease residential and commercial properties, co-working spaces, student accommodation, office units and mixed family housing.   

The software functions as a central hub where you can view upcoming tasks and automated workflows. From one simple dashboard, you’re able to view and manage properties, collaborate and delegate tasks across your team, and communicate with tenants via email and text messages. You can also get reminders on important tasks, and resolve issues. There’s integration with Google Calendar, Outlook and Microsoft 365, as well.   

If you’re interested in the software, you can request a pricing quote from the company’s website. Whatever the case, every user can access customer support, add as many properties as they like, connect to Xero accounting software, and use the platform from computers, tablets and smartphones via the cloud.

And to ensure that important business data never ends up in the wrong hands, the app is protected by enterprise-level security. 

  • You can sign up for Re-Leased here

Qube Global Software

Founded in 1969, Qube Global Software has been delivering tech solutions for almost half a century. It has also created a sophisticated property management solution, which is used by over 10,000 folks across the world.

Targeted at investors and managers, the software is suitable for a range of real-estate businesses, including commercial, residential, mixed-use and student properties.

Features include billing and invoicing, contact management, maintenance tracking, expense management, insurance management, lease management, tax management, a landlord and tenant database, rent tracking and late fee calculation.

However, due to the fact that this software is aimed predominantly at corporate users, you’ll need to get in touch with the company to get an idea of pricing. At the same time, you can demo the platform to see if it suits your needs. Currently, it’s used by real-estate firms such as Hammerson, Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life.

  • You can sign up for Qube Global Software here

How to watch the Monaco Grand Prix online for free: live stream F1 from anywhere

It may well be the most glamorous sporting event of the year (take THAT wet Tuesday nights at Stoke City) – it’s time for the much anticipated Monaco Grand Prix 2018 weekend. You may not be able to take your place on a quillion-pound yacht in the famous harbor, but we can tell you how to stream F1 live absolutely FREE and from anywhere in the world you live.

Steeped in both history and glitz in equal measure, the twisty turny GP around the streets of Monaco are always a race worth tuning in for. And it comes at a very interesting juncture in the season. Lewis Hamilton is looking for his third Monaco Grand Prix victory, which will help him to consolidate his place at the top of the F1 2018 Drivers’ World Championship standings.

But Sebastian Vettel has also won here twice before, including a dominant win at Monte Carlo last year. While the two Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will be hoping to kick start their championship, having dominated the first two practice on Thursday morning.

Thankfully, it’s much more simple to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from the comfort of your own TV than to compete in it, and on pretty much any device at that. Read on to find out how to live stream F1 coverage for free –  anywhere in the world.

How to live stream F1 in the UK for free:

If you’re in the UK then Channel 4 is the way to go for today’s free-to-air coverage. And the station’s All4 platform is free and straightforward to access on a range of devices including tablets, mobile phones, personal computers and Smart TVs.

Rather not have to sign in? Then the alternative way to access Channel 4 is by going to TVPlayer.com. It’s a free, legal, online streaming service based in the UK which offers hundreds of channels – and you don’t even need to sign in to stream F1 live.

Formula One 2018 is also being shown on Sky Sports F1. Live streaming of all F1 races is available online to Sky customers with a subscription to Sky Sports F1, as well as access to a mobile device with the Sky Go app. 

So if you already have a Sky subscription and prefer its coverage to Channel 4’s, then job’s a good’n. If you want the Sky coverage but don’t want to splash out on a full Sky contract you could always purchase a day, week or month pass using NOW TV. A daily pass costs £7.99, and is available on more than 60 devices, including TV, mobile phones, and games consoles, and you can register up to four of them.

How to watch the Monaco Grand Prix for free anywhere else in the world

If you’re outside the UK and try to start streaming the Monaco GP on All4, you’ll soon discover that you can’t as it is location restricted. But there’s a way you can watch for free anyway. By downloading and installing a VPN, you can effectively trick your computer into thinking that it’s in the UK. That way you can enjoy the free coverage without having to pay your local broadcaster or find an illegal stream.

It’s really easy to get started with a VPN – here’s how to do it:

How to watch the Monaco Grand Prix: US stream

In the US, NBC Sports will be showing live coverage of every race weekend throughout the season. You’ll need an NBC cable subscription to get access, but once you do, you’ll get access to NBC’s Formula One Live Extra platform, which gives you live coverage and highlights on your smart TV or mobile device.

But our clever little VPN workaround above works equally effectively if you’re in the US. That means you can catch the F1 without having to pay a cent for it.

Stay safe during the Monaco Grand Prix

Photos courtesy of Formula1.com

How to live stream the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League: watch athletics from anywhere

The Diamond League moves on to Eugene, Oregon in the US for its third meet. The Prefontaine Classic is the headline track and field meet of the year and various events will take place at the historic Hayward Field this Friday May 25 and on Saturday May 26.

The events will kick off on Friday with the Men’s Pole Vault, Men’s Javelin, Men’s 800m and Men’s 2 Mile. However, Saturday will be the day to catch most of the action with both male and female athletes competing in a wide range of events from shot put to hurdles. The full schedule for the Prefontaine Classic is available online so that you won’t miss any of your favorite events or athletes. 

Allyson Felix will be racing the 400m after spending a decade as a 200m sprinter while Christian Coleman, who many see as an heir to Usain Bolt, will be racing the 100m for the first time since World Championships.

If you’re an avid follower of the Diamond League or just a fan of track and field, we’ll show you how to stream the Prefontaine Classic online so that you don’t miss out on any of this year’s action. Watch the athletics with our guide.

  • F1 fan? You can live stream the Monaco Grand Prix free with our guide 

How to watch the Prefontaine Classic: US live stream 

If you live in the US and are interested in watching the events at this year’s Diamond League, then NBC will be showing all the action on TV and online. The network’s coverage starts at 7:30pm PT (10:30pm ET, 3:30am BST) on Friday and at 11:50am PT (2:50pm ET, 7:50pm BST) on Saturday.

For fans who want the most extensive coverage of the Diamond League, then NBC Sports Gold Track and Field Pass will allow you to watch the entire Diamond League live and on-demand at each of the fourteen legs all over the world. The service is currently on sale for $69.99 but if you want to watch all of this year’s marathons and international competitions on all of your devices then it just might be for you.

  • DIRECTV NOW $50 per month – DIRECTV NOW gives users all the channels needed to watch the athletics and loads of other sporting events. Use DIRECTV NOW’s 7-day trial will let you test out the platform.
  • Sling TV $40 per month – Sling TV is an inexpensive way to watch sport. Sling TV is compatible with Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Chromecast as well as lots of other devices and its easy to get started with a 7-day free trial. 
  • fuboTV $19.99 for the first month – fuboTV has a low introductory price though after that the price goes up to $44.99 a month and includes 70 channels. There’s a 7-day trial available so you can test out its functionality for yourself.

How to watch the Prefontaine Classic in the UK 

UK residents will be able to enjoy all the action from Eurosport, with coverage starting at 3:15am BST. That means you have a few options as this is broadcast via a Sky, Virgin Media or BT subscription. 

If you don’t have any of those then you can subscribe to the Eurosport Player and enjoy everything via an app on your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can get a monthly or annual pass, or even a free trial for which is available here if your interest starts and ends with the Prefontaine Classic meeting. 

How to watch the Prefontaine Classic in Canada

For Canadians watching the event it’s relatively easy as the entire Prefontaine Classic will be aired on CBC at 4pm ET on Saturday. The channel will also be live streaming them so if you need to access to any events via the internet, you have that option as well. 

How to watch the Prefontaine Classic in Australia

Australians with Eurosport, you’re in luck. The sports channel will be covering the Prefontaine Classic event from 6am. This is available through the Eurosport app with a subscription that means you can watch it from plenty of devices anywhere with a good enough data connection.

How to watch esports on the BBC this weekend: live stream Dota 2 online

The Dota 2 battle arena is coming to the UK this weekend – to the real-world arena of ESL Birmingham, to be exact. And the whole event will be aired on BBC Three.

For the uninitiated, Dota 2 is a multiplayer online game from Valve which is played by teams of between two and five members each defending their own base camps. And the stakes are high.

The prize money for this Dota 2 event is a whopping $1,000,000 in the money pool and this event is all part of getting Pro Dota Circuit Points to get at that cash.

  • Check out our list of the best gaming monitors 2018

Live stream the Dota 2 semifinals and final

If you can’t make it along to Birmingham then fret not, you can still catch all the button bashing brilliance as BBC Three is covering the Dota 2 action this year.  You can tune in to the semifinals at 2pm BST on Saturday 26 May and the final from 3pm BST on Sunday May 27.

The coverage will be presented by BBC Radio 1 presenter Julia Hardy with Dota 2 pros joining in to guide even newbs through the action. Gareth Bateson and Shane Clarke will be there to explain everything and commentate on the fun.

Alternatively, you can check out the Twitter and Facebook accounts to see the live stream. And if you’re watching from outside the UK then you can still enjoy the action by using a VPN to tune setting your IP address to the UK.